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The Reincarnationist Papers

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Member Reviews

This book intrigued me from the beginning it was definitely an interesting read. 

The characters especially the main character Evan Michaels has an amazing character arc and I really enjoyed seeing it take shape. 

It is definitely an interesting read.
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Disclaimer: I received the e-book of this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Reincarnationist Papers

Author: D. Eric Maikranz

Book Series: The Reincarnationist Papers Book 1

Rating: 3/5

Recommended For...: sci-fi fans

Publication Date: January 13, 2009

Genre: Science Fiction

Recommended Age: 18+ (sex, drug usage, violence, gore)

Publisher: Parallax Publishing

Pages: 324

Synopsis: The electrifying book that introduces readers to the Cognomina, a secret society of people who possess total recall of their past lives. "Haunted by memories of two past lives, a troubled young man stumbles upon a centuries-old secret society of similar individuals and dares to join their ranks." Evan Michaels' now public account takes us into this organization whose members have been agents of change throughout history.

Review: This was an ok book. I liked the concept and the plot. The book also did well with the world building and it made me want to watch the movie for the most part.

However, I did feel like the book was really slow. The flashbacks weren’t exciting from a reader’s perspective. The book was also too straight forward and I didn’t like how the author threw in sex and drugs for no plot relevance, it just felt like it was trying too hard to connect with the readers. 

Verdict: It was ok, but not for me.
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One Sentence Summary: Evan hasn't really fit in since he turned 18 and received memories from two previous lives, but that changes when he meets Poppy, a woman like him.

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by the idea of previous lives and reincarnation. I went into this book knowing only that it had to do with past lives, and didn't really read the description beyond that. I was a little lost when I first started reading, not sure if the book started with the Author's Note or the first notebook, but the story unfolded really well, if a bit boringly. Actually, since this has been made into a movie coming out later this year, I thought it made a better movie than book.

The Plot: Moves Like Molasses

Evan has been estranged from his parents for the past three years, ever since he turned eighteen and started remembering past lives. Since then he's made his way to L.A. to become something of an arsonist for hire. On the heels of his most recent job, he's chased and injured by a cop, but hides so isn't discovered. Instead, a mysterious woman named Poppy finds him and patches him up.

Poppy has some suspicions about him, which are quickly confirmed. So she whisks him off to Zurich to meet others like him, and her. The goal is to be accepted by them. But these people have led extremely long, very complicated lives, and they're not above trying to influence and use Evan because of who he and they are.

The Reincarnationist Papers wasn't exactly what I thought. Actually, there was so little overall movement within the book that I wasn't sure what was supposed to be happening. It's about a guy who can remember past lives wanting to join a group of people just like him. That's basically it. Some action is built in at the end, but, otherwise, it's kind of a bland story with a cinematic quality.

This book is divided into three notebooks that, supposedly, the author, Maikranz, came across and translated. They document Evan's life from just before he meets Poppy to the time he hands off the notebooks to someone he meets. Overall, most of it doesn't span a huge amount of time, until the very end. Each notebook kind of felt like it's own story, so the book felt like it was divided into thirds, with a major event happening during each.

I must say, the beginning completely lured me in. I found it gritty and raw and so detail oriented. It's about Evan starting a fire. It was so well done that I almost felt like I could feel the flames. From there, I thought the rest of the book would be more of the same: intense and raw. Instead, it wasn't really action packed until the reader gets to the third notebook. Most of the movement felt like it was done in comfort and was so easy. Otherwise it was a lot of sitting and talking and questioning. My attention did, unfortunately, wane as the story wore on, but the pace was even and the whole book was actually a fairly easy read.

What I did like were the historical stories told by some of the characters Evan meets. They take the reader back and forth in time, but the quality seemed to fade with each story. Still, I found them interesting and hope they're historically accurate. There are footnotes here and there to fact check the story, but I have yet to fact check the foot notes. Anyways, I always love when history and immortality are woven together, so this book pleased me on that front.

As I mentioned, there's a cinematic quality to The Reincarnationist Papers. As I was reading, I could totally see it as a movie, see how the cameras might pan and how the script might handle the back and forth in time. But it made for an odd reading experience. Reading it was actually a tad boring. There isn't really anything exciting or interesting going on to hold a reader's interest. I don't know if I would see the movie, but I'm also curious to see if the book or movie is better considering the author wrote this with the goal of seeing it made into a movie.

The Characters: People With Immortal Souls

As The Reincarnationist Papers deals with characters who are, essentially, immortal, it was both difficult and easy to get to know them. On one hand, who they were didn't really change, but the body changed and it wasn't always easy to keep them all straight. But it was an interesting exploration of what life might be like if your soul lived forever, how you might change, be changed, or not be affected. I liked that it gave a look into how ancient souls viewed life, from introspective to living a life of excess with few cares or concerns in the world to treating life as disposable. I do wonder if any of them ever became attached to a particular body or a particular life or if they continually found themselves in similar places no matter the time or place. Overall, I was a little disturbed by the overall lack of regard for life, but found the relationships between them fun and interesting.

Evan is the main character. He's the one telling the story, the one who left the notebooks behind. He felt the most disposable of all the characters, the one everyone else jerked around because he's new and his soul will live forever, and they know it. He himself felt reckless and adrift, perhaps because he's realized he'll just keep coming back over and over? I didn't like that he never seemed to develop a true sense of himself and instead let everyone else in the Cognomina yank him around. But it does make me curious to know how he will evolve the more lives he lives.

The Setting: World Wide, Back and Forth in Time

The Reincarnationist Papers is set all over the world and back and forth in time. Actually, my favorite parts were the little stories peppered in about different members of the Cognomina's past lives. I thought most of those were exceptionally well done and helped give me a more solid sense of time and place. I just wish there had been more of them.

It was fun to travel around the world with the characters. Most of it was set in L.A., Zurich, and Tunisia and I did think I got an adequate sense of place. L.A. felt the most familiar and the most gritty. Zurich actually kind of felt rather refined. Tunisia was dusty and the least advanced. One thing that bothered me was that Evan spent a good chunk of time in Zurich, but, other than where he and the rest of the Cognomina were staying, there wasn't much actual exploration of the city. Evan did go out a few times to sight see, but the reader wasn't privy to any of it.

Overall, the settings felt suitable and gave just enough sense of place with neither too much nor too little detail, but I was a bit bothered by how it felt it had been written more for cinematography than as a book. Almost as though it had been conceived as a movie first and then novelized.

Overall: Maybe Better as a Movie?

The Reincarnationist Papers appealed to me because of the premise. I find past lives fascinating, so was really interested in this book. Unfortunately, it left me wanting, though I can absolutely see how it lends itself to being a movie. But that's one thing that bothered me throughout the book. Instead of enjoying the story, thoughts of how it might look on the screen kept intruding. The entire middle part was also a huge lull. There wasn't actually much happening. Only the beginning and end were exciting, and the premise was definitely the best part of this book.

Thank you to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for a review copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Even though this had a slow start IMO not long afterwards it sucked me in! I'm honestly glad I held on! 
Its going to be interesting to see what they do in the movie.
It is hard to put this book down as it takes you on a wild ride!
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This is one of those books that I think will make an incredible movie.  However the book itself just didn't work for me at all.  The book felt like it was all over the place with flashbacks.  I think those will work out a lot better in movie form. Overall, this story felt very flat and not all that exciting. I didn't really care about the characters either.
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THE REINCARNATIONIST PAPERS by D. Eric Maikranz is a slow ride adventure novel. The main character, Evan, discovers he has been reincarnated and can remember his past lives and then encounters the Cognomina, a secret society of people just like him. The premise is extremely interesting and I thought this one would be right up my alley since it’s kinda like The Da Vinci Code with the secret society and all and I loved that book but this one doesn’t hold up at all. I appreciated the diverse characters that included young and old and many different ethnicities and the many different settings but this book was very slow moving and too long. There were footnotes throughout the book which I found very detracting. There were many sections that were just stories from past lives that didn’t lend anything to the plot or character building. The sex scenes felt like they were thrown in because “sex sells”. The entire book was lacking some high stakes excitement such as a more good vs evil theme or countdown clock. I’d still watch the movie Infinite which is based on this book though. Hopefully the movie brings the excitement!
Thank you to the author via NetGalley for my advance review copy!
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I hate writing reviews like this, but here's my honest opinion. The concept of this book sounded very cool. It was my most anticipated read of the year... but oy vey, by the end I felt like I was banging my head against a wall just to finish it. The entire thing felt like a boring transition from one disjointed event to the next, with the promise of something exciting just about to happen. It never did. There was an insane amount of detail for things that really didn’t matter and didn’t contribute at all to the development of the story.

There wasn’t much to the underlying message besides that the only point to life is to have fun at whatever cost since the characters are never held accountable for their actions. And I HIGHLY disagree with the author's message at the end, finding it highly problematic for people that struggle with mental health. I won’t even say what it is for fear of giving it life and I doubt anyone (except masochists like myself) will even make it that far into the book. 

I’m so upset with myself for wasting hours of my life on this, but really only did so because Mark Wahlberg, Dylan O’Brien, and Rupert Friend are starring in the film adaptation.
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Time travel, flashbacks, and deja vu abound in this book which I’m sure will translate into an exciting movie. But as a reader, I had some difficulty following with so much jumping around, but otherwise enjoyed the story..
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This book has an extremely interesting and difficult premise, but I found that it fell short of meeting that potential. While I understand the necessity of flashbacks and a multi-pov, I found that it was difficult to maintain any proper or realistic character development. I think that was perhaps my biggest issue with this book. I just didn't see any character growth and didn't feel any attachment to the characters. It felt flat and very one-dimensional. 

As this is the author's debut novel (as far as I am aware) I won't judge them too harshly yet. But I do think that for future novels they need to work on creating more development in the characters and interest in the plot.
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The Reincarnationist Papers started strong with a fascinating premise and a compelling protagonist. However, the book suffered from a serious case of plot bloat, with huge swaths of the book that were ultimately unrelated to the overall story, and an ending that made it feel like the book got lost and wandered into the wrong room. 

Evan is a 21 year old professional arsonist who lives in a flophouse in LA and spends his free time pondering the noose he leaves hanging in his room. He has inexplicable full vivid memories of living two previous lives and suffers from an understandable amount of resulting existential dread.

One day, while running from an arson job, he is shot by the police and seeks sanctuary in an old church, which is inhabited by Poppy, a beautiful, wealthy young woman who treats his wound and helps him hide. As they spend time together and begin a romantic relationship, Evan reveals his secret to Poppy, who also reveals that she, too, has lived several previous lives and is a member of a secret society of other such individuals. She agrees to take him to Zurich where he will be initiated into their brotherhood of "reincarnationists." 

Up to this point, the story is mostly entertaining. 

When they arrive in Zurich, Poppy is evasive and flaky and hooking up with anyone and everyone, and Evan, feeling unmoored, begins getting to know the other reincarnationists. He befriends a few of them, they have lots of uninteresting and drawn out dialogue, he goes back the homes of a few of them and lives with two different ones for a while, yada yada yada, yawn.

He then inexplicably goes on an art heist which lasts a few pages, inexplicably betrays a friend, inexplicably gets thrown in jail, then the story inexplicably ends.

The end.

I wish I had just quit reading halfway through and gone to bed, because losing sleep in the hopes that the story would get better was a bad gamble.

(Inexplicably) this story is being made into a movie, Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg. Looking at the IMDB, I see Evan's character but I don't recognize the other character names. This gives me hope that the screenwriter took what was an awesome premise and made it into a good story.

I'll probably see it.

So, anyway, I would not recommend this book. But, as always, your mileage may vary.
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The Reincarnationist Papers by D. Eric Maikranz is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. The Reincarnationist Papers is his first novel, which has been adapted into the Paramount Pictures film Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg. It will probably make a better movie than a book. The book flashed back multiple times to sections of various periods of many Reincarnationist's lives. Most of those periods were pretty boring. There were just too many flash backs and not enough character building. None of the people were interesting. The plot was flat. No twists or turns.
I think reincarnation is a fascinating thing to read about and could have been a fun read. This just threw in a lot of drugs and sex and hoped it would fly.
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I’m so excited this will be seen by what I hope is a large audience. The story of outliers trying to navigate lives before ,now and then is a fascinating premise.the author does not disappoint. The intrigue and folly of the characters charm you into rooting for their acceptance. Who doesn’t want their dreams realized. A great summer read.
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Interesting premise, but I couldn’t get into this book at the moment. Sadly, just not the book for me.
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Thanks to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Compelling, imaginative and thoughtful. This highly original sci-fi thriller from D. Eric Maikranz is a must-read for those looking for something a bit different from their usual tried and trusted genre. The author takes the highly contested concept of reincarnation as his inspiration for his novel about a group of individuals who are able to remember their past lives. Maikranz deftly absorbs the theoretical and metaphysical underpinnings of reincarnation into a lively and absorbing read, told in a strong narratorial voice. Great characterisation, meticulous plotting - a real page-turner.
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I enjoyed this book.  The plot was interesting and made the reader not put the book down.  The book offers a different take on reincarnation.
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I loved this novel. I cant wait to see the film.  If you are looking for a great summer thriller, this is it!
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Excellent story. Characters were believable, the storyline about a group of people who are resurrected and all remember their past lives is very interesting. The dialogue is done exceptionally well. I enjoyed this book immensely.
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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of The Reincarnationist Papers.

I love books about past lives so I was excited when my request was approved.

This premise was so intriguing, a difficult theme to write about, and I have yet to find a book that has done it well.

The Reincarnationist Papers falls into this category.

The premise started off well, a young man named Evan Michaels has known for many years that he is not like everyone else. He has lived before, at least two other reincarnations, and, as a result, is recruited into a secret society of members just like him. 

What kind of shenanigans will occur? What happens to the psyche of a person who has lived (and continues to live) a multitude of lifetimes?

None of these potential issues was addressed.

First, Evan Michaels is not a compelling character. He's young, but boring, dull as dishwater.

The writing is bland, all telling, no showing. 

The narrative is bogged down with recaps of past lives, what the secret society is about, Evan meeting the members, and the initiation process. 

There are random segues into Evan's past life, or those of the people he meets with. 

For the most part, the reader sees Evan spending most of his time talking to the secret board members, sightseeing, and lusting after his advocate, a beguiling Asian woman named Poppy.

It's all filler.

Then, suddenly, the story transitions into an art heist, and then we get more filler about how Evan pulls it off. Or not.

The premise had great potential, but the execution was poor, and for a secret society filled with potentially intriguing people, there was no suspense, drama or excitement.
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The Cognomina are a secret group of people who remember their past lives and Poppy is a member. She wants Evan Michaels to join the group, but he’s still having a hard time coming to terms with memories of two previous lives. Poppy remembers at least seven lives and she and her group have been perfecting their skills to become almost superhuman. But the Cognomina are a very select group, and for Evan to join the group, he will have to pass a series of very difficult testa. If he wants to, that is…
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The premise of this is interesting, but the execution leaves much to be desired. I couldn't help being bored. I tried to finish it but only got about 30% through. One of the other reviews mentions insensitive handling of sexual assault, so I am definitely not going to finish this. It's too bad, because the premise is interesting.

Thanks to the author and publisher for this ARC.
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