Jan 16, 2016

Reviver (1) - Seth Patrick

2013, first book of Irish author Seth Patrick trilogy. It introduces a context where a selected group of individuals resides and whose particular skill is to resuscitate people who have recently passed away, allowing the closest relatives to bid a last farewell; and in homicide cases let the victim provide key information to lead the authorities to the capture of the offender.

The main character, Jonah Miller is the reviver; the main element of the Central Forensic Revival Service of the FBI, and as such he is reserved for the most complex resuscitation cases. During one of the revivals Jonah was in charge he notices with horror the presence of a stranger who stared at him through the eyes of the victim, letting him know that there is another world inhabited by beings living beyond death and only with subjects like Jonah they can make contact.
My score:

Jonah then is chosen to execute Daniel Harker’s resuscitation, and here is where the story takes place. After the revival, Daniel establishes a direct contact with the reviver and step by step guide him to dismantle an organization that aims to bring to this world the evil beings trying to break into our dimension.

As soon as I heard of this book I enthusiastically rush out to read it! It was my favorite kind of reading: Gothic, with a paranormal hint, an argument that attempts to explain what happens after death and an uncanny picture on the cover; in conclusion, all these facts made me believe this book would shortly become one of my favorites. You only need to open the book on the first page to get immersed in the thrilling scene of the first resuscitation, so any doubt you might have regarding the book will vanish.

However, as I was getting further in the reading, it dawned on me, to my deepest disappointment that the story does not revolve around the paranormal factor, nor the resuscitation per se, not even in the strange beings who live beyond death; but instead around merely technical and less relevant details (from my point of view) that surround the central plot. This is; the endless descriptions of the required instruments that all revivers and their teams should use to carry out each revival; medication that ought to be administered to the revivers after having practiced a revival since they bring along unusual consequences like the remnants which demand special medical treatment and whose components, combinations and side effects entailed a deep dissertation from the part of the writer. Consequently, the bringing-to-life scenes are scarce in relation to other information shown in the book.

Not to mention the endless sessions provided by the author with historical background data concerning the emergence of the Forensic Revival Service, they are quite frankly unbearable. Too often, the story beats around the bush and loses its point which turns the reading into a true hassle. I often wondered: What does this have to do with the promising synopsis I read on the cover?

Certainly the author boasts a knack for describing processes, records, all kinds of data, but ... he displays such a redundant style, that is to say the form, in which in my opinion, he makes the mistake of overlooking the substance (the central argument), the reasons which led the reader to dive into the book in the first place. Perhaps if the work had been presented to the reader under another category the book could have accomplished its mission and would’ve been a great piece of work, but the funeral and paranormal element was simply resorted to merely as an advertising hook.

Well, if at first I could not wait to read the complete saga, now, after reading the first book I frankly doubt of having enough enthusiasm to read the second part, it won’t surely happen anytime soon.

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