Rachelle Dekker’s Seer Novels have intrigued me from the beginning and after reading the first two, I was eagerly awaiting the conclusion. While carrying the same thread of the previous two, it was still different enough to stand on its own.
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.
When I first saw that the story was going to take place 20 years after the second book, I admit I was a little nervous. Why such a long time? But I think what Dekker did with the story worked well.
We were able to meet a new cast of characters, but also see how the others from previous novels have grown and struggled (which is always encouraging). I liked that because it was unique and I’ve been a fan of Remko and Carrington from the beginning.
But the new storyline was interesting (and a bit different than what I was expecting), and the focus on light and darkness is one we can all understand, even if it isn’t to the extremes as some of the characters.
Overall I enjoyed the conclusion, but I think The Choosing is still my favorite. If you enjoyed her first two, I think you’ll be satisfied with the conclusion.
Q&A with Rachelle Dekker!
1. What themes are explored in this book?
Identity is something I am always exploring, so that’s no different in The Returning. But in this novel I took a really hard look at forgiveness and how that relates to our journey of discovering who we really are.
2. How have Carrington and Remko developed as characters throughout this series?
Well, we meet them as young adults, just out of their teen years, and we find them middle-aged in book three. So we’ve journeyed quite a bit of life with them. They have grown and changed, as people do, and even in this last novel they struggle with remembering their true identities. I believe life is always stretching us and showing us different ways to love, so their growth reflects that.
3. The Returning focuses on Carrington and Remko’s daughter Elise. Tell us more about Elise’s character and her growth throughout the book.
Elise starts the book in a pretty dark place. She grew up without parents, believing she was abandoned, only to discover there’s an entire world that has been kept from her. Her journey can be divided into two parts, in my opinion: first, learning who she really is; and second, learning how to live that out. It’s the same journey we all take, and I believe that makes her pretty relatable.
(Thank you to Tyndale for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)