Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: Seduction by M.J. Rose


From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal 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.

Atria Books | May 7, 2013 | 384 pages

My Review

4 Stars

Seduction, the latest novel in M.J. Rose's Reincarnationist series, is set on the Isle of Jersey in the modern-day, the 1850s, and just before Roman expansion into Great Britain.  The modern-day storyline focuses on Jac L'Etoile, a mythologist who seeks to discover the origins of myths, while the 1850s storyline follows French novelist Victor Hugo while he was in exile on Jersey, a period in which he continued to mourn the death of his beloved eldest daughter and began to engage in seances in the hopes of contacting her.   The pre-Roman era of the narrative focuses on the life of a Celtic priest. 

While recovering from the loss of the one man she doesn't think she can live without, Jac is asked by a childhood friend, Theo Gaspard, to travel to Jersey to help him discover and explore Celtic ruins.  While she is advised against going, the opportunity to research the Celts is one Jac simply cannot pass up.   When she arrives, however, Theo informs Jac that there is more to his invitation than he originally lead her to believe, as it is his hope to locate an unknown journal of Victor Hugo's that he believes will provide details on some of Hugo's experiences with spiritualism.  Intrigued by the quest, Jac agrees to join his search.   But the quest proves to be more than Jac bargained for, as she finds herself experiencing powerful hallucinations that take her back to Jersey during the Celtic period.  

Much like the previous novels I've read by M.J. Rose, Seduction is fast-paced and easy to read.  Although this novel features multiple narratives and is set in different time periods, Rose has crafted the story in such a way that it is easy to follow.  Each narrative is unique and offers something interesting for readers, and I felt Rose did a nice job of tying each of the story lines together.   As a result, I didn't find myself preferring any one narrative over another, I found them all equally compelling.   One of the things I like best about Rose's novels are her descriptions, which bring sights and smells vividly to life for the reader.   Although it helps to have read Rose's previous release, The Book of Lost Fragrances, before reading this one, it isn't necessary and Seduction can be read as a stand alone novel.    

Recommended to fans of thrillers with a paranormal twist, as well as to readers who have enjoyed M.J. Rose's earlier novels.

Note: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher as part of M.J. Rose's virtual book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Seduction is currently on tour.  Click here to check out the tour schedule.  

About the Author

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 -  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 and

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

post signature