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Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A look into hearts and minds, 24 Aug 2013
This review is from: The Returned (Hardcover)
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When I noticed this book I assumed it was connected to either the French movie Les Revenants or the subsequent TV series of the same name. The TV series was released in the UK as the Returned and the movie re-named (from They Came Back) to fit in with the series.

Now the film and the series have somewhat different rules. The film saw the dead return, emerging from the graveyard in which they were buried. In the series the dead seemed to just appear. There were a limited number of the revenants in the series, all of whom had died in the last forty years, and the phenomena seemed constrained to a specific location. In the film all the dead had died within a ten year period and it was a worldwide phenomenon.

This book is unconnected to the film or series but has a similar premise. The dead are returning and no-one knows how. The event is worldwide, many of the returned died a considerable time before (in one case over a hundred years), they appear (how is never explained) randomly - so a young boy who we follow in the story, Jacob, appeared in China and was then brought to his (now elderly) parents in the USA by the International Bureau of the Returned. The living (or True Living as they start to be known) can tell if someone is Returned on sight. As more and more return the story looks at the differences in reactions between various people, positive and negative, as the World Governments begin to treat the Returned as something less than human.

The story, in some respects, is thus a little thin as we are more looking at an exploration of character, their reactions and emotions. This made it, for me, a fascinating book as Mott juxtaposed the events in the small town of Arcadia against individual stories, touched in brief, around the world.

In this the dead can die - one young boy dies of an aneurysm for the second time - unlike those in the film and series. They seem hungry but sleep little.

As I say, this isn't connected with the series or film in any way that I can tell, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it is an interesting book. Do not read it looking for answers, however, Mott is as vague as to the cause of the event in this as the series is in its own right.
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