Review: The Reincarnationist

The Reincarnationist, by M.J. Rose

The Down and Dirty

Photojournalist Josh Ryder has survived a terrorist bombing in Rome. While his physical injuries have healed, his mind has not. Why is he remembering a life that isn't his? Why is he remembering a life that happened in Ancient Rome?

As Josh tries desperately to get to the bottom of his own crisis, he becomes embroiled in a search for ancient artifacts that could be the key to understanding the mysteries of his own mind. Unfotunately, he's not the only one interested in these artifacts and the race is on.

The Lit Crit

First and foremost, although this novel is frequently billed as historical fiction, A Reader's Respite wouldn't exactly categorize it as such. Rather, it is a thriller with historical elements. Flashbacks of previous lives is what provides the historical context in this novel and while the flashbacks are a large part of the novel and provide a storyline of their own, it is the present day thriller that makes up the bulk of The Reincarnationist.

M.J. Rose is particularly adept at weaving past and present together. Her research into different theories of reincarnation is impeccable and it shows.

That said, The Reincarnationist suffers from what A Reader's Respite likes to call character overpopulation. The abundance of characters leads to occassional confusion and also prevents any one character from becoming completely developed.

All 9f that, though, is easily forgiven for those who enjoy a well-researched novel with a unique premise and The Reincarnationist certainly fits that bill.

Our Recommendation

This is a fairly tight thriller with historical aspects to it, but more interesting are the reincarnation theories that woven into the tale. In our opinion, those theories and the research alone make this one worth reading.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a review of M.J. Rose's follow-up novel, The Memorist and a giveaway.

You knew A Reader's Respite couldn't just read one without the other.

Title: The Reincarnationist
Author: M.J. Rose
ISBN-13: 978-0778325765
464 pages
Publisher: MIRA
Date: October 1, 2008 (reprint edition)

Reviews in Blogland:
Wordella Writes
The Inside Cover
Diary of an Eccentric
You've GOTTA Read This!
Bitten by Books
Barbara Martin


  1. I read both of these late last year. I would agree whole-heartedly with your review of this one. I did not like it so much, and I almost turned The Memorist back in to the library as a result. I felt that The DaVinci Code had better character development, if that tells you anything. The Memorist, however, I felt had a bit more quality to the writing. It will be interesting to hear your thoughts. On my review of The Memorist, I had a comment from either a supported of Rose, or Rose herself (who knows). Check out my review of The Reincarnationist here:

    And The Memorist here:

  2. Sandy - I agree wholeheartedly with your reviews on these. Did you find the whole reincarnation stuff as interesting as I did? I really had no idea before reading her novels how many great minds throughout history have strongly believed in it!

  3. I am very much interested in reincarnation and I have been looking everywhere for this book without success.

  4. I did like the reincarnation piece of it...fascinating. And in The Memorist, we even get a double life flashback, which was so cool.

  5. I have both of these on my wish list. They sound like good reads despite their flaws.

    I do wish the second book had a different plot outline, but such is life. I'll let you know what I think when I get around to them.

  6. These have been on my TBR list for a while now and I still haven't had the chance to get to them. They have mixed reviews so I'll just have to read them and decide on my own.

  7. I think the most intersting thing about it all is how the vast majority of the world believes in is just us westerners who do not. Makes me think...

  8. I have this one sittin' on the shelf and while it'll be hard to drag myself away from HF genre, it looks like this'll be the books to do it! Great review dear!

  9. I agree with you, too. I like that it was fast-paced, and the theme of reincarnation was new for me. Thanks for linking to my review. I added your link to mine.

    Diary of an Eccentric


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