Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway: The Returned by Jason Mott

Posted 27 August, 2013 by Rinn in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 15 Comments

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway: The Returned by Jason MottThe Returned by Jason Mott
Series: standalone
Published by Harlequin on August 27th 2013
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
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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.

I’m proud to be taking part in TLC Book Tours‘ tour for The Returned by Jason Mott! In this post you will find a review of the book, a little bit about the author and a giveaway.

If someone that you had known and loved, long since passed away, suddenly turned up on your doorstep, how would you react? This is what the Hargreaves, and others around the world in The Returned, have to deal with.

The book raises a lot of interesting questions, and demonstrates many of the possible responses through the actions of different countries throughout the world. It is something that would divide people, and certainly does in the little Southern town of Arcadia. After years and years, family and friends will have moved on and accepted the death of a loved one. So how would they feel when that person, who has been missing from their life for so long, suddenly appears as if nothing ever happened?
Like the Hargreaves, many people are terrified of the idea – until it affects them personally. Lucille refers to the Returned as ‘devils’, and Harold doesn’t show any strong opinion. That is, until their son suddenly appears, fifty years after his death and eight years old once again, looking exactly as he did on the day that he drowned. By this point Harold and Lucille are in their seventies, past the age and energy level of being able to look after a young, hyperactive child, but he is their son – or is he? Is he really their son, who died fifty years ago, or is he an apparition, a clone, anything but? 
The Returned have the memories and habits of the people that they once were, and the book  never really addresses whether they are anything other than those people – it’s pretty much left open to the reader. The book also points out a few other problems with these ‘miracles’. What do you do when a spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend who died all those years ago suddenly reappears and wants to be with you? What if you had someone else, a new family? How about people who were murdered – could they name their killer?
So many questions! It really is a thought provoking book.
The Hargreaves are a sweet old couple, Harold grumpy but with a soft spot for his wife, and Lucille a lot tougher than she originally seems. Both characters develop at a good pace over the course of the book, recent events causing them to question their own beliefs and morals.

It was nice to have various interludes all over the world of the Returned appearing, but I think a bit more of that would have been better. As it was, it felt a little like it was only affecting the town of Arcadia, rather than being a worldwide occurrence. Apparently there are some shorts covering other characters and places, but I really wouldn’t have minded that in the main storyline. There were also no stories of any Returned being upset or confused by the time skip, or age differences with loved ones – in fact they barely seem to bat an eye at their parents or lovers suddenly being fifty years older.

Jason Mott chooses to ignore writing any explanation for the Returned, and it isn’t really questioned by many of the characters. Instead he delves straight into how people would react or feel, he plays brilliantly on emotion and character development. I think this was the right choice; by leaving out any reasoning behind the sudden appearance of the deceased he leaves it very much open to the reader to decide how and why, whilst probably also widening the target audience for the book.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. Slow-paced to start with, it picks up and ends with a shock. It had me really thinking about the situations within the story and how I would react if I were part of them, and it’s always great when a book gets you to interact that way.

About the Author


Jason Mott holds a B.A. in fiction and an M.F.A. in poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and is the author of two poetry collections. His writing has appeared in numerous literary journals, and he was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize. Jason lives in North Carolina. The Returned is his first novel.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

The Returned is also being made into a television series, entitled Resurrection! Optioned by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, it will air on ABC in the US this autumn.



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15 responses to “Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway: The Returned by Jason Mott

    • Yay! I wish you could enter the giveaway but the tour company can only send to North America =( There should still be a chance to grab a copy on Netgalley if you want.

    • Aw, thank you very much Elizabeth! I’m following you back, via Bloglovin and Twitter.
      It certainly was eerie. I liked how much it made me question those situations and what I would do myself if I was in them.

  1. Oh my god! I hadn’t seen any trailer of the series. I am definitely watching it. I read the book an loved it almost to a full 5-stars 🙂

    I wasn’t a fan of so much recollecting, ANDDDD… why did he go back to the house if he knew what was waiting there?

    Mott has a way of… of… perpetuating things that annoyed me at times. But the story is definitely a powerful. I can just imagine all the turns it can take on TV.

    • Just from the trailer the show seems to have some differences. Even more interaction between various characters I think! It looks pretty character-driven, which is good, because I think it would be easy for a production company to make something like that more focused on action.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the book =D

  2. I want to read this book because it sounds very intriguing. I’m not a fan of dystopia and this sounds like an interesting look at reconnecting somehow with loved ones who have passed on, but not in a scary way.


  3. I want to read this book because I love reading paranormal, this looks very unique and quite and interesting read. Have been watching for this to come out for a while.

  4. Wow this sounds like an interesting book! I’ll have to check it out! I found you on Book Blogs and I am now your newest follower! I hope you have a wonderful day and that you’ll stop by for a visit sometime when you get the chance. 🙂
    Leigh Ann
    MaMa’s Book Corner

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