Review: The Returned by Jason Mott

Posted June 5, 2014 by Felicia S in 2014 Read, 3.25 Wine Glasses, Reviews / 12 Comments

Review: The Returned by Jason MottSource: NetGalley EBook Review, Provided by Harlequin HQN

Format: eARC

The Returned by Jason Mott

Date Read: March 2014

Genre: General Fiction

Jacob was time out of sync, time more perfect than it had been. He was life the way it was supposed to be all those years ago. That's what all the Returned were.

Harold and Lucille Hargrave's lives have been both joyful and sorrowful in the decades since their only son, Jacob, died tragically at his eighth birthday party in 1966. In their old age they've settled comfortably into life without him, their wounds tempered through the grace of time ... Until one day Jacob mysteriously appears on their doorstep—flesh and blood, their sweet, precocious child, still eight years old.

All over the world people's loved ones are returning from beyond. No one knows how or why this is happening, whether it's a miracle or a sign of the end. Not even Harold and Lucille can agree on whether the boy is real or a wondrous imitation, but one thing they know for sure: he's their son. As chaos erupts around the globe, the newly reunited Hargrave family finds itself at the center of a community on the brink of collapse, forced to navigate a mysterious new reality and a conflict that threatens to unravel the very meaning of what it is to be human.

With spare, elegant prose and searing emotional depth, award-winning poet Jason Mott explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility. A spellbinding and stunning debut, The Returned is an unforgettable story that marks the arrival of an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

More Information:
Publisher: Harlequin HQN


Read from March 01 to 05, 2014

Read for Review
Overall Rating 3.25
Story Rating 3.25
Character Rating 3.25

First Thought when Finished: I think The Returned by Jason Mott will make an excellent TV Series. However the book was choppy and could have been flushed out more.

Story Thoughts:I wanted to love this story. The premise reminded me a lot of The 4400 which I loved. However, while I think the writing was brilliant the story just fell short for me. I can’t really give to much away but let me just say that I didn’t feel the end was organic to the story. I also felt that the “purpose” was not really answered to a place I felt fulfilled.

Character Thoughts: Some characters I loved and thought were executed with brilliance. Other characters were lacking depth and cardboard cutouts of the role they filled. I love stories that have an ensemble of characters but this one just did not quite give me enough. However, those flashes of brilliant character development were enough to keep the story going for me.

Final Thoughts: Oddly enough reading the book makes me want to watch the TV Show. I think where the book didn’t work for me, the show will.


FTC Disclosure


Overall Rating
3 / 5
Story Rating
3 / 5
Character Rating
3 / 5
Felicia S
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12 responses to “Review: The Returned by Jason Mott

  1. This is one that immediately caught my attention when I read the synopsis but I think I might stick with the show. It’s one of those stories that seem conceptually fascinating but maybe not as great when played out on the page.

    • I think the show was probably better (it is on my list still to watch–when it comes to prime) but on the page it just fell flat. Wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t compelling!

  2. I’ve been kind of on the fence about this one, and I’m thinking I’ll stick to the TV show too. It’s easier to bypass less-loved characters on a screen than it is in a book, and I agree that the other issues you had would be easier to deal with on TV as well.

    • The characters are where I think I was the most disappointed. Some where just so cookie-cutter and I know when an actor is “portraying” them that they will have more depth.

    • As far as I could tell there really was no purpose–the author might have been leaving that up to the reader but I think it needed one.

    • I almost always agree with your statement. In this case (I still haven’t seen the show) I think the character depth is probably richer. That being said, they could screw up the story and make the show not match the book. That would be sad because the story is there!

  3. It’s hard for me to read a book that seems like it’s written more for a TV show or by a screenwriter. TV’s completely different than a book because it depends on visuals that, if they’re not in the book, it makes it really choppy. The YA book, The 100 is like that…and now it’s a TV show (which I don’t watch because the characters are jackasses.). At least it was a 3.25 and not a 2 or 1 for you!

    • This is the 3rd one I have read this year that was written more like a script. I often wonder if that is a trend in some areas because it will make it easier to “pitch” to hollywood. I hope not because honestly they just read flat!