When Josh was almost killed by a bomb in Rome, it triggered a sequence of past-life memories from which he cannot escape. He realizes that he has been reincarnated and nearly two thousand years ago, he was a priest named Julius in love with a Vestal Virgin named Sabina. He feels a need to find her and save her, but he doesn’t know how. On a trip to Rome, his feet land him at an archaeological site where Sabina lies buried, leading to a murder, an investigation, and a desperate search to figure out what his memories are telling him and why.
This was a racing read and I had a hard time putting it down. I originally won it to participate in By The Chapter, so I decided I would read it over the space of the week. That definitely did not happen because I am not a patient person. By the time I was halfway through I just had to know the ending, so I ended up finishing it in two days instead of five. Oops. It’s certainly addicting.
While Josh’s version of reincarnation sounds interesting, I don’t think I’d like to experience it in the same way that he does. It sounds painful and I certainly wouldn’t want to long for a woman who had been dead for many years, knowing that I was looking for her in every face I saw. It was quite curious how many people had been reincarnated, but I suppose we’d have to take it as a matter of course. Many, many people have walked this planet before. I thought the list of sources at the back even more interesting. I had no idea that anyone studied this, and while I don’t believe it myself, I almost want to pick up one of those books just to learn more.
I don’t want to give anything away, but I did feel let down by the ending of this book. While some loose ends were tied up, it felt like something of a cop-out and diminished the appeal of the rest of the work. Despite that, I’d still love to read The Memorist, which is the sequel to this book. I think the ride to the ending mattered more to me in this case.