People who died time ago begin to come back from wherever they had been and appear all over the world. The main character, Jacob, is a child who drawned in a river at the age of eight, and he is taken from China to Arcadia, his hometown, to reunite with his parents, a couple who is now in their eighties, while Jacob is still eight. Would you feel fear for this happening or would you take it as a bless?
With such a imaginative plot and these transcendental questions it brings up, Jason Mott has created a story that, to me, was slow and quite boring, and whose development can be also found in Blindness, the novel by Saramago; but better written and more engaging in the case of the Portuguese Nobel Prize.
Mott doesn’t explain why the returned are here with us; he just tell us how he thinks humans would act in case this extraordinary event happens – by locking them together, separated from the normal people, and by creating groups of haters of the returned, just because they are not like us (this also reminded me to Sookie Stackhouse series, in which the “True living people” hate the vampires and other creatures, which is exactly what happens in The returned).
Regarding the purely narrative aspect, I think that the most interesting characters lack depth, and the pace of the story is irregular – slow most of the time, and quite rush at the end.
I really wanted to like this book; I was looking forward to reading it since I read the first reviews about it on my favourite blogs, but I suppose that all those expectations I had, mixed with the similarities to Saramago’s story, made me feel that I haven’t read that great book it should have been.
Summarizing, it has a great premise but a very poor development, but I want to take this opportunity to recommend Blindness to all of you who wanted more from The returned: you will find a powerful story about people who suddenly are different from the others and how fear, hope and brutality make humans be humans.