The Rowan

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on Buy on
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date Jul 04 2023 | Archive Date Jun 30 2023

Talking about this book? Use #TheRowan #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


A rowan tree with mysterious and unique powers is extending its grip over humanity, and investigative writer Valentina Garnier is caught up in a battle between supernatural forces and the federal government.

Prize-winning investigative writer Valentina Garnier loves a good story, so when she learns that CIA director Agnes Pendalon wants her to travel to Kunashir Island in Russia's easternmost province, she jumps at the chance. Top scientists, political aides, CIA agents and even the vice president's daughter have made mysterious trips to the island in recent weeks, and all have come back changed . . .

When Val arrives in Kunashir, she is mesmerized by a magical rowan tree and its leaves that turn to golden threads, encircling the visitors. Something incredible and transformational is happening in front of her . . . With the CIA determined to hunt down this unknown force and everyone affected by the rowan, is a new battle for the future of humanity about to commence?

A rowan tree with mysterious and unique powers is extending its grip over humanity, and investigative writer Valentina Garnier is caught up in a battle between supernatural forces and the federal ...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781448311125
PRICE $29.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 57 members

Featured Reviews

this was such a great plot and was written well, I was invested in the concept and thought it worked well overall. I loved the paranormal elements going on and how good the world was. The characters worked well together with the plot and I enjoyed every part of the journey. Davis Bunn has a great writing style and it works well overall with the fantasy elements.

"He went ballistic. Totally freaked out. It’s the nightmare scenario every parent of an autistic child dreads. He screamed at us for days. Nothing silenced him. We were afraid he was going to wreck his vocal cords.’ For once, the agent lost his cool mask. Showed the strains and shadows of a very hard time. ‘We finally sedated him. The silence lasted as long as he was in a stupor. Soon as he recovered from the drugs, it started all over again."

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this. I read it all in one sitting. I liked that there was an unknown about the tree. I liked that there was enough of a chase for it to be exciting but not too much that it got annoying. I liked the characters, it felt plausible even for science fiction. I willf definitely read the next one(s). The only thing I didn't really like was the way, many times women were referred to as the lady. I found it annoying as it felt repetitive

Was this review helpful?

Very enjoyable fantasy / sci-fi / political novel.

Val is a journalist who becomes involved in a mystical / supernatural happening which changes her perspective as well as that of all the other witnesses. This brings about an alarming sequence of events with far-reaching consequences. The main characters are reasonably interesting and developed and the plot moves along at a good pace. It’s a very different experience which I enjoyed and would recommend. This is the first in a series and I look forward to whatever is going to happen next. There are quite a few poor reviews but I accepted this book just as a bit of fun.I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

The Rowan Tree by Davis Bunn was an intriguing science-fiction with an interesting concept.
I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased review.
I enjoyed the original underlying mystery of the book- why are so many people travelling to an isolated island and returning different. The government starts to worry when the Vice-president’s daughter returns different. You must wonder why as some people have returned different in a good way- substance misuse problems have resolved, and autism cured. Val is the investigative reporter chosen by the CIA and a behind the scenes kingmaker to investigate what is going on but Val is fixated on being transformed by the miracle tree too.
I liked Val, a flawed character with troubled past but who is successful despite this. She drives the story, connecting a group of disparate characters and makes their desire to be changed believable (I think I would be a bit hesitant).
Agnes is the opposite, deeply mistrustful of the change and its cause and would do anything to stop the influence. I shouldn’t like her character but again I could understand her motivations and would imagine her response would be the most realistic.

This could be me but I wasn’t sure whether The Rowan and the intelligence behind was entirely benign, but I imagine this will form the basis of the next book.
Perfect for Fans of
The TV program The Manifest

Was this review helpful?

I hardly even know where to start with this book. I had no real idea what to expect, but the events that happened in this were certainly not it.

We follow the story of Val, a brilliant investigative journalist, who has tackled some dangerous assignments in her time. But now she has been contacted by the American one percenters, asking to investigate an Island in the distributed territory between Russia and Japan. Something odd is happening, and some influential people have been going there, but no one knows why.

I had no idea what direction this story would take, but the one it did was surprising and brilliant. I can hardly wait for the next instalment.

Was this review helpful?

Fascinating and intriguing story that pulls you right in. Touches of mystery and hints of fantasy as worlds cross and interweave. Val, a journalist undertakes a mission to discover the secrets of a far away land and a mystery Rowan tree. Sacred and divining, she tries to uncover why it has become an attraction and why the people drawn there seem changed and return different, including the vice president's daughter.

An interesting, well written plot and story that contains plenty of mystery, secrets and diverse characters. A quest to get to the roots of the magical Rowan. A great and fun read.

Was this review helpful?

One tree, that rules them all. A motley crew of PhD’s, a hardened journalist and some of America’s richest and powerful. And an entity.

What can I say about this book?

OK here goes.

So the daughter of the VP has gone missing after a trip to a remote and barren part of Russia. The corridors of power in Washington are awash with rumours. The deputy director of the CIA is drafted in, alongside one of the biggest and long serving lobbyists. The final card in the pack, the journalist tasked with discovering just what happened.

This is one hell of a story, it held my concentration from start to finish. I just had to know what was going to happen next, how it was going turn out.
I think the most interesting thing, was just how the American government was running scared with things that were out of their control and that they couldn’t understand. And, their answer for everything…

This is the first in a new series by the author, and personally I can’t wait for the next instalment.

Status: Completed

Rating: 4.9/5..0

Was this review helpful?

A mysterious phenomenon on an island near Russian is drawing visitors to the experience. The vice president's daughter is among those who make the pilgrimage. This alerts the powers that be that there might be somesort of threat to national security going on. The CIA anonymously sends a reporter to witness what is happening on the island. She does not participate but merely observes but is soon drawn in .
This is a mysterious read. You never quite understand what is going on. The government is doing all in its power to try and stop it but the group grows stronger. The reader is drawn in but is left waiting for answers. There will be a sequel.

Was this review helpful?

I was tempted to knock half a star off my review as there's a fair bit of "US arrogance" in assuming that the US govt can do whatever they want on foreign soils, but it was a minor grumble in my British head, and irrelevant to the quality of the book, which I couldn't put down! So a firm 5 stars/excellent read.

What a beautiful work. The concepts involved are very unique, the style of writing is such that I page marked quite a few paragraphs so I could read them again (just a joy to read). Throw in some astrophysics (I'm an astrophysicist, and the a'physics bits were pretty good) and I simply loved this book.

As for the concept, I'm now sitting wishing the sequel, No Mans Land, would come out as soon as tomorrow.

Was this review helpful?

What is the appeal for visitors to a small island on the far edges of Russia? Tales are leaking out of people whose lives have changed dramatically since visiting the place. When the vice- president's daughter returns & begins to study for a doctorate after worrying her parents with her involvement with drugs & wild parties, there are questions asked on a National Security level. Val, an investigative journalist, is asked by the CIA head of Operations to see what is going on, little knowing how this will change her life.

I found this book to be a real surprise. I was unprepared for how I was drawn into the story. A combination of different genre but all spun together with beautiful writing. I wanted to read the sequel straight away & really hope I won't have to wait too long! Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read this book. It's one of my favourite reads so far this year.

Was this review helpful?

So the description I feel like sucked me in almost immediately because it has the government/spy/thriller-esque sci-fi feel to it and it had an X-Files feel to it, which I absolutely loved as well!

I’m not super science-y, so some things did tend to go over my head, but I do love how some of the things that the non-science members said were easier for people like me to understand.

Government thrillers may or may not be my new jam!

“The sudden thrill of being let off the professional leads.”

“When things start moving fast, I need to be at the heart of darkness.”

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: