“He was given the gift of a great bird who rose from fire to show him the way to the stones so he could pray upon them with song and lo! All of his past would be shown unto him.” (Ch 3, The Reincarnationist)
The Reincarnationist by M. J. Rose is the first in a series, and was published in 2007. I read and reviewed the second book in the series, The Memorist, first, before I knew about this one, but the stories are strong and stand on their own, so it wasn’t a problem.
Following a traumatic, near death experience, Josh Ryder’s experiences with flashbacks and past lives begin surfacing with frequency. His former self, a pagan priest involved in a love affair with a vestal virgin, seems to urgently need Josh to learn from and correct past mistakes. Josh gets involved with a past life organization and a secret dig gone horribly wrong in the search for stolen gems that might be the key to breaking down the barriers between lives. His journey takes him all over the globe, through time and space, until its dramatic conclusion.
The Reincarnationist was captivating. Rose naturally creates suspense by seamlessly weaving plots and time periods. I was most impressed by the ease with which she handled transitions in time, when characters past lives invaded their consciousness in the present. The yearning of the characters transfers to the reader, and I found myself flying through the book, chasing answers to all the questions raised in every chapter. Rose’s sense of scene firmly grounds the reader– whether in an underground archeological dig, a church, or an Italian grove in 391 A. D. While her style is direct and readable, there are moments of sheer beauty in her descriptions.
A new TV series based on The Reincarnationist, called Past Life, begins on Fox on February 11th at 8 PM. Also, the third book in the series, The Hypnotist, will be released in May of 2010. I can’t wait to read it!
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(FYI: This was the first book I read on my new Kindle. I’ll post on the Kindle experience tomorrow.)