It all boils down to the ultimate show-down between good and evil in a Christian Dystopian look into the future with Rachelle Dekker's Seer series in her final novel The Returning. Ancient prophecy has always pointed to a future event that most thought would never happen. A thing written about with no basis for coming true, at least to those living in Authority City. Anyone who opposes those in power or has any idea other that confirming to the well-being of all citizens is simply sent to the re-education center to be administered with a serum known as the Genesis Formula. It makes them comply without thinking for themselves and now they become part of the collective minds of those running the city.
However, there is a band of rebels who have managed to leave the city despite all attempts to capture them. Within this band of fugitives are seven individuals who have been called to fulfill the prophecy of returning those in Authority city back to the way God had intended. Led by a man named Aaron who has shown them the ultimate way of living, no one knows if he is really a man or simply a figment of their over active imaginations. He has always shown them the real purpose of their lives and how those in power in Authority City have forced those in opposition to be re-educated or eliminated. He has uncovered the darkness that has been led to breed uncontrolled by those who have a sinister purpose in mind.
Now Carrington and Remko Brandt have to put their trust in Aaron to lead this team of prodigals on their higher purpose to release those in bondage using their unique specialized gifts granted to them by God to redeem those who are lost in an effort to set them free and restore the city back to the grand vision God has for them. However it is a difficult decision for the Brandt's since their oldest daughter, Elise, was captured during a raid outside the city and it has been years since that day. Not knowing if she is dead or alive, they trust that their youngest daughter Kennedy whose has vowed to find her if she is still alive and bring her back home. Just when this team heads out back to the city to fulfill their prophecy, an army marches against those living in sanctuary waiting for their return to take them captive and force them to submit to the darker authority now controlling Authority City.
I received The Returning by Rachelle Dekker compliments of Tyndale House Publishers and Net Galley. For fans of such series like Divergent and the Hunger Games, you will love this Christian take on a similar story line. Out of the entire series, I have to say my all-time favorite was The Choosing, the first novel. I love the different twist on the value people place on their looks and self esteem and how some were chosen and others who aren't are forced into a life of serving others within the city as outcasts. Dekker does an exceptional job at reminding readers between each novel what had happened prior so it is easy to pick up the action as you immerse yourself into each subsequent novel. This one was a bit predictable in some ways as you could figure out how things would need to be resolved before the series reached its conclusion. I would give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion however.
This is the third novel in this series that ties everything up. I've read all three mainly because I've read books by Ted Dekker and wanted to see what his daughter had to offer. She definitely writes in a different genre. Dystopian was not my usual type of book I read but I was quickly drawn in. If you don't read the first two you may find yourself lost when reading The Returning. This novel jumps ahead twenty years from the previous one. All are futuristic. Elise was taken from her parents when she was just an infant. She is now twenty years old. She's being held in the Authority City by its president, Jesse. They are injecting the city's residents with a chemical serum that makes them compliant, losing all their past memories. Elise's parents, Remko and Carrington, send out the chosen seven from their city of Trylin to try and rescue Elise. It's a dangerous mission for them, guards are everywhere in the city.
Aaron continues to appear at odd moments, giving them pep talks about the Light bringing with him a strong wind. They bring up The Father, which I'm sure is God. But it seems like the Holy Spirit is called the Light and is brought about after a strong wind surrounds everyone present. Not Biblical by any means, after all it's fiction, but I hope no one reading gets the idea that all are perfect, as is claimed, and all has the Light inside them, which is certainly not true. But overall as far as entertainment is concerned, it's a very good way to pass the time and has left me thinking about what I've read long after I've closed my Kindle.
I'm very interested to see what Rachelle Dekker writes next. Will she stay in the same genre or try another?
I received this ebook from Netgalley and was not required to write a review, positive or otherwise.
** It took me a long time to learn that faiths purpose is not to release you from lifes trials. Faith gives you the strength to see the trial fully and know that this too shall pass. To hold nothing against the world or the trial before you. To practice true forgiveness. **
Rachelle Dekkers The Returning is a powerful and lovely conclusion to her Seer series. Taking place in 2278, 20 years after The Calling, this third and final installment follows the story of Elise, the daughter of Carrington and Remko and who had been kidnapped as an infant and raised in Authority City.
The Returning tells the story of how Elise, along with The Seven, seven young members of the Seers each equipped with a special gift, will bring back the light and an Awakening to Authority City and all those who had been turned into emotionless, obedient beings by the citys Genesis Serum.
As Elise and the small group of seven battle the effects of Scientist Roth Reynards serum, and President Jesse Croppers inner battle between the evil dwelling within him and his love for Elise, the youngsters must learn to trust in the Father and the power of His light.
The Returning is an incredible love story, with many amazing themes and lessons. It deals with identity, and knowing the truth of your identity and not allowing it to be replaced by the illusion of your mistakes; love and its power, and that the truest form of love sometimes is letting go; choosing faith over fear, and belief over doubt; reacting from our souls; and the light is greater than anything we face. Remembering is a huge theme to The Returning remembering who we are, remembering who is within us, and remembering from where our power comes.
As Elise says to Kane, her cousin and one of The Seven, Life is a cycle of remembering and forgetting. The Father is in all and with all, and He tells me I am the light of the world. So if I believe His words are true and that we are all the same, created equal, and that I am the light of the world, then you must be too.
Aaron, who has been a teacher figure to the Seers since the beginning, is representative of Jesus, as he leads them toward the Fathers teachings, love and power. Wind is also a major theme throughout the book, indicative of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
The Returning, and the Seer series in whole, is an amazing allegory of the gospel story of Gods love and sacrifice for us, and His desire to draw us all in to Him and His love.
Rachelle Dekker has hit another home run with the Seer series finale. I will caution, though, that this book is definitely not a standalone. Id highly recommend you read The Choosing and The Calling first. Im looking forward to what Ms. Dekker brings to us next.
Five stars out of five.
Tyndale House Publishers provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
This book was the third and last book in the Seer series. I loved this series and this was a great ending. Elise learns many lessons before the end of the book. She learns what it means to be the light in this new world. There are good and bad people through this story. Will Elise be able to help the good and bad people. I received this book from Tyndale blog network for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my free will.
Fast forward twenty years and we are introduced to Elise Brant, the young adult who was taken from her parents as a baby. Carrington and Remko Brants were forced to leave Elise in the Authority City but have never given up hope on finding her. Jesse has been caring for Elsie all these years and has managed to keep her from having all her memories erased by Scientist Roth Reynard. For some reason the Genesis Serum has not worked on Elise.
The Brants are members of the Seers and have chosen seven young people to be their chose warriors to enter the Authority City and rescue Elise. Of these seven are Elise's younger sister and her cousin. As the seven are entering the City, danger is lurking everywhere. When Elise finds herself in the presence of danger she hears a voice that tells her to remember who she is. That she has great power. Let it go, Elise. Fear not, and remember who you are. Find the light. Elise gives into the feelings she is having and the light flows out of her. As this happens people near her who have had their memories erased are now getting their memories back.
The author was asked You talk about the power of belief in the book. What is the purpose of faith, and what makes faith so powerful in peoples lives? her response Belief and faith are everything. We form our own realities. We make judgments based on the past and what we think the future will bring; then we shape our idea of what we are capable of around those beliefs. Imagine if we truly believed we were infinite sons and daughters of the creator. How different would the world look then? When we believe and have faith in who the Father calls us, then the world looks pretty different. The faith that Remko and Carrington have that they will someday see their daughter is so strong. I cannot begin to image what their past twenty years have been like, not knowing what has happened to their baby and if she is still alive. Now they are sending their younger daughter along with the chosen warriors, into the dangers of the City. The faith the seven chosen ones have to trust each other and the feelings they are given. When they unite together to accomplish something they are unstoppable.
When the author was asked Aaron is a somewhat mysterious character throughout the series. What is he supposed to represent and what kind of spiritual leader is he? She responded with I like to leave this one open, which I know isnt really the answer you want. I want the reader to decide who he is to them. For me hes a guiding light, an angel maybe, a representation of the spirit who communicates with us and leads us. He can be many thingsmostly, though, hes a great way to hear truth. In the first two books, Aaron was a mystery to me. He was with the Seers but would disappear. In this story there is much change from the first book and it becomes plain that he represents someone similar to the Holy Spirit. He is there to encourage his people when they need encouragement, but allows them space to deal with life issues on their own.
The Returning is book three in A Seer Novel series written by Rachelle Dekker. In my opinion, this is the best of the three by far. The story is very fast moving with danger around every corner. I found myself wanting to cheer Elise and the chosen warriors on. There were several surprises in the story with how the author used other characters. I also enjoyed the touches of young and innocent romance as well the the love Remko and Carrington have that have lasted the years dispite the difficulties and challenges they have had.
Rachelle Dekker is the oldest daughter of bestselling author Ted Dekker. Having not read his books in sometime, it was interesting to read Rachelle's series and see her writing style. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes to read futurist action type stories.
I received this book from the author and Tyndale Publishing Company and I have written an honest review.