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05 October, 2007
Book Review: The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose
Reviewed for Front Street Reviews
Josh Ryder did not believe in reincarnation. That is, he did not believe until the day of the bomb exploding in front of a church, that he was standing near, in Rome. From that point in time, his life would be forever changed.
As he recovers from the wounds he obtained in the blast, he starts to experience new sensations. Over and over again he is visited by the slight scent of jasmine and sandalwood, and brief flashes of light. These are also accompanied by images that seem to be intimate memories. Memories that are decidedly not his own.
Rather, they seem to be the memories of a man long dead. They belong to Julius, a high priest during a time of great unrest in ancient Rome. He is trying to keep his fellow priests and the Vestal Virgins they protect to survive when the many varied religions practiced in the Roman Empire have been outlawed in favor of Christianity.
Josh turns to the help of his uncle, and the Phoenix Foundation to try and make sense of the baffling images that have plagued him, despite the physiological tests that say nothing is wrong with his mind. The Phoenix Foundation works with children. More specifically, they work with children who are struggling with their own past life memories. Josh, is drawn into the foundations work himself adding his talents to the foundation’s staff, he helps with the regression therapy, and takes photos of the children. Trying to capture the light aura he sometimes sees around a child with an old soul.
The foundation is asked to visit an archeological dig site outside of Rome. The tomb being excavated is thought to hold an ancient treasure. Inside, is the well preserved body of a vestal virgin and a box containing what is thought to be the memory stones.
As Josh visit’s Rome for the first time since the accident, and the dig site, his memory flashes become more frequent, with an urgency he finds he can’t ignore. His wages, coupled with the visions that he has been witnessing, tell him to save a woman named Sabina, and the treasures she carries. But in this time of no one seeming exactly who they are, the question remains; who is Sabina land can Josh save her before she dies again?
The Reincarnationist is M.J. Rose’s ninth novel. It is, in this reviewer’s opinion also her strongest one. The story grabs onto the reader’s imagination and easily transports them into a story packed with intrigue, passion, and mystery. Fans of thrillers and fans of historical fiction will find things they like in this complicated plot which spans the centuries.