Monday, January 16, 2017

Rachelle Dekker: The Returning

By Kelly Bridgewater

Twenty years have passed since Carrington and Remko Brant’s baby, Elise, was kidnapped and they were forced to leave her captive in the Authority City. Though they fled with the Seers far from Authority reach, they’ve never given up hope of rescuing their daughter from the man who betrayed them. Now Authority President, he’s ushered the city into a new era of “peace”―one where the Scientist Roth Reynard’s Genesis Serum has eradicated all memory of emotion or rebellion.

But the mysterious Aaron and his Seers are once again on the move, threatening the illusion the Authority has worked so hard to build. As the Seers send seven chosen warriors to rescue Elise and bring restoration to the Authority City, the lines are drawn for a final battle between light and darkness. The key to ultimate victory may rest within the strangely powerful girl who has felt forgotten but was never abandoned―a truth she’ll need to wage war against the powerful forces of evil.

From Amazon

My Review:

I have read both books in the A Seer Novel Series, and while I enjoyed the introduction to the series better than the second installment, the last book was okay. Being a futuristic novel with a world with no emotions, I had to go along with the author while she created this world around me. But even with any fantasy novel, I should be able to relate to the characters and feel comfortable in the setting. With Rachel Dekker's The Returning, I didn't feel that way.

Dekker does have a handle on clear and concise writing. She stayed in the point of view of the character who should be controlling the scenes. I was never taken out of the story because the wrong person was speaking alongside another character. I felt the emotions that Elise, Willis, and the other characters felt when I needed to. As for the setting, there really wasn't much description in this novel. Elise went to prison and sat in a chair in a number of rooms while a partially constructed building and a hospital waiting room played at the edges for a light conversion. Most of the setting was just dialogue while the characters roamed around.

While The Returning starts twenty years after the last novel ends, I finally get to see and observe Elise, Carrington and Remko's daughter. She has this ultimate power entitled the light where she can bring emotions back to the world and allow then to see the light of the Father. There really wasn't one hero in this edition of the series. It could be Willis. It could be Jesse. I wasn't sure who Dekker wanted me to side with. Both of these characters were pretty flat to me. The best part of Jesse was near the end of the novel as he fights internally between the dark and the light.

The Returning is a great metaphor for the light us Christians are supposed to bring to this dark and dying world we live in. Likewise, I enjoyed the story being an entire metaphor for the Christian faith. We are supposed to be the light and bring the truth to the unbelievers by showing them the truth they are desperately seeking.

As for the pace of the plot, I felt it moved slowly. There were a lot of repeat actions. Something would occur to Elise, than Dekker would go back to the same scene and show it again, but this time it would be from Willis or Jesse's perspective. I didn't understand why she did that. There were moments of chasing or running from things, but I still felt like there really wasn't anything hurrying the novel along. I wished for more action.

While this is an original and unpredictable novel for fans of any age, I would recommend this series to fans of Ted Dekker's latest creations or James Rubart's Well Springs series since it does include using spiritual gifts to bring others to Jesus.

In conclusion, I felt like Rachelle Dekker's The Returning was not as well-written as her first edition in the series, but it does feature some good spiritual lessons that could be taken from the story. I wanted more to the plot than repeated scenes over and over again.

I received a complimentary copy of Rachel Dekker's The Returning from Tyndale Publishing and the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

Come back on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 where I will have interview questions with Rachelle and A GIVEAWAY!!!!!

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