I was enchanted by the premise of The Flooding and, therefore, voted for it on Kindle Scout. Books with reincarnation never cease to interest me. While the book was a solidly entertaining story, it lacked in a few aspects.
The absolute best part of this book was the plot and the history behind the reincarnation aspect. The entire concept of reincarnation is fascinating to me. This book merely builds upon this interesting idea by asking us what happens if we remember all of our past lives. How does this change who we are? And more importantly: who are we? Hancock makes this choice to differentiate the person, before remembering who they ‘are’, as the name of the persona, Rosa, and the ‘original’ soul as Sam. Because of this, we are forced to ask exactly what the lines are between them. Also, how do we reconcile our past lives? And take that wisdom into the future? From this perspective alone it was a really intriguing idea, that also subtly asks us what we would do if we were in that situation.
One of the things I was disappointed in was the lack of promise. Reincarnation poses so many possibilities. You could reincarnate as another gender for example, and The Flooding does not take this opportunity. However, realizing that this is maybe just not the direction the story goes in, I put that point aside. I was also disappointed in the characterization of Sam. She is extremely focused on her mission and purpose, but I felt like I didn’t really know her. I had no clue of her dislikes and who she was as a person.
Now perhaps this is supposed to reflect that for the most part of the novel, Sam/Rosa is confused about who she is. Also, we keep getting fragments of her past lives, so there’s that. But it just kept me from being able to connect, emotionally, to her as a person, aside from her self-discovery. The same cannot be said for Tammuz, a side character, who I basically instantly liked and could connect to. He is my favorite by far, but there are other side characters who are briefly introduced and who I would love to read about in more detail.
Besides that, I enjoyed the incredibly twisty and convoluted plot. There is more at stake here, going on behind the scenes, that is the result of roughly four thousand years of secret societies. As the plot goes on, we are only drawn deeper into the world of reincarnated souls and deeper into the mystery. (Also, I loved that there were scenes in the American Museum of Natural History in NY, one of my favorite places in the world!)
Despite the drawbacks, I am very interested in a sequel and what would happen, because by the end, I was thoroughly invested in the plot. There are more consequences in the story that would affect even us and this book does a great job at drawing us quickly into the whirlwind of activity.
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Kindle Scout.
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If you like reincarnation, then check out my review of Bender.