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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Review: The Returners (Malley)

Title: The Returners
Author: Malley
Genre: Fiction, Memory, Good vs. Evil, History, Destiny
Pages: 252
Rating: Hmmm...undecided...somewhere between 3 and 4 stars

It is said that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.  But what if you can't remember the past?  Will Hodges has been followed by "freaks" ever since his mother drowned when he was young.  They stare at him with strange, dark eyes.  And now Will is having horrible nightmares about conentration camps and scary events from history.  Nightmares that seem so real.  There is no one he can talk to about this, especially his drunk, hateful father. 

When Will finally confronts one of the "freaks," he discovers that he is supposedly one of them.  Will is a "returner," someone who lives through the most horrible times in history, only to return again and again in order that people remember the past.  Will refuses to believe them, but how else can he explain his vivid nightmares that seem like memories.  Who really is Will?  What role has he played in the past?  What is his role in the future?

The reason that I cannot determine a rating for this book is it was unusual.  The concept is unique, interesting, and really has so much potential.  Will is a terrific character, full of anger and pain over the death of his mother.  Torn between doing what is right or flying below the radar.  I enjoyed the writing and the premise.  However, for someone that normally reads one, sometimes two books a day, this book took me over a week to finish.  In fact, I actually lost the book for awhile and I wasn't too concerned with looking for it.  But I kept with it because it was so different and I kept thinking about it.  The ending just hit me, and I'm still thinking about it.  Hmmm...what does all of this mean?

Have you read it?  I would love to know what you think!  Want to borrow my copy?  Let me know!

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