Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Review: "Seduction" by M.J. Rose

Seduction review
Author: M.J. Rose
5 out of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Paranormal
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: People who like a reading experience that is sensual, with beautiful language, paranormal, romantic fiction, those interested in past lives and reincarnation
Book Available: May 7, 2013
Trigger Warnings: attempted murder, human sacrifice

My Thoughts: From the first line, “Every story begins with a tremble of anticipation,” I knew I was going to love this book just as much as I've loved this whole series. I picked up the first three books in the series three years ago after reading and loving the Butterfield Institute books (which are not related to this series, but which I also loved), and really enjoyed them, so I was so excited last year to be able to read an ARC of The Book of Lost Fragrances from NetGalley, and even more excited earlier this year to learn M.J. Rose was forming a “street team” of fans to spread the word about her remarkable stories.

“Now wait a minute, Katy,” some of you are saying. “These sound a lot like paranormal romance to me, which I know for a fact you hate!” Well, yes and no. There are definitely elements of romance in these books, but it is subsumed to the story itself. There's an underlying and long story arc through these books about various people searching for meaning in their lives by seeking out information about their past lives. There are elements of erotica, however understated, in the Butterfield Institute books, but the Reincarnationist series … it's very difficult to place them into a specific genre. But the stories all deal with finding information about past lives, and how current lives intertwine with past lives, and how unfinished business from past lives can affect one's current lives, so there is a lot of metaphysics and a lot of the supernatural. It's really quite fascinating.

While the first three books in the series are only loosely connected, although containing the overstory, Seduction is a direct sequel to, and continues part of the story from, The Book of Lost Fragrances. While you could read these two books without having read the first part of the series, I strongly recommend that you read the entire Reincarnationist series from the start or you might end up with a misapprehension concerning Malachi. (Personally I would love to see you also read the Butterfield Institute books: Lip Service, The Halo Effect, The Delilah Complex and The Venus Fix, just because they're awesome, but it's not necessary.)

The language in M.J. Rose's book is lovely, lyrical, sensual. It's like rubbing a soft piece of velvet against your skin, or petting the soft nose of a young foal. It's something to revel in and enjoy. This particular book delves into mythology, the Celts, Victor Hugo, reincarnation, past-life regression and many other fascinating ideas and thoughts. Character development for Jac and Malachi is mostly done in previous books, but the new characters we meet are as well-developed as I would expect from M.J. Rose. The only issue I had was with the language used by Victor Hugo and his associates; I do not think they would use “got” and “get” the way we do in modern days. I think their language would be more precise and grammatically correct. But that was a very minor issue.

This book—this whole series—will appeal to people who are interested in reincarnation and past lives, who enjoy a well-told story with beautiful language, who enjoy a reading experience that is sensual and lovely. Genre-wise, I think fans of literary fiction, paranormal suspense, and romantic fiction will all enjoy these stories. Definitely check them out. I know I've loved the lot of them.

Series Information: Seduction is the fifth book in the Reincarnationist series.
Book 1: The Reincarnationist; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 2: The Memorist; I read in 2010, or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 3: The Hypnotist; I listened to audiobook in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 4: The Book of Lost Fragrances; read and reviewed March 2012. Review linked here where formatting allowed.
If you like this author's style, you can also check out The Butterfield Institute series.
Prequel: Lip Service; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 1: The Halo Effect; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 2: The Delilah Complex; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars
Book 3: The Venus Fix; I read in 2010 or 2011, but didn't review. 5 stars

Disclosure: I am part of M.J. Rose's “Street Team,” which I joined because I am a fan after buying and reading all the Butterfield Institute series books and three of the Reincarnationists series books. I received this e-galley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.

Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.

What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.

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