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The Returning ~ Review with Author Q and A

The Returning
A Seer Novel #3
By Rachelle Dekker

She will risk everything to lead them out of darkness...

For 20 years Elise has had no idea who she is. She's been lied to. She's been told that her parents rejected her because she was different - because she was unable to be altered by the Genesis Serum.

But change is coming and the daughter that was stolen from Carrington and Remko Brant is about to discover the truth of who she is. And Elise's discovery is about to be the catalyst that will awaken the people of Authority City if she survives long enough to awaken to the truth of who she really is.

When the Light within Elise is awakened she has a gift to call to the light that has been forgotten by those who have fallen to the influence of either the Genesis Serum or the darkness that has entered the souls of those who rule. In this battle she is not alone, a group of seven has left the Seer city behind - chosen for this time - called to help restore the memory of what was.

The skip in time though not unexpected did leave a sizable gap in the story from the reader's perspective. What was Elise's childhood like? How did Jesse get from betrayer and "friend" of those outside Authority City to Authority President and what was his friendship with a younger Elise like? What was life for those living in Trylin City like? These are questions that unfortunately are only hinted at through passing thoughts or short conversations.  This time jump does not detract from the story or the series and even makes sense in that the main characters in this story Elise and Jesse needed to be older to fully grasp and appreciate the world that is on the verge of change and even fulfill their roles in the change.

This world is set more than 200 years in the future and the government system that was set into place to protect the citizens has shockingly become corrupted in its vision. Having read the previous two books it is interesting to watch how each book saw a different leader heading Authority City and each was under the influence of a darkness that seemed to grow as the books progress. It is also interesting to watch Carrington and Remko grow as people throughout the series. It is highly recommended that one read the books in order to fully appreciate and understand this world.

I was provided a complimentary review copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers with no expectation of a positive review - all expressed opinions are my own.

About the Book:

They say the Awakening is coming.

That she’s the key.

But can she find her identity in the light
before she perishes in the dark?

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.

About the Author:
The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through storytelling. The Choosing was her critically acclaimed debut novel. Rachelle graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat Blair. 

Visit her online at

Author Q and A:

The theme of identity is explored in all three Seer books. How does forgiveness relate to identity? 

For me, forgiveness is more about the one who feels wronged than the one who committed the wrong. What if, for a moment, you believed that nothing could harm you? That you, as a believer, are seated at the Father’s table and standing with him? Can anything harm the Father? If you believe no, then can anything harm you—the true you, the true spirited self? So then, forgiveness becomes more about letting go of false belief and stepping into the true identity that the Father gave to you. I know it’s radical, but belief like that could change the world, don’t you think?

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.

You talk about the power of belief in the book. What is the purpose of faith, and what makes faith so powerful in people’s lives? 

Belief and faith are everything. We form our own realities. We make judgments based on the past and what we think the future will bring; then we shape our idea of what we are capable of around those beliefs. Imagine if we truly believed we were infinite sons and daughters of the creator. How different would the world look then? When we believe and have faith in who the Father calls us, then the world looks pretty different.