The Returned Review
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It’s been forty years since Nathan Jones returned from the jungles of South America, where the Amazon rainforest nearly claimed his life. The expedition left him with emotional injuries that’ll never heal and scars that run deep. In order to leave behind a record of the trip, he has to open up old wounds and return to a ruthless situation, if only in his mind.

Nathan, along with his screw-up brother, Mark, packs up and heads to South America with their geochemistry professor on a prospecting expedition. Few people travel into the Amazon and make it back, but that won’t stop Nathan. Not long into the trip, things began to go horribly wrong, and they find themselves hoping to survive as they bushwhack their way through the jungle.

Facing a hostile environment filled with poisonous snakes and all manners of ill-tempered creatures—including cannibalistic tribes—Nathan learns to be quick-witted and resourceful. As he travels deep into the dark reaches of the human soul, where depravity often lurks, he’s determined to make it back to civilization, no matter what it takes, short of sacrificing his team members.

The Returned is just as much psychological horror as it is visual horror. When faced with brutal situations, a man’s true character pops to the surface. Most become self-preservationists who subscribe to the old “every man for himself” adage. Would you stay behind with an injured friend, knowing it could mean your death?

Nathan Jones’s strength of character is astounding. Faced with unimaginable terror and hopelessness, he simply refuses to give up. This is the type of man that you’ll want with you if you ever get the psychotic urge to take a vacation deep in the Amazon rainforests, where those insanely huge snakes slither around.

Deep down, we all have the potential to be nothing more than savages, and Dr. Laurence Brown brings that to the forefront in all its ugly glory in The Returned. Everyone has the basic instinct to survive, which is a useful trait, but a few take it to the extreme, trampling over anyone who gets in the way of that survival. There’s no better place to test this than the aggressive and untamed environment of the jungle.

Sharp, heart-thumping suspense will carry readers through the story from beginning to end, not allowing them to catch their breath, even for a second or two. The author drops you into the story where the action crashes all around you, drawing you ever deeper into a horrifying plot of survival that’ll you’ll feel, see, and hear with extreme vividness. When it all ends, you’ll feel as if you’ve returned from the jungle, along with the characters.

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