This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
The Rider by Charles Simpson is an interesting book that explores the themes of life, death, and rebirth, a narrative with a strong appeal to readers who enjoy reincarnation and fans of Franz Kafka. Sixty-five-year-old Janusz Zalewski dies happily in 1915, and as he dies, he is certain of only one thing: reuniting with the love of his life. Nothing can be more exciting. After all, he’s lived a good life and has always believed in God. But he is shocked when he wakes up in the body of a newborn. He has memories of his previous life intact. Follow his adventures as he experiences death again and is reborn into another body, never forgetting anything about his past. Can he really die and move on to eternity? Why can’t he forget about his past lives and start from zero?
The Rider is a well-imagined work and the protagonist is an unusual character who goes through different existences, plagued by the fact that his memories of past lives stay with him. The psychological conflict has depth and the pathos is strong, as is the author’s exploration of both the psyche and the humanity of the protagonist. The story asks very powerful questions and provokes readers to consider alternatives to the fabled idea of heaven and eternity. What if life is transformed in other ways than what popular tradition tells us? Charles Simpson’s book is imaginative and I enjoyed the handling of character. It is deft and the overall writing is balanced. I found myself worrying about the protagonist and the suspense is so strong that it keeps the reader turning the pages, wanting to know what will happen to Janusz. The Rider is a novel that is nuanced, featuring strong existential and spiritual themes, and a protagonist that becomes a strong question in the minds of readers. I found myself asking: “What if the end leads to where I have never expected it would?”