Originally posted on my blog, A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
What a great premise for a novel! I was excited to read The Returned. The writing was good and held my interest. It was fascinating to see how different people reacted to the phenomena, to consider how the government would intervene, and I wondered what would happen next.
However, between the Hargraves and Pastor Peters, the author almost seems to be mocking the South (especially Christians in the South). I believe the intent was character development, but the execution felt unnatural, stereotypical, and at times, completely over the top and borderline rude. It was like I was catching a glimpse of the author's own hangups, rather than gaining a better understanding of the characters.
Also, without spoiling any details, there were some ideas that were stated but didn't develop, which could have enriched the sci-fi elements of the premise. This fall, ABC will be airing a series called Resurrection, which is based on this book and has an amazing cast. Yep, this book which hasn't even been released yet already has a TV series. I'm hoping ABC will give us more of the sci-fi aspects.
So, I was left with mixed feelings about The Returned. I liked it. For the most part, I enjoyed the book as I was reading. But I wasn't left feeling satisfied at the end, and I never felt especially connected to the characters. I think I may be looking forward to the television series more...I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.