Today I am excited to be sharing my review of Seduction by M.J. Rose as part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tour. Be sure and visit the other stops on the tour for author interviews, reviews and guest posts. You can see a complete list of stops here.
by M.J. Rose
Series: The Reincarnationist #5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Genre: Adult Paranormal Historical fiction
From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a
haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost letters of
novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries. 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.
Last year I read and loved The Book of Lost Fragrances a novel that took me to France and the
catacombs. At the time I did not know it was part of a series and it held its
own as a standalone, so I was excited to be offered a copy of Seduction. M.J. Rose held me captive as we traveled from
past to present chasing ghosts and secrets.
Rose splits our time between the past with the famous French
poet Victor Hugo and present day mythologist Jac L’Etoile. Victor wrote such fine works as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Miserables. His
story focuses on the death of his daughter and his exploration into séances as
a means to communicate but he may just invite something else into his home. Jac is recovering from her trip to Paris, when
she is invited by an old teenage friend to explore the Isle of Jersey and its
Celtic roots. When she arrives she discovers Theo wants her help in recovering
the lost conversations Victor had with someone referred to as the Shadow of the
Sepulcher. Lyrically written this suspenseful
tale lured me in as it weaved past and present together into a captivated tale.
Rose has an amazing gift for bringing characters to life.
She skillfully reveals their flaws and strengths and while you might not like
all of their traits you understand their motives, desires and fears. I met Jac in the previous novel and she is
complex, intelligent, gifted, curious and afraid of her own abilities. Scent
triggers memories from the past, giving her glimpses into the past. The smell
triggers it and she finds herself transported to a scene, a time or a place.
These events both frighten and intrigue her. Jac is a skeptic and likes to deals in facts. She stars and produces a
show that debunks mythology. Her plan was to show people how one kernel of
truth morphed into outlandish tales, but instead people took that kernel and believed.
Theo is obsessed with finding the lost letters;
he is troubled and suffers from depression and anxiety. Overall, I found him to
be interesting. We met Malachai in previous books; he is a therapist and expert
in reincarnation and repressed lives. He treated both Theo and Jac as teens and
fears for Jac safety when she travels to Jersey. We do not get a lot of face
time with him as much of his interaction is done over the phone. Owain a druid priest seeks help from the gods
and is given a horrific task. Other
characters both past and present help drive the suspense.
Rose delivered a gothic tale that was both suspenseful and
detailed. My personal favorite was Victor Hugo’s thread and I found her
attention to detail regarding his life astounding. The tale is filled with séances;
ancient druid ceremonies, reincarnation and spiritualism. Jac’s hallucinations help
thread the mysteries and characters together. Jac comes from a family of
perfumers and her ability to smell and extract scents was fascinating. We learn
details about the techniques and I enjoyed them. The tale is dark, filled with danger but has a hint
of romance. While the pacing can be slow at times the tale
continually increased in suspense keeping me locked in its grip. Wrapped into
this dark and atmospheric tale there is a profound sadness that you cannot help
but feel and connect to. I loved all of the details regarding the Celtic ruins
and mythology and appreciated the author’s skilled world building. Her writing
is both beautiful, and dark. She brings images, places and emotions to life. I have
always been fascinated by reincarnation and found myself spellbound. Rose
brought all the threads together and even managed to surprise me. I felt it had
great closure and look forward to the next book.
Imaginative and beautiful researched Seduction will seduce you as the characters search to overcome
their demons. If reincarnation, gothic novels and fiction
mixed with real historical characters, civilizations and myths fascinate you I
recommend you give Seduction and the Reincarnationist series a try.
Four cups of coffee at the Cafejac out of five
M.J. Rose is the international best-selling author of eleven
novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has
appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been
featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today
Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from
Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the
Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company
for authors - Authorbuzz.com. The
television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Renincarnationist
series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller
Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com
and BookTrib.com. Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer,
Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
About the Author
Labels: Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tour, M.J. Rose, Simon and Schuster, The Reincarnationist