Review: Reviver

ReviverBy Seth Patrick

Macmillan, out now

Revivers can speak briefly to the dead after they have passed on – but what else waits in the darkness?

Seth Patrick’s novel may initially remind you of early episodes of Torchwood, with talk of people being brought back from the dead and something “out there” that’s approaching. However once it gets going, it’s a mix of Robin Cook’s medical thrillers, a Robert Ludlum-esque conspiracy, and some straightforward apocalyptic horror (if such a thing exists), with a few nods to W.B. Yeats.

Patrick has clearly thought through the back story for his revivers, who are able to effectively point the finger at their killers, where appropriate, and some of the angles you may think of as you’re reading the background become key later on. The link between the reviver and the revived is not as simple as it first appears, and how that works is central to the novel.

Jonah Miller and his oddly named friend Never are a good solid core for the novel, around whom the other events spiral. Patrick occasionally telegraphs some of the shocks, but there are sufficient surprises to keep the reader engrossed. Sufficient loose ends remain for a sequel – and I won’t be at all surprised to see the rights to this snapped up for a TV series.

Verdict: An intriguing premise sets up a smart novel. 8/10

Paul Simpson

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