DiscoverMagical Realism

Dying to Return

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Worth reading 😎

A good follow-up novel in the Emi Watson series. Full of fun characters & events, but with a less spectacular ending than I was hoping for.

3.5 stars.


The follow up to her The Magic in Me, Kelly Zimmer's Dying to Return is a good continuation of the Emi Watson series. The writing remains fun, light, and easy to read. Her primary characters are a little less developed in this novel, owing partially to the expectation that most readers will have already established some knowledge of them from the previous work. However, there is some introductory material for readers who are not familiar with the series and this gives a good foundation for the story without being overbearing for existing readers.


The writing is entertaining and a bit flippant with clear establishment of unique personalities in her characters. There is a lot going on in the plot, with several interconnected pieces taking place through the progression of the book. The presence of the magical realism component is still very entertaining and Zimmer continues to explore the possibilities of this particular plot device. I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of the Dave Davis plot line and hope to see more of this character in the future.


While I enjoyed the read of this follow up and found the plot devices entertaining, there admittedly wasn't the same encompassing feeling that came with the first novel. The events of the first 2/3 were very consistent with what I was expecting and I was wrapped up enough the narrative to finish the book in a very short time. However, I was a bit let down with the last 1/3. There seemed to be a lot less suspense and buildup to this section. The urgency of reading that I had felt in so many of the other portions of the story didn't feel present. Though still an enjoyable section to read, I wanted more from the conclusion. Had this piece of the story been in an earlier portion of the book, there would have been no complaint. I simply wanted a more heightened, suspenseful, and action-filled section to end the novel.


Overall, I was still very happy with Dying to Return and enjoyed my time with the book. I will continue to read the series should additional novels be released. Though I don't recommend the sequel as much as the original novel, this would still be an enjoyable beach or travel read.

Reviewed by

I am a reader, mother, & farmsteader. I live in rural Minnesota on a small farm where we raise beef cattle & hogs. I am a lifelong bibliophile & enjoy finding new books & authors to love. I can be found at my blog (Erratic Project Junkie) or on most social media under the handle @ErraticElle.

Chapter One

About the author

Kelly Zimmer is the pen name of Deborah Bacom, a fugitive from the corporate world. Deborah lives in Florida with her husband and takes full advantage of the year-round sunshine. When not working on the Emi Watson series, she enjoys crafting thrilling, short stories. view profile

Published on October 11, 2019

70000 words

Genre: Magical Realism

Reviewed by