You would think that most people would be happy to see their loved ones rise from the dead

The ReturnedThe Returned by Jason Mott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am going to go at this review from a different angle.
For me the main plot or idea that was most vivid in my mind wasn’t actually the dead coming alive again. The most important aspect and message for me was how the world and people around them dealt with the Returned.
Ever heard of ‘The Wave?
The dead are returning. There seems to be no specific reason for who, when or why. The numbers of dead returning to the land of living are rising rapidly and the people in charge decide to take action.
The propaganda machine creates mass hysteria, mistrust, hatred of the unknown and facilitates humans turning on each other and their newly returned loved ones. Grouping, capturing and containing a select group of people just because of their status, in this case not-dead-anymore, and treating them as sub-humans.
Committing mass murder to rid the world of live once dead humans, who might be a danger to others, despite the fact none of them have hurt anybody or threatened to do so. Meanwhile the rest of the population looks on silently, as the Returned are taken from their homes, carted off to camps towards an unknown fate. Instead of questioning this injustice and violation of law and rights there are groups of militants becoming vocal. Not in an attempt to stop it but in an attempt to get rid of the Returned even faster. Does that sound familiar?
Kudos to the author for adding that subliminal layer that questions the morality, actions and mass compulsion on a global level, which is dictated by one authority ‘The Bureau’ and yet questioned by none.
Lucille plays a pivotal role in the sense that although it may seem as if she is leading the Returned in a strike against the camp, what she is actually doing is breaking the cycle. She has found her civil courage and is speaking out. No person dead, live or undead deserves to be treated like a virus that needs to be contained or culled, all in the name of saving the living.
There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered. Just like they do in real life I suppose. The reader doesn’t actually find out why the dead have come back, why only certain people come back and why they suddenly leave again. Is it unfinished business for the dead or do the people they have left behind need to let go of some level of guilt before the dead can disappear again?
An interesting read that had some subtle sub-layers interwoven within the main plot.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

View all my reviews


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