The Returned- Jason Mott

the returned, jason mott, book, book cover
Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge by the publishers (via netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis (from amazon)

All over the world, people’s loved ones are returning from the dead.
Exactly as they were before they died.
As if they never left.
As if it’s just another ordinary day.Jacob Hargrave tragically drowned over 40 years ago. Now he’s on his aged parents doorstep, still eight years old; the little boy they knew they d never see again. As the family find themselves at the centre of a community on the brink of collapse, they are forced to navigate a whole new reality and question everything they’ve ever believed.No one knows how or why this mysterious event is happening, whether it s a miracle or a sign of the end.
The only certainty is that their lives will never be the same again.


Note: This book is not the same as French television show The Returned (which was recently popular in the UK) but is being made into a TV show by ABC in America with the name Resurrection. They do both however feature people coming back from the dead.

I first came across The Returned on Leeswammes’ Blog, and to be honest I read the review because I wanted to see if it was the book of the TV show.  Through reading it however I did become interested so decided to see if it was still up on netgalley- and it was (yay!).

The story was rather emotional. Firstly the idea of someone whom you loved coming back to life- and the same happening all over the world. How would you cope after you’d got over that loss? And how would the time in-between (when you have aged, but your loved one has not) effect your relationship? What if your loved one didn’t come back? Would you be questioning why, and wondering if they didn’t want to come back?

Then there was the problem of the suddenly rapidly expanding population. Were ‘the returned’ entitled to help in finding their families? Should their families be obliged to take them in? If they had nowhere to go should they be entitled to homes, and jobs, healthcare? Everywhere arguments are starting, fighting, riots, as people battle about what should be done with the returned. In America (where the majority of the book is situated) the returned are taken to internment camps, but more and more returned are turning up, and resources are stretch to the limit. It’s how you might imagine a refugee camp.

The main bulk of the story rests with Harold and Lucille Hargrave, whose son Jacob returns. Jacob drowned at the age of 8, but Harold and Lucille are now in their 80s. A lot of the story is how they balance their loss of Jacob with him returning, and sees how their relationship with him changes and stays the same.

There’s also a strong political element to the story, to do with how the government and the general population respond.

The chapters are also interspersed with short sections about other people who returned, and their stories.

At times the book is very emotional, it makes you sad, relieved, happy, and sometimes a little angry.

I would recommend reading the author note at the end too where Mott talks about his inspiration. It’s rather heart wrenching.

The Returned is the first in a series, but I really can’t see how it can be a series, it seems like a perfect stand alone book. I suppose if each book followed a different member of the returned?


Buy it:
Kindle (£4.80)
Hardback (£5.84)
Paperback (£12.99)

Other reviews:

Have I missed your review? Post your link in comments and I will add it here.


Filed under Contempory, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction review, Paranormal, Sci-Fi

10 responses to “The Returned- Jason Mott

  1. I didn’t know it was a series! I agree, it works brilliantly as a standalone book. I wonder how many books it will take to find out how the whole thing happened…
    Thanks for the link!


  2. Sam, I think I heard the next book is a prequel, maybe about the son before he got home. I’m hoping we would find out why though.


  3. Isi

    I need to read this book, Lucy! All the people who have read it say the same as you: is a great story with a great premise, and not only that, but political issues and so on.
    I have to read it! (and then I have to watch the TV series!)


  4. I want to read this.


  5. It’s a little slow to start, Isi, but if you can get past that it’s well worth it. I hope the rest of the series is as good, and not just something designed to take advantage of the buzz. I worry about that if something doesn’t read as a series book.


  6. You should Emma, I think you’ll enjoy it


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  8. I really need to read this book! Everyone is raving about it.


  9. It is good Melinda. It may still be up on netgalley if you have an account


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