Last year as I started the new year it seemed like every book I read had something to do with time travel. This year every book I read has some connection to reincarnation. Talk about being drawn to certain types of books, right? I’ll be honest, I didn’t set out to string a bunch of these types of novels back to back. It just happened that way and if you know anything about Carl Jung, nothing is a coincidence.
Seduction by M.J. Rose is the fifth installment in her Reincarnationist series. I found this series several years ago after winning book 4 in the series via the GoodReads First Reads program. The premise is quite easy to grasp (we all have past lives) and there are tools/artifacts in the world that can help us connect with our past lives.
Jac, the main character, is in denial about past lives even though she seems to be drawn into situations that seem to be big neon signs screaming at her that past lives DO exist. Her denial draws her into intense siutations that create the driving force for most of the plots in the series. I like Jac the skeptic. She’s always questioning the world and people’s beliefs. I’m also a bit envious of Jac’s job as a researcher and traveler. She gets to travel to exotic locations in search of finding the truth behind mythologies and legends. Okay, so maybe, Jersey, the location for Seduction isn’t that exotic, but there are Celtic ruins, strange legends and a connection to Victor Hugo.
Honestly, Seduction is a bit of a mess. The story picks up shortly after book 4, The Book of Lost Fragrances, ends. And because it has been several years since I finished book 4, I struggled to remember exactly what happened. Rose did not implement any sort of recollection or recap of the plot within book 5 and so many times when Jac was vaguely remembering something that happened in the last book, I found myself skimming as I couldn’t remember the details.
There are three distinct storylines in Seduction that just don’t connect. Two of the timelines (the Celts and Victor Hugo on Jersey) take place in the past and are not connected in any way and the one in the present (the Jac, Ash, Theo and Naomi love square) is only loosely connected to the two past timelines. It was quite frustrating as in previous books in the series the historical plot drove the happenings in the present. The whole point of the novel in the end was to reveal Jac’s special gift and her tentative acceptance of that gift. The revelation of her talent was confusing and written hastily and took place in just the last 60 pages of the book.
I’m nervous to read book 6 in this series as I also found it on my bookshelf while taking stock of the books I own for the Shelf Love Challenge. In looking back over my reviews of the last 4 books and in reflecting on book 5, it appears the series is moving away from the elements I liked most in the first few books—historical fiction with ties to the present time presented in a suspenseful storytelling style.
I found Rose’s afterwards quite fascinating. Anyone with an interest in writing should grab a copy of the book, maybe at your library, and read the last few pages. She talks about her inspiration for the book, how she wrote the book and what the images on the end papers of the hardcover are from. It’s really cool!
book review seduction mj rose