Insightful Series, DEJA NEW by Mary Janice Davidson

Deja New

DEJA NEW audio coverInsighter Series, Book 2
By: MaryJanice Davidson
Narrated by: Nancy Wu
Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 11-07-17
Language: English
Publisher: Recorded Books

I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


From the author of the New York Times best-selling Undead novels comes a delightfully addictive new series about past lives and bad habits.

It’s been less than two months since her mother was murdered, and already Insighter Leah Nazir is embroiled in more drama. While delighted that her relationship with Archer is being taken to the next level, this is not how she wanted to meet his family. An unexpected call from Naya, Archer’s cousin and another Insighter, draws the couple to Brewster, Massachusetts, to investigate Naya’s father’s decades-old murder – by Archer’s father no less!

But every step of the way, Leah and Archer face new roadblocks from unpredictable quarters, and they’re starting to think someone doesn’t want them to solve the family murder.


My Take Oblong Shaped


I was interested in this book because I enjoyed the begging of the Queen Betsy series by the same author but felt the last few books really lost their cohesion.  But, MJD’s casual flair was appealing as long as the story didn’t go off the rails.

I think the confusion I felt at the beginning of this is partly because the second in the series. But not entirely as what initially put me off — the start of the first chapter — had little to do with the previous book (which I did not read/listen to) as stated in the above synopsis.  There were so many characters; and it felt as if they were speaking in riddles. And, the characters were unruly, cacophonous and speaking of world building perhaps explained in the first book. That can be confusing in print, but in audio,…Gah!

Then, as the story unfolded, I became more interested and understood a little more.  The story is essentially a familial murder mystery, not necessarily a cozy one, involving paranormal elements and romance.  But it is also a family saga, and about duty, responsibility and forgiveness. And, then there is a point when forgiveness is incredibly hard.

In this world, some people can read others’ past lives through touch. This is expanded on through the use of a medication and regression.

Another confusing aspect of the book, exacerbated by the format, is the insertion of past lives and deaths, sometimes historical, in the story.  Some are a little more gory, although Davidson does a reasonable job keeping it less terrifying.

I thought the mystery’s resolution was a little obvious, but there were several twists that occurred that kept it interesting. I thought the story didn’t really focus on the character identified as the main character, Leah, except as a catalyst. Instead she plays second fiddle to Naya, Archer’s cousin. This could be an interesting way to do a series, that is, having the main character, Leah, help the other characters whose story each new book reveals.
Naya, this book’s main character is delightfully quirky and super responsible.

Leah and Archer have some surprises, some pleasant, some strange.

I think the book would have worked better for me in print because of the number of characters, along with the historical tidbits, and the new world were still confusing, to some degree, even at the end of the book.

The narrator was new to me and had a husky but effervescent voice. I thought some of the characters sounded the same; adding to the confusion.

I think I am interested in this new world and this new world and very strange family. Will it stay confusing, will the  Leah or will the new characters be the focus? What will happen between Leah and Archer?  I will come back, but I think I will read it instead of listening.

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