If you are looking for a Christian fiction book that will take you on an adventure of the imagination as well as a self-reflection and growth journey of the soul then I highly recommend this book! It is just marvelous! I cant wait to read more from Rachelle Dekker. I am so glad she answered her calling to be a writer, as I am sure she has already touched many lives. I know for sure, her writing has indeed touched my life.
This series begins with the first novel titled, Choosing, that is followed by Calling and then this final novel that takes place twenty years after the end of Calling. At first, I was concerned that if so much time elapsed in the story would I be able to pick up the book and be able to follow the plot or characters? Undoubtedly, the answer is yes! Rachelle Dekker does a fantastic job of reminding readers of some past actions, adventures and who the main characters were before leading us on the final adventure of the series.
I found myself remembering Carrington, Remko, Jesse, Elsie, and others and understanding their current living situation. More importantly is where their hearts and souls are abiding, either in fear or in the light of the truth that the Father shows. At times, I felt my heart as gripped as a mother like Carrington as she longed to know what happened to her and Remkos firstborn who was stolen from them so long ago. I easily was caught up not just in the action but in wondering above all what is the spiritual truth being reflected in this work of fiction.
For me, I see where people all have a choice of where to allow their hearts and souls to dwell, either in the hand of the Father or not. I understood the spiritual warfare that was reflected throughout all three books as well as the human heart factor that can at times mess up our understanding of spiritual truths. The love of God is another truth I believe woven in the books and the need for us to constantly be reminded of to Whom we belong and the truth He speaks.
All three books are interdependent and I cant see reading one book without having read the others. The climactic conclusion was extremely powerful, moving and beautiful. As always I think it is hard to end a series for both the author and readers who become so engrossed with the story that we want it to keep going. However, if one must complete a series, this was a beautiful picture of how it should end. These novels are great for reading, discussing and sharing with others!
The Returning is the third (and final) book in the Seer series by Rachelle Dekker. This is the first book of hers that I have had the pleasure of reading, which means that my review is based solely on this book as a stand-alone rather than as the conclusion of a longer story. Since this book picks up almost 20 years after the ending of the second book, The Calling, and Rachelle does a wonderful job of introducing us to the current world and its inhabitants, I didn't feel that I was at a disadvantage for having missed out of the first two books. That being said, I do fully intend to go back and read the other books because of how much I enjoyed this one.
The Returning introduces us to a two cities at odds against one another.
Trylin Cityis fully embracing the light, with complete faith in the absolute power of the light and all that can be accomplished through it. Never seeking to harm or find revenge, but hoping to find a lost daughter and to help the light spread back toAuthority City.
Authority City is built on an illusion of peace and harmony, where almostall the inhabitants are given a Genesis Serum in order to"forget" memories, emotions, and rebellion. While there is so no fighting, there is also no love. The leaders of Authority City are guided by thecontrol and power offered by thedarkness, believing that the light (and the emotions that come with it) are dangerous and will end life as they know it.
Elise is a young woman who was taken from her parents in Trylin City as a child andraised inAuthority City. Being the only person in Authority City that is immune to the Genesis Serum, she forgot her true nature not by being injected (as the other citizens did), but by being taughtthat she was unloved, unwanted, abandoned, and worthless - both to her parents and to those who now comprise her little world. Things change when Elise starts realizing her own power, hidden in her true identity.
"Remember what I call you, beautiful daughter. The voice of the wind rumbled inside her, and anotherwave of tears stung behind her eyes.Remember who you are. Your identity lies in me alone, and I see you as blameless. Beautiful, perfect daughter." (page 226)
As the power starts to shift from darkness toward the light, a great battle ensues. Elise struggles with learning her true identity, while other Seers from Trylin City question her believed ability to rescue the worldfrom the pending darkness.
"Don't judge yourself for forgetting; otherwise we are right back where we started... Remember that all moments are love's way of bringing you back to yourself. Only in forgetting do you get the chance to remember... Even in moments of doubt, you are still perfect; even in times of fear, you are His., And once again, you get to walk through your doubt and fear and remember that are the light of the world. Isn't that amazing?" (pages 311-312)
Ultimately, this is a story about forgetting, remembering that which has been forgotten, and forgiving. It is a powerful message for anyone who has ever struggled with finding their trueidentity or worth within the light, or who feels so covered by the darkness of their own suffering and shame that forgiveness seems like an impossible dream.
"All the suffering you face, my friend, you create yourself. Only you can choose to suffer. You can also choose to let it go." (page 355)
Rachelle has done a wonderful job at providing the words necessary to help the reader envision this world and the power struggle taking place within it. She has related powerful truths that every person could benefit from hearing, time and time again. This book has definitely earned its place on a shelf and in my heart, and will help serve as a reminder on those days that I am feeling inadequate for the path set out before me. 5/5 stars.
(Disclaimer: I received a free print edition of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.)
I received a free copy of this novel from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
The Returning is book three and the final book in The Seer series. This was an eagerly anticipated finale to a brilliantly written series by debut author Rachelle Dekker. Usually, by the time you've reached the final book in series, the story tends to slow down. But The Returning kept my interest right to the very end!
The story begins 20 years in the future, with a greatly anticipated good vs evil battle. I liked that they focused on Elise and we get to watch her grow from victim to victor. I loved the message that the story gives; that we as Christian are to always let our light shine to those around us.
The Returning by Rachelle Dekker was the climax of a very unique dystopian world, adding spiritual depth often lacking in the genre- the kind of spiritual depth needed to make a realistic or at least hopeful world (a spiritual sense that definitely gets allegorical at times). The Returning is different even from its first two books, if not in essence, than in feel since it takes place twenty years after the last one, the protagonist being the daughter of the former two protagonists. Like her parents, she has to come to terms with the dark, dystopian world around her- and the Light calling to her- in her own time. But unlike her parents, she has something akin to a spiritual gift/superpower that makes her the last chance for freedom to a city of brain-dulled, very obedient drones that were once human. But at what physical and emotional cost will this be to herself?
I had a love/hate relationship with this book. Love because of what happened to my favorite character and hate because of what didnt (this is what happens when you begin scheming with someone else characters before they have completed their series...). While the previous two books liked to play with my emotions and run off with my visceral organs every now and then, by the climax this book seemed to be dragging me across the room, up the wall, and then over the ceiling. But despite the intensity, this one seemed to strike a lighter note than the first two, though there were definitely some rough spots for our characters. I cant wait to find out what else Rachelle Dekker has up her sleeve.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and the views expressed are my own.