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.
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 didn’t (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 can’t 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.
Reviewed by Jes
About the Author:
The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through the avenue of storytelling. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full-time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat, Blair.
Q & A with Rachelle Dekker:
You talk about the power of belief in the book. What is the purpose of faith, and what makes faith so powerful in people’s lives?
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.
Aaron is a somewhat mysterious character throughout the series. What is he supposed to represent and what kind of spiritual leader is he?
I like to leave this one open, which I know isn’t really the answer you want. I want the reader to decide who he is to them. For me he’s a guiding light, an angel maybe, a representation of the spirit who communicates with us and leads us. He can be many things—mostly, though, he’s a great way to hear truth.
The theme of identity is explored in all three Seer books. How does forgiveness relate to identity?
For me, forgiveness is more about the one who feels wronged than the one who committed the wrong. What if, for a moment, you believed that nothing could harm you? That you, as a believer, are seated at the Father’s table and standing with him? Can anything harm the Father? If you believe no, then can anything harm you—the true you, the true spirited self? So then, forgiveness becomes more about letting go of false belief and stepping into the true identity that the Father gave to you. I know it’s radical, but belief like that could change the world, don’t you think?
Thank you Rachelle!