Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Reincarnationist

This is a Mother Talk book review.

The Reincarnationist, by M.J. Rose is a fun read. Josh Ryder, a photographer, is badly injured in a terrorist bombing. This triggers in him memories, or lurches, when he experiences the life of Julius, a pagan priest in Rome in 391 A.D.. Julius is attempting to save his temple as well as the life of his vestal virgin lover Sabine. These memories lead Josh to The Phoenix Foundation, a group that works with children experiencing past life memories.

His work with the Phoenix Foundation leads him to Rome again, to a tomb being excavated. When Josh discovers this tomb, it causes another memory for him and as he's pursuing that memory, the archaeologist working in the tomb is killed and a pouch of gemstones is stolen. Josh is held as a suspect but the other archaeologist on the team, Gabriella Chase gets him released.

Josh and Gabriella have the inevitable feelings for each other, but they are beset by break-ins, chases and kidnapping, all further attempts to discover the mystery behind these stones and to discover who wants them badly enough to kill for them.

The story is woven together well. There are a few predictable moments, but for the most part, the suspense is there and the book is a page-turner. There are some reviews that compare this book to The DaVinci Code, but I didn't really get that. I found this book to be much better written than TDVC and there weren't any real similarities in topic to that book.

I thought this was a fun, entertaining read. I really enjoyed the historical aspect of Julius's time. My knowledge of what happened when the Christians took over is a bit sketchy - I knew it wasn't pleasant but I didn't realize it was so violent. This book did a great job describing the fear Julius had of the Christians and the Christian's treatment of those who didn't agree with them.

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