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The Reincarnationist

(Reincarnationist #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  3,809 ratings  ·  575 reviews
An epic thriller of secrets, history and murder that will challenge how we think about who we are, and who we were. Equal parts modern-day thriller, historical fiction, and love story, with one foot in present-day Rome and New York City, and the other in Rome some 1600 years ago.

Photojournalist Josh Ryder survives a terrorist's bomb, only to be haunted by near-hallucinator
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by MIRA (first published 1999)
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 ·  3,809 ratings  ·  575 reviews

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Maya Panika
Jan 15, 2009 rated it did not like it
Good reviews and a subject close to my heart - I was really looking forward to reading the Reincarnationist and there is a story hidden here, but it’s so hard to see the wood for all the trees. The story jumps about in what I’m sure, was meant to be an exciting way but only serves to puncture what little momentum and atmosphere had been built by the preceding chapter. It seems to me that there's an awful lot of plot but not enough skill to make it come alive.

At the same time, the characterisati
Apr 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
i would give this book less than one star if it would let me. It started out with such promise, but ended up making me promise to never read another of this author's books. The plot begins, albeit in an disjointed way, in two timelines, with the main character experiencing past-life regressions after a jarring accident. What follows is an attempt to cash in on the style of writers, the like of Dan Brown and Steve Berry. Unfortunately, this offer has neither the gripping plot, nor the follow-thro ...more
Oct 05, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting concept--completely disappointing follow-through. I couldn't get behind the character's motivations, most of the dialogue felt unreal, the irregular structure panned out to have little purpose, and my goodness--there was no need for the one major sex scene, ahahaha, I cracked up through the whole thing and I'm sure that was not the intention of the author. I hate to be a downer about someone's published work, but in all honesty I skimmed the last half, and I would have tossed it asid ...more
Dec 09, 2007 rated it liked it
A pretty good read until the end. A young man is tormented by visions of what seems to be a previous life. When he's drawn to a dig in Rome that turns out to be a tomb of a Vestal virgin, there is more to the story. It's a good thriller, blending the present time frame with multiple lives in the past in a way that allows us to feel what the character must be feeling, as it's sometimes quite slippery and confusing. The ending, though, is disappointing, as it just kind of ends without any good res ...more
Jane Greensmith
Apr 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
It started with such promise, but I abandoned it midway through. Reminded me too much of a Dan Brown thriller, and I found myself rolling my eyes almost constantly. I liked the premise a lot, but didn't like the writing at all.
Michael Schmicker
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Admit it. You’re curious about reincarnation.

Who isn’t intrigued by the possibility that we may have lived a past life?

Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism famously enshrine the idea, but reincarnation belief is global. Eskimos, Pacific Islanders, the Yoruba of West Africa, the aborigines of Australia, and the Teutonic and Celtic tribes of Europe all accept the idea of multiple rebirths. The biggest surprise? – a 2013 Harris Poll found one in four Americans believe in reincarnation. Tha
Frances Levy
May 25, 2010 rated it did not like it
The blurb: M. J. Rose offers a spellbinding, psychologically riveting epic thriller of secrets, history, and murder that will challenge the way we think about who we are and who we were.

My review: Not spellbinding. Not riveting, psychologically or otherwise; not epic; not a thriller; not challenging. It took me 3 weeks to slog through it. I kept hoping it would get better. It didn't. The writing is amateurish and the plot obviously contrived. I can recommend this book only to people who have tro
Sep 16, 2007 rated it liked it
This was a fast read and an interesting premise – the main character has flashbacks to past lives, and he and some shadowy other figures are seeking the Memory Stones, ancient relics that supposedly will prove that reincarnation exists. However, there are a number of subsidiary characters and subplots that make the action unnecessarily confusing, rather than functioning as actual red herrings.
Jun 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
What can I say about The Reincarnationist besides FABULOUS?

After an accident in Rome, photojournalist Josh Ryder begins experiencing flashes of past memories―from another life, another era. As these flashes intensify, he’s drawn back to the time of ancient Rome, Vestal Virgins and the mysterious Memory Stones. Through the eyes of Julius, he is reunited with a powerful love for Sabina, the Vestal Virgin he has sworn to protect and would willingly die for, a woman whom would be buried alive if th
Sep 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: total-crap
Dear God, this is a boring book. What started out so promising in terms of story line and subject became bogged down in tedium ad nauseam. The premise of the story is that the hero is having spontaneous past life regressions that impinge on his current life at the weirdest moments. He's been having them for more than a year, is even seeing a regressionist therapist, and yet he cannot bring himself to believe they are really regressions. Makes you want to kick the guy in the head, he's so stubbor ...more
I bought this at a work charity book sale a while ago. I guess some tv show called Past Life is based on this series of books, I've never seen it. It feels like it's trying to be a Dan Brown book. After an accident, a guy starts having flashbacks to a past life in Rome. A precious artifact is stolen from a dig in Rome, an archaeologist attacked, and now this guy is there with the other (female) archaeologist, trying to recover this artifact and figure out what his flashbacks mean. And there's a ...more
Aug 21, 2011 rated it liked it
2 1/2- 3 stars

Forgot that I had tried to read this a couple of years ago. Sometimes it comes down to what you feel like reading and this time I was willing to put up with some less than quality (and at times very repetitive,) writing for a decent story and excellent premise.

The Story ended abruptly so I believe there must be a sequel. Many writers improve with practice so will try out next book to see where this story goes.

Must add very tired of the word lurch!

Sep 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
Sorry, wanted to like this one but just could not get into it. In truth I so disliked this particular read that I did not finish it. There are just too many good books out there that I want to get my hands on.
Dec 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A fast paced, exciting tale melding reincarnation and a modern couple's quest to find meaning and love in their tumultuous world. Read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down!
J.M. Cornwell
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Since I had already read The Book of Lost Fragrances and Seduction of the series, I decided to read The Reincarnationist which is the first book in the series. There were surprises (good and bad), more about reincarnation, and a really good story. This is what books should be -- satisfying.

John Ryder has been having what he calls lurches for over a year. They started when he was caught in a bomb blast in Rome. The lurches put him in ancient Rome in the body of a priest named Julius who is in lo
Nov 29, 2008 rated it liked it
This was another quick and easy read that kept me in suspense throughout, however, I didn't like it quite as much as The Memorist. Overall I really liked the book but I just had a couple of problems with it.

First, the book is called The Reincarnationist, who is identified in The Memorist as Malachai Samuels, however Mr. Samuels is a VERY minor chracter throughout this book. I think the title is misleading because The Reincarnationist has nothing to do with this book. Maybe The Memory Stones or s
Jul 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I'd been very impressed with "The Book of Lost Fragrances" so I wanted to read something else by M.J. Rose. Unfortunately, she seems to be one of those authors who tells the same story over and over again.

"The Hypnotist" is also about reincarnation and people obsessed with it. Here our main character is Josh, a photographer badly injured a year ago when he caught a terrorist attack on camera. Since then he's been having psychotic episodes in which he remembers his past lives: Julius, a pagan pri
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
As a believer in reincarnation and a lover of history, I really wanted to like this book. But no matter how I tried - and I really tried - I just couldn't. The characters were pretty poorly-developed, making it difficult to care about any of them. Halfway through the book an additional character was added, bringing her own past life that was somehow tied to the main protagonist. But this new female only existed to provide answers later on, and not because she was important to the plot in any oth ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Reincarnationist is about the tenth book by M. J. Rose and is a thriller set in the present and the past thanks to numerous past life flash backs.

After nearly dying in a terrorist bomb, Josh Ryder is haunted by memories of a past life in Rome. The medical profession cannot explain or solve his new memories and flashbacks and so he turns to the Phoenix Foundation who specialise in past life regression.

A trail of present-day murders seem to link up to his past life memories of being a pagan pr
I read #4-6 of this series in 2014 and really enjoyed them. So I figured it was time to go back and read the beginning of the series. Even though it was missing the strong main character of the last three, it was an intelligent and intriguing read, with lots of twist and turns that kept me guessing until the very end. However, it doesn't get a full 5 stars from me because I didn't feel a strong emotional connection to any of the characters. I can't put my finger on why but I missed that extra in ...more
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Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Reincarnation. Not a true believer, but my mind is open.And that is all this story asks,is that the reader has an open mind.Josh Ryder is a photojournalist haunted by events in his past and present. He deals in logic,believes in what he can see through the lens of his camera. But what he sees through the camera lens is not always logical and doesn't come through in the finished picture.And he frequently has trouble staying in the present.
On a trip to Rome, determined to find answers to his fre
Ben Wand
Jan 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
Many of the other reviews have this book pegged correctly, and the ones who say it was suspenseful - which book did you read? There wasn't one iota of suspense.

The only thing that really kept me reading was that the reincarnation idea was interesting and that the pace was good enough to keep the pages turning, but not nearly enough to say this was a good book.

But if you liked the Da Vinci code, then you probably will like this book, since neither book had much of a plot (sorry guys, Da Vinci cod
Sheila Ruth
Aug 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
After a near death experience, Josh Ryder begins having flashes where he seems to be remembering being a pagan priest in ancient Rome, trying to save the woman he loves and the sacred treasures that they both revere from the onslaught of Christianity. Seeking answers brings Josh to the Phoenix Foundation, a group that helps children who experience past life memories. The Phoenix Foundation doesn't work with adults, but Josh takes a job with them in exchange for the opportunity to learn more abou ...more
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: stefanie
After a near-fatal accident, photojournalist Josh Ryder is haunted by dreams of past lives. While trying to find some stolen gemstones believed to be powerful pagan memory stones for the Phoenix Foundation, Josh realizes that his past lives are trying to send him a message to save his own present-day life and that of the future world.

Wow! Very original! This fast-paced, thought-provoking, intricate page-turner will stay with the reader long after the last page has been read. The ending is a sur
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kersyn
Josh Ryder is a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Rome to photo journal an important meeting he is caught in the blast of a suicide bomber. During his recovery he begins to have visions that place him in ancient Rome...

For the entire review please go to the Best Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Review site on the web, Bitten By Books for the review of The Reincarnationist in it's entirety. You won't be sorry.
Hayes the Haute Librarian
Jun 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I would have bypassed this book, except I enjoy a reincarnation plot theme.

However, the plot theme was not enough to eclipse the terribly puerile writing, lack of character development, and absolute no depth in this book.

I didn't care about the characters. There was no drawing in of the reader. I wasn't transported to the places in the book; it was just flat, flat reading.

The writing is like a first-time submission to a novel writing contest. And I can't *believe* this was made into a series.
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read
I want to read the rest of the books in this series :)
I'm not a huge fan of Historical Fiction and I was nervous about reading this. Some of the story takes place in 386- 391 A.D., some in the mid 1880's, and of course some in the present day. It took me about 60 pages to get into and I almost gave up. I'm so glad I stuck with this. This was an amazing book! I had no problems keeping up with the "back and forth" between the years. I simply couldn't put this book down during the last two days it took to finish this. I was completely spellbound. I wa ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a thriller it kept me glued to my seat. It kept me guessing up to the end. But thinking about reincarnation makes you see thing in a dime rent light. This is a story that was hard to put down and worth sharing.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Nothing But Readi...: Reincarnationist series by M.J Rose 21 153 Jan 14, 2015 12:32AM  
52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2014.8: The Book of Lost Fragrances 5 41 Mar 30, 2014 04:34AM  
Can I read this one first? 10 76 Sep 26, 2013 07:10AM  
The Reincarnationist 14 34 Apr 02, 2013 01:39PM  
My interview with MJ Rose 1 11 Jul 13, 2010 10:35AM  

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New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and re

Other books in the series

Reincarnationist (6 books)
  • The Memorist (Reincarnationist, #2)
  • The Hypnotist (Reincarnationist, #3)
  • The Book of Lost Fragrances (Reincarnationist, #4)
  • Seduction (Reincarnationist, #5)
  • The Collector of Dying Breaths (Reincarnationist, #6)

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