THE RETURNERS by Gemma Malley


Age Range: 12 & up
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George Santayana famously warned that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. This novel is about the condemned, those souls who return to relive the past. Will Hodge is only a teenager, miserable in a world where his mother is dead, his father can’t be trusted and friends barely speak to him anymore. He’s haunted by nightmares from the distant past. They’re bleak, full of cruelty and painful images he can’t shake. In the midst of all this, he witnesses a friend try to help a victim of street assault…or was he the one who committed the crime? Will is told he is one of the Returners, condemned to live out past horrors and commit new ones, to serve as humanity’s collective memory. Will has a decision to make: Will he choose to repeat the past? Or create a new and different path? A strange book that will capture the attention of some while leaving others confused, it presents readers with the challenge that is always passed on to the next generation—the world is theirs and will become what they make of it. A good read, but not for everyone. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59990-443-6
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2010


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