My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Twenty years have passed since Carrington and Remko Brant's baby, Elise, was kidnapped and they were forced to leave her captive in the Authority City. Though they fled with the Seers far from Authority reach, they've never given up hope of rescuing their daughter from the man who betrayed them. Now Authority President, he's ushered the city into a new era of "peace"--one where the Scientist Roth Reynard's Genesis Serum has eradicated all memory of emotion or rebellion.But the mysterious Aaron and his Seers are once again on the move, threatening the illusion the Authority has worked so hard to build. As the Seers send seven chosen warriors to rescue Elise and bring restoration to the Authority City, the lines are drawn for a final battle between light and darkness. The key to ultimate victory may rest within the strangely powerful girl who has felt forgotten but was never abandoned--a truth she'll need to wage war against the powerful forces of evil.
This was an interesting conclusion to this series. It's not often a series will jump twenty years from one book to the next. But I liked the fact that this book focuses on Elise and I liked the development of her character. She goes from being a captive to being the key to setting the whole Authority City free. Although I enjoyed the positive message of not forgetting who you are and letting the light flow through you, it got a little repetitive because this was mentioned over and over and over. I enjoyed getting to see glimpses into the lives of the characters from the first two books and also getting to know the next generation. There is plenty of action to keep things hopping and a little romance to keep it sweet.
*Thanks to Tyndale Blog Network for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*
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Set the scene for The Returning. What has happened since The Calling ended?
Well, it’s been nearly 20 years, and the world has changed. I don’t want to give too much away
for those who haven’t read the first two, so I’ll just say the world is very different and much more
dangerous than it once was. But something is brewing under the surface. Change is coming, and
people know it.
What themes are explored in this book?
Identity is something I am always exploring, so that’s no different in The Returning. But in this
novel I took a really hard look at forgiveness and how that relates to our journey of discovering
who we really are.
The Returning focuses on Carrington and Remko’s daughter Elise. Tell us more about
Elise’s character and her growth throughout the book.
Elise starts the book in a pretty dark place. She grew up without parents, believing she was
abandoned, only to discover there’s an entire world that has been kept from her. Her journey can
be divided into two parts, in my opinion: first, learning who she really is; and second, learning how
to live that out. It’s the same journey we all take, and I believe that makes her pretty relatable.
How do you hope this book will resonate with your readers?
I hope, as with both of the other books, that the reader sees themselves in the characters and
that the story causes them to look inward. To ask hard questions like, Who am I? What am I
capable of? Do I see myself the way the Father does? Can I? I hope it challenges their idea of
identity and then gives them hope to see themselves and others more clearly. Because that’s
how these stories have impacted me, and we are all really just the same