With an original concept and a fast-paced, exciting and most importantly spine-tingling story, Seth Patrick’s The Reviver is a strong horror début that kept me devouring every last word until the final page.
Jonah Miller is a Reviver, working for the FRS (Forensic Revival Service) as a forensic reviver. Revival is a means of restoring the consciousness of the recently deceased for a brief time in order to firstly, give closure to the grieving families in the case of private revivals, and secondly, in the case of forensic revivals, to question the victims of violent crimes as a means of identifying their attackers. During a routine revival, Jonah feels a dark and evil presence which he just can’t shake. His colleagues tell him it is simply overwork, but when a journalist who was instrumental in the public acceptance of revival is found dead, Jonah finds himself on a hunt for the truth and the reasons behind his so-called hallucinations.
The plot of The Reviver is strong, and it is this plot which props this novel up. Seth Patrick’s writing is clunky in places and his moods don’t quite hit their mark, but the plot is so well crafted and immersive that a few pages in these small failings cease to matter. The characters are perfectly realised and they fell like old friends in no time.
What most impressed me were Patrick’s’ character interactions. They felt natural and nothing seemed out of place. Any odd behaviours were quickly explained in a way which made them understandable, and personal relationships were developed to increase characterisation rather than drive the plot and distract from the central premise.
While there were some moments I wish had been dwelt on in greater detail, the overall pace is wonderful. The main antagonist could have had a touch more characterisation and motive, as could the elusive ‘unity’ project, however, I’m lead to believe this is potentially a trilogy, so I hope that this is all still to come.
Seth Patrick’s novel stands well alone and was a simply great read. I enjoyed every second of it, and can’t wait for the rest.