REVIVER by Seth Patrick [Book Review]


REVIVER by Seth Patrick
First published June 2013

REVIVER is set in a non-too distant future where a few hundred people in the world have developed revival skills – an ability to awaken and speak to the dead for a short period of time. These skilled indivduals, called Revivers, use their abilities privately, to comfort bereaved family members who wish to say goodbye to their loved ones, or work for public services such as the FRS, the Forensic Revival Services, to awaken the dead who’ve been murdered or died in questionable circumstances, to get answers that may help track down the culprit.

Jonah Miller is one of the finest revivers around. Working for the Richmond branch of FRS, he’s used to dealing with some of the most horrific murders you can imagine. But when one revival takes a strange, impossible turn, Jonah begins to suspect something dark, something evil is watching him.

When successful writer, Daniel Harker, who first broke the news of the existence and phenomena of Revival, is found dead, Jonah teams up with Daniel’s daughter, Annabel Harker, and his revival technician and best friend, Rob ‘Never’ Geary, to find the culprits. However, the trio soon uncover some long-hidden truths that could be a threat to all mankind…

By day, first time author Seth Patrick is a games developer, working on mammoth videogame titles for Sega such as Total War: Rome 2, but it is clear from his first novel, REVIVER, that he has a gift when it comes to storytelling.

REVIVER is the my kind of story – simple to read with a fascinating, thought-provoking storyline, with likable and dislikable characters, oozing to the brim with their own personalities. None of the dialogue feels forced with realistic conversations between the characters and plenty of time spent developing them and their backstories. Patrick knows how to get the balance just right and the way in which he describes the scene gave me plenty to imagine in my own head.

Once I picked up the book, I was hooked. The opening chapter is bloody and conjures visions of disturbing violence. Lead character Jonah Miller must perform a revival on Alice Decker who’d been brutally murdered in her office. It is this opening chapter, that kick-starts the story with a bang, and rather than a throwaway incident, the revival is actually very important to the story’s plot.

Seth Patrick goes into detail of the revivals and the events themselves are very interesting to read about. Patrick quickly establishes how the revivals work and their set up, which leads the reader to eagerly read on as to what happened to the victim and what the reawakened body will say. Some might think it’s morbid, like slowing down in a vehicle to see a car crash on the road, but our intrigue with death and mortality is quite compulsive. You only need to look at shows such as Crimewatch which is both informative yet gripping, despite the terrible crimes that are documented. The revivals are like a character of their own, each as engrossing as the next. Not only do they bring characters together, but also act as key events to forward the story.

As I mentioned earlier, the book doesn’t bamboozle with complicated words that need a dictionary to be used as a reference. Instead, the use of vocabularly is smart-casual, if I was comparing it to clothing, and an absolute joy to read. There’s a splash of humour throughout, mostly provided by Never Geary, and a hint of romance, but most of the story concentrates on the revival and this disturbing darkness that Jonah feels he’s uncovered.

Having sold the film rights to Legendary Pictures, creators of the recent Superman movie Man of Steel, REVIVER will be hitting the silver screen sometime in the near future. Films aren’t always as faithful or detailed as the book, so I suggest you get your mitts on a copy as soon as possible and enter the world of revival before the arrival of the film adaptation.

If you love supernatural thrillers, with a sprinkle of crime, horror and mystery and a dose of HP Lovecraft, then REVIVER is a must-read book to add to your collection.
A mega hit of a debut novel.

Rating: ★★★★★

Previously released on hardback and ebook, Reviver will make its paperback debut on Thursday 16th January 2014 and is available from Amazon. The paperback version of Reviver has been re-titled to THE REVIVER and also features a short story called ‘The Death of Never Geary Will Be Televised’, which was only previously available with the eBook. The short story is 15 pages long and is an excellent addition to the main novel that gives another glimpse into the working day at the FRS, something which gripped me when reading the main story, as well as a little backstory on Never. Roll on the sequel!

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About Bat 4447 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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