This book was received thankfully from the author in return for an honest and fair review.
‘The Return’ is a story about the rebirth of Christ, the second coming. Only, as the dark forces are doing all they can to prevent this major event from taking place we find out that the Knights Templar are still in existence and have been waiting for this moment where they can use their resources to protect Him and His family.
The story begins with Geoff, an investment banker, having a holiday at his friend Jacque’s house in Southern France. Here, Geoff finds a secret room full of literature. He discovers a book referring to the Knights Templar, written in modern day language and referring to the Templars as being in existence today. From here, Geoff quickly takes a plane back to London and carries out in-depth research regarding the Templars and their purpose, theories and background. He travels various places around the globe to carry out more, extensive research. And, gradually, certain people begin to get suspicious and track him down to find out what he knows.
I found Geoff to be a little naïve as there was at least one occasion when he felt that he was being followed. Later, he is approached by a woman, Regina, claiming to be a lawyer, who just happens to be inquiring about something in relation to the Templars and yet he doesn’t add these situations up. He doesn’t seem to think that it is too much of a coincidence. This was a little frustrating and he was subsequently killed.
Personally, I wasn’t happy with the storyline at this point as Geoff appeared to be the main character, the hero, and yet here he was being killed off. I was left trying to pick up the pieces of the other characters to try and connect with them but this did prove to be difficult as up until this point Geoff and his findings were focused heavily on, making the other characters appear to be more brief, background characters.
The story then unfolds to reveal that Geoff’s friends, Peter Christos and Sarah Davidson, become an item, marry and Sarah falls pregnant. Her baby is destined to be Him, the one that the human race has been waiting for for centuries. This seems to happen all too quickly with very little attention paid to connecting with these characters and feeling their relationship and romance grow. More description and detail were needed in these areas.
The reader is then taken on an adventure as the Knights Templar make preparations for the birth and protection of Him, whilst constantly under the threat of the dark forces. Both sides have very strong allies and support from the Vatican to scientists to drugs traffickers, etc. This adds intensity to the story as the reader is never sure which side will possibly win as they both seem fairly equal.
This novel is mostly written to the point. It is very direct and factual when it comes to theories, however it did lack some description in parts and emotion to the characters. On the one hand, it was nice to follow as theories were occasionally repeated, not too often, but enough to keep the reader in check. And, on the other hand, it would have been an idea to elaborate more with romance and emotion on the relationship between Peter and Sarah, thus helping the reader to engage with their characters and gain a great sense of how they became so close so quickly.
When it comes to the theories, it is obvious that Carter Vance has a great deal of knowledge in this area and he does explain these ideas well. This is the first book I have read covering this subject and I initally felt that this would be way over my head, however I did understand and enjoy the storyline.
My overall opinion of ‘The Return’ is a mixed bag. However, on the whole it is an enjoyable, well-written read. It has kept me entertained throughout and it is surprisingly a nice read to follow, as opposed to losing me with language and theology.
Book cover by kind permission of Carter Vance.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker