Wednesday, January 8, 2014

**Review ~ Return ~ J.A. Huss**

Return by J.A. Huss
I Am Just/Not Junco #5
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 Beautiful Worms!!

Three years ago Junco Coot was an insane sniper. Three weeks ago she was a prisoner being tortured in a morph tank. Three days ago she was nothing but billions of molecules floating in a sea of darkness.

Today, Junco Coot is the key to saving or ending the world.

Three years ago Raubtier Aves was the captain of the Avian Military. Three weeks ago he was trying to forget Junco ever existed. Three days ago he was given a gift of eternal salvation.

Today, he will give that gift back.

The Angels are here, the end is coming, the Demons have been released and Lucan has a past that ties it all together. Seven thousand years of waiting for revenge is over and there’s just one more question that needs to be answered?

Who will live and who will die?

Holy sh!t! I think I begin most of my Junco reviews with this sentiment- but this being the 'end' of this series, they carry even more weight. Return is the culmination of Junco's journey, where all is illuminated. It was quite the ride! I adore these characters, with their flaws and all. As this series as progressed, it's become more than just Junco's story - maybe it always was. I was rather terrified about how it all would end. Ms. Huss promised me 'the light'...but would our definitions of what that 'light' looked like correlate?

Return is told from multiple POVs - Junco, Tier, Lucan, Ashur, and Annun. This was a brilliant composition, really, as it reinforced the fact that not a single person, save Lucan, really knew what was going on. And even he didn't know how it would end because everything hinged on whether or not Junco would follow her last order. As the Angels arrived, the Seven Siblings rose, and everyone took their places on the gameboard -- the suspense had me tightly gripping my kindle. Junco, and her cohorts had all been through so much. Could they keep the faith?

An element I truly appreciated Ms. Huss granting was the backstory for Lucan. Getting to witness how it all began - seeing Aesin, Lucan's father, in all his sadistic glory, meeting Crage and Ea - was so enlightening. They are all High Order beings and they are all so narcissistic. Their endgame was most important and any collateral damage was of little concern to them.

One quite in particular really summed up this book, and the series really, for me...
"Lucan has placed us like actors on the stage. He's got us coming and going in so many different directions, it's impossible to figure out what's true and what's not." Loc 2896
I'm not going to go into detail on the action in the story - it's the Angel Apocalypse, after all. I will tell you I was still guessing at the end. I'm sure Lucan would be disappointed in my lack of faith in him. He actually was always truthful and his cunning knew no bounds.

In Return, we see many players and they all have a role on the end-of-the-world stage -- some little parts, some large. No one knew how it all would end, least of all me. Ms. Huss had me giggling, crying, gasping, as it all unfolded -- as secrets were slowly and carefully revealed. And in the end, I was, as Junco was, left feeling more than satisfied. I am happy.

I've said before that I love the mythology Ms. Huss incorporates into Junco's story. She does a tremendous job of weaving it all together. And the world-building is over the course of this series has been phenomenal. Ms. Huss makes mention, in her 'end of book shit', the fact that this story isn't new, and that's true. It's a story told throughout history, in many different countries, cultures, and religions. I thoroughly enjoyed her different perspective on this old story.

If you haven't read this series yet, I highly, highly recommend it. It was a read outside of my comfort zone but I've been ecstatic over finding Junco and Ms. Huss. 

I was more than thrilled when I got to the end and read that Ms. Huss is writing a spin-off of this series. It'll be set in Junco's world, 300 years after the end of Return. It's titled The Twine, and I am eagerly awaiting it's release. :)


  1. Yet another series I still haven't started. I have the first (or maybe the first 2?) books on my kindle already, but I'm trying to read some more ARCs before I start reading books I've bought. And I have some amazing ones, so I'm happy.

    I need to stay away from Netgalley and Edelweiss for a while, I think, but it's such a great feeling when I get approved for a book that isn't released yet, and that I really want to read...

    Thanks for your great review, Brandee - I'm pushing this upwards on the TBR :)

    Have a wonderful Wednesday! *hugs*

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  2. You are killing me! These books sound so good and I know you really love this author. Gahhh I need more hours in the day so I can read ALL THE BOOKS! Great review.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

  3. It's so awesome when a series ender completely blows you away. I love how much you love Huss.
    Great review, Brandee!

  4. Everyone is mad raving about this author! I need to know what is up?!

  5. I am so happy that it ended with five beautiful worms! I have book 2 waiting for me, now if my eyes weren't so tired and I could read more than a few pages a day...

  6. Ok I didn't read the whole review because (as you know) I have yet to star the series. But any review that starts off "holy shit!" is one the tells me to get my butt in gear and read the series! I love that the characters are so flawed, that's always a favorite for me in books. Crap, why don't I have more time!?!?


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??