If you’re looking for something new to get into this year, and have a mind for supernatural mayhem with a twist, look no further than The Returners, the new book from up-and-coming author Lee T. Davis. Sporting heavy inspirations from the world of Japanese anime, live-action special effects, high-flying Hong Kong action, and Hollywood sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, this tale of otherworldly antiheroes is not to be missed.
As the official blurb states, 2019’s The Returners (not to be confused with an older, unrelated release of the same name) gives the spotlight to uncommon protagonists for the action/adventure genre. And that’s especially true if we’re only counting stories that aren’t a prequel, a sequel, a midquel, any-other-kinda-quel, or anything based on an existing property to begin with. It takes the unsung stars and refuses to shut up about them.
In this new fantasy universe, empowered warriors face inhuman monsters on a grand scale, raising the stakes as the epic story unfolds across an immersive journey. This one’s not a breezy afternoon filler read, folks. You’ll be in it for a minute, and Davis hopes that will be one of its biggest draws. Its 610-page length is there to accommodate that huge cast of characters, who are growing and expanding as we go, often in ways you might not expect. And when the protagonists are just as vital as the wild battles they find themselves in, it’s not hard to see where all that page space goes.
It’s also not a book for those stuck on the normal storytelling styles. The Returners doesn’t mind confusing you for a few pages before letting you catch up to where it wants your head to be at. It’s trippy and weird in spots, but then you turn another page and suddenly realize you just got a new clue to something huge while they were distracting you with all the pretty colors. Swinging wildly from action, to drama, to spurts of comedy or romance, to creepy thriller twists, then back to clashing swords and adventure, there’s a little something for almost any anime, tokusatsu, or superhero enthusiast.
Yet, at the end of the day, when all the explosions have gone off and the dust settles, what matters most for Davis is the characters and the stories that he hopes will resonate with a variety of readers regardless of personal circumstance or background. If you like a depthy read and crazy supernatural excitement, The Returners may be your next new favorite thing.
Teen runaway Chris Galanos’ life is flipped upside down when he meets Gavin Lane, a young man with the power to reshape reality around him as easily as snapping his fingers. Soon, the modern world Chris thought he knew so well is revealed as only a slice of a much grander landscape, full of frightening mystical creatures and dangers around every corner, carefully hidden away by ancient supernatural forces.
To discover the truth behind a shocking chapter in his past, Chris must delve deeper into this newly-uncovered world, full of peril and intrigue, with no guarantee that he will come out of it alive. As he grows closer (perhaps dangerously so) to an unusual friend whose ways are increasingly more disturbing than reassuring, the journey stretching out before him may not be one he’s truly prepared to follow to its inevitable end, which, as it turns out, may not be the end at all.
Don’t curse them by calling them heroes. They are the Returners.
The Returners is available to own now.