Reviver: Revivers. Able to wake the recently dead, and let them bear witness to their own demise. Twelve years after the first reviver came to light, they have become accepted by an uneasy public. The testimony of the dead is permitted in courtrooms across the world. Forensic revival is a routine part of police investigation. In the United States, that responsibility falls to the Forensic Revival Service.
Despite his troubled past, Jonah Miller is one of their best. But while reviving the victim of a brutal murder, he encounters a terrifying presence. Something is watching. Waiting. His superiors tell him it was only in his mind, a product of stress. Jonah is not so certain. Then Daniel Harker, the first journalist to bring revival to public attention, is murdered, and Jonah finds himself getting dragged into the hunt for answers. Working with Harker’s daughter Annabel, he becomes determined to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
Soon they uncover long-hidden truths that call into doubt everything Jonah stands for, and reveal a threat that if not stopped in time, will put all of humanity in danger …-Goodreads Synopsis
Holy crap, this novel was good! I mean, I’ve had books disturb me before, but it’s generally been because of behavior of the characters. Reviver disturbed me based on premise and then built out from there. Bringing the dead back to life, just long enough to ask them a few questions, and then problems that can arise from that. And problems definitely do arise from that. If you’re familiar with the first episode of Torchwood, the Revivers do something very similar to what that freaky metal hand thing did. It can bring the dead back to life, but never for very long, and in forensic pathology it’s used to ascertain who killed the person or whatnot. Seth Patrick did wonderful things with this book. I mean, he set the tone immediately and the atmosphere never let up!
The main character, Jonah, for some reason quickly morphed into a younger Christopher Eccleston in my head. Young dude, but not too young, vaguely stand-offish and withdrawn, but with a wonderful heart, he’s a character that is very easy to care for. He’s surrounded by people that also care for him, and do their best to make sure he’s taken care of. He needs that. He’s one of the strongest Revivers out there, but pushes himself way too hard. He’s not perfect, though. He’s just a wonderfully well-developed character that was intensely engaging.
Scariest line in the whole book:
It came from the dark and talked to them. – Reviver, Seth Patrick
I had just finished reading that line and was looking for a pad and pen to write it down with when Miss L snuck into the living-room in her feetie jams and simply said “It’s time for you to read, mom.” I think I jumped hard enough at the unexpected voice that I achieved air-time. That is how good Patrick is at keeping the tension up. (We’ll ignore the fact that I’m also a certified wuss right now.)
There was another line that made me stop what I was doing and google it. It’s not quite right in the book, but it is an actual thing. I’m quite glad it’s an actual thing. Explains my morbid sense of humor at times.
“There’s a phrase for it. Incongruity of (a)ffect. It means when things get really f*cked up, you grow an equally twisted sense of humor. – Reviver, Seth Patrick
Then there was this gem that I wholeheartedly agree with
“There’s a saying that for good people to do evil things, it takes religion. But I reckon national security does the job just as well.” – Reviver, Seth Patrick
Reviver never needed reviving. It never even floundered. Much like other great books I’ve read, including The Martian and Sorrow’s Point, once I started it, I was hooked. Completely. I found myself slowing down my reading as I neared the end. Half in fear that Patrick would screw it up somehow, half in reluctance to have it end. This book put me in a book coma. I can’t even think about reading another non-kids’ book for a while yet. From the first page until the last, Reviver will keep you entombed within it, scared to turn off the lights, scared to go to sleep at night because you know it’ll haunt your dreams.
Reviver is the best horror-mystery cross I’ve ever read, and on my very, very short list of best books ever read, period. It’s truly a must read.