Book Review: The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose

18 Mar

Book cover: The ReincarnationistGenre: Adventure/Thriller

Series: The Reincarnationist #1

Publisher: MIRA

Pub date: Sep 2007

Source: Personal copy

I believe in a certain type of karma – the idea that what you put out in the world will affect you sooner or later. Good deeds beget good results and obviously bad ones will come back to bite you in the keister. But I struggle with the idea of karma across reincarnations. The pragmatic part of me rebels at experiences as rewards or punishments for actions you don’t even remember. Where is the learning and spiritual growth in that?

In the Reincarnationist series, M.J. Rose combines thrill and adventure with the struggle to understand reincarnation and coming to terms with past life memories.


Photojournalist Josh Ryder is injured in an terrorist attack. As he starts recovering, his mind is invaded by memories that are not his own. These ancient memories can’t be explained by any of the psychological and neurological tests that the doctors conduct. But increasingly the memories call to him and he feels the need to reach out and save someone in this other time and place.

These memories threaten Josh’s ability to function until he gets help from the Phoenix Foundation –  a research facility that scientifically documents cases of past life experiences. His learning there leads him to Professor Gabriella Chase’s archaeological dig –  a tomb where Josh is most affected by these memories.


Rose deals with the very complicated subject of past life memories. In India, the idea of a past life and the memories associated with it are almost commonplace. The belief has gone from being a truth to superstition and is in the process of coming back into popular belief.

Like I said, I have trouble wrapping my head around the concept in its entirety, but the story had me completely enthralled.

The story goes back and forth in time between Josh’s life today and his past life in an ancient world where he appears to have some unfinished business. Malachai Samuels of the Phoenix Foundation has helped Josh understand his memories and given him a way to control them. But after going into the tomb which Professor Chase is working on, the memories become much stronger, giving him definite clues that let him unravel parts of his past life reality.

Josh keeps understanding more of his past and tries to do something in this life to make up for the mistakes he makes in the past.

At the end, there are rather more questions than answers, but this is the nature of this particular study. I won’t say more about the story itself, since the fun is in actually going on this adventure with Josh.

I bought the second book in the series practically five minutes after I finished this one!


Very interesting subject, and a gripping story.
If you have any interest in arcane and esoteric beliefs, you should definitely read The Reincarnationist.

Rating: 3.75*

*See my Rating policy

Do you agree with my review, or do you think I’m way off? Just want to say hi? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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8 Responses to “Book Review: The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose”

  1. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting March 19, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    Ooh, this sounds fabulous–right up my alley. Thanks for putting on my radar–you’re so good at unearthing books I wouldn’t otherwise have read. 🙂

    • stargazerpuj March 19, 2011 at 9:09 am #

      That’s really good to know. And back at you – you read a very different set of books many of them have found their way onto my wish list. My only question is – when are we going to read ALL of them! 🙂 Enjoy.

  2. MJ Rose March 20, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Stargazer – My google alert alerted me to this review. Thanks so much for it. There are three books in the series so far and if you send me your address, Ill send you a copy of the third.

    • stargazerpuj March 21, 2011 at 9:06 am #

      Thank you. It’s so cool to hear from you. Have mailed with details.


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