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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime thriller mixed with horror
`Reviver' is a crime thriller mixed with horror. The protagonist, Jonah Miller' is one of a select group of people who can revive the dead and speak to them. The revival only lasts for a short time but it means that grieving relatives can have the chance to say goodbye and it is also a useful addition to forensic investigations, after all what could be better than asking...
Published 19 months ago by I Readalot

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth struggling through the slow start for...
Jonah Miller works as a forensic reviver when one day, without any warning, after the routine revival of a murder victim, the corpse reanimates and tells him that 'they' can see him. Who or what are 'they', where are they talking from, and what do they want? Jonah suffered a nervous breakdown two years ago, and has been overworked recently, so everyone thinks he is just...
Published 17 months ago by AyJay


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime thriller mixed with horror, 6 May 2013
By 
I Readalot (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reviver (Hardcover)
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`Reviver' is a crime thriller mixed with horror. The protagonist, Jonah Miller' is one of a select group of people who can revive the dead and speak to them. The revival only lasts for a short time but it means that grieving relatives can have the chance to say goodbye and it is also a useful addition to forensic investigations, after all what could be better than asking the victim who killed them? Jonah works for the Forensic Revival Service and he has some harrowing experiences. Revival has its opponents, not least in the guise of the `Afterlifers' but it has become generally accepted and, with a few exceptions, anyone who can afford it will make provision to be revived. Of course all is not quite what it seems and there is something out there that threatens all of humanity.

The premise of reviving the dead may not be original and I can hear many people thinking of the early episodes of `Torchwood' when something similar occurs. However according to Patrick's blog he came up with the idea back in 2004 and was inspired by 2 stories by Edgar Alan Poe, `The Facts of the Case of M Valdemar' and `The Murders in the Rue Morgue'. In any case Patrick takes this story in a completely different direction.

Overall it is a fast paced and enjoyable thriller, Patrick does not spend a lot of time with excess descriptions but he has a story to tell and he does it well and I am look forward to the 2nd novel in the series. He has a day job as a computer game developer and it is not surprising that at times the plot does remind me of some of the games my son has played over the years, but that is not intended as a criticism as modern games can have great plots. Definitely recommended for fans of Justin Cronin's novels `The Passage' and `The Twelve'. Incidentally, his blog makes for interesting and fun reading.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary thriller with strong supernatural elements., 22 April 2013
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reviver (Hardcover)
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Contemporary thriller with supernatural elements.

The novel deals with a group of special people who can 'revive' the dead but only for a short period of time. A strong concept that opens up the plot to any amount of twists and turns. Imagine what you could do with that type of skill? Interview murder victims, heal bereaved families, the list is endless. Several different scenarios are explored during the novel which adds a plenty of texture and helps build the mystery. The author raises many questions about morality and death. Should we disturb the dead and bring them back to suffer, even for a few seconds, if it means we acquire the information we're after?. What would happen to the world if we could prove life after death?. (I'm not telling you - read the book!).

The Reviver's aren't psychic. There's a critical difference. A Reviver has the ability to tune into the dead but; they re-animate the physical body in order to gather information. When you consider how many ways there are for a person to die you'll not be too surprised by the visceral descriptions of reanimation. When they arrive they're dark and gory but also crucial to the plot and written with a light and clever hand. It's safe to say that gruesome is kept to a minimum in order to move the plot along.

Reviver has the best opening chapter of any book I've read recently and it drew me in with it's sinister, grisly detail and sense of threat. Extremely good.

I've given 5* purely because there's some great originality and thought gone into constructing this novel and the subject's intriguing. If I'm being totally honest I'd admit there are bumpy parts that aren't as good as the opening scenario and, at approx. 410 pages, Reviver isn't a fast read. This is the first novel in a trilogy and geared towards setting the scene for the sequel. There's a lot of background information and character development. Seth Patrick has a long way to go with this trilogy and he's in no rush to get there.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No wonder LEGENDARY has snapped up the film rights!!!, 17 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Reviver (Hardcover)
This book had me hook line and sinker from the first chapter. You're dropped straight in at the creepy deep end with a gritty visceral revival of a murder victim. You finish the first chapter with a hair raising "We see you" from something else which is lurking in the beyond! I thought this debut had it all, I LOVE the way it manages to deftly stride several genre from thriller to crime, from Sci-Fi to horror, but never delves too deeply into any that it would put off potential readers, or alienate lovers of a specific category. The way Patrick brings a sense of everyday normality and credence for Revival to his world; I for one believed in revival, in it's acceptance as a forensic tool, as a means to say a final goodbye to those we love. I DEFINITELY want a revival clause in my insurance policy, particularly if Jonah and Never are doing the Reviving ;) I also loved that this author appeared to have spent a lot of time and research getting the science right, at least I was convinced; the forensic techniques, drugs, scans, side effects, it all had me believing, unlike some CSI type stories, which seem to lack any basis in reality. So a thriller/horror, crime/Sci-Fi which I think will appeal to a HUGE range of readers, mainly because it's clever, interesting, well written, has main characters you invest in and care about, and above all is HUGE FUN to read! This is surely going to be MASSIVE! Bring on the sequel asap!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth struggling through the slow start for..., 3 July 2013
By 
AyJay (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reviver (Hardcover)
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Jonah Miller works as a forensic reviver when one day, without any warning, after the routine revival of a murder victim, the corpse reanimates and tells him that 'they' can see him. Who or what are 'they', where are they talking from, and what do they want? Jonah suffered a nervous breakdown two years ago, and has been overworked recently, so everyone thinks he is just tired, stressed and experiencing hallucinations as a result.

Annabel Harker is looking for her missing father, Daniel. The police think the wealthy journalist and author is being held and forced to withdraw his money a little at a time for his abductor. Is it really that simple, and is it pure coincidence that Daniel was the journalist who exposed revival to the world?

It won't be long before Jonah's and Annabel's worlds collide, in an explosive mix of betrayal, murder, and overworldly evil...

***

The first part of REVIVER is spent introducing the characters and looking into the history of revival, as well as the studies of the phenomenon and the businesses that eventually sprang up around it. Admittedly I found the pace of this part of the story slow, and I was even a bit tempted to just give up, but I can now say that I'm glad I persevered with it as once I made it past those first few chapters I was hooked: I love a old-school creepy thriller, and I found the rich details of the characters emotions and thought processes they go through fascinating. But yeah, if you're looking for something faster paced, with jumps and scares on every other page I'd look elsewhere.

I wonder if REVIVER is going to become a series? The author is clearly talented and has formed a unique world to base a series in, and future books probably wouldn't suffer from the pacing issues that this book has. I think that this is someone to watch, as I'm definitely interested in his future output.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Voices from beyond, 21 April 2013
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reviver (Hardcover)
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A novel with elements of both crime thriller and the supernatural. It's the first in a trilogy. It runs for four hundred and nine pages. And is divided into thirty eight chapters plus an epilogue.

A small amount of strong language plus a handful of gruesome moments do mean it's best suited for adult readers only.

It's far more thriller than horror though, so fans of gruesome moments may not get what they're looking for here.

It's also the best kind of speculative fiction, because it considers what the world might be like if there was a big change to a certain aspect of the way we live. And forces the reader the confront the moral questions which result from that.

You are introduced to said aspect via a superb opening line, which tells us that main character Jonah Miller can talk to the dead.

He's a reviver. One of a select group of people who can touch dead bodies - of the recently deceased- and bring them back. Not for too long. But it's very useful if they've been murdered and you want to find who did it.

We see him at work in the opening chapter, which is very readable and swiftly fills in a lot of the details of the way all this works. And throws in some plot also. Because the corpse says something strange to him. And when it does, it's not the revived victim who is speaking.

You are then introduced in the next chapter to the journalist who first brought revival to the world's attention. A chapter that as a result does give some very good exposition about the way the world of the book works. And has a ending that will grab.

The narrative then continues as Jonah tries to live his life and do his job. But what happened in the first chapter is never far away from his attention. Forced to help in a murder investigation, he and a relative of the victim begin to discover some secrets about revivers. All of which leads to danger for the entire human race....

The first hundred pages of this do pull you along, and introduce you to Jonah and the details of his world quite nicely. But there isn't a lot to him as a character at first, and he does take a while to develop. It's all pretty readable and involving though. There's a fair bit of flashback in the next two hundred pages and it does jump into these scenes sometimes in a rather abrupt manner that can leave you momentarily confused. Yet it remains readable as you do want to know where the story is going and how things will develop.

It is worth hanging on through this whole middle section because by the time the answers come in the final quarter, they are pretty good. Especially the first big reveal. What happens next does have some delightfully creepy moments, and all leads to a decent resolution.

Jonah has developed well as a character by then, and you do feel quite pleased to have spent this time reading about him. The narrative is pretty much self contained, meaning if things ended with the end of the final chapter, it would feel as if you'd had a good amount of closure. But the epilogue makes it one of those books that still leaves enough open for more story for future volumes.

Which on the basis of this might be worth a look. The film rights have apparently already been sold, and this does have a good cinematic feel to it. A decent read and well worth a look if you like this kind of thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Reviving needed, 23 July 2013
By 
kehs (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reviver (Hardcover)
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I couldn't get to grips with this book. The plot is a brilliant idea but I feel it's been written with filming in mind. There are so many explanations and details given that they get in the way of the story. However, without all these details it would be difficult to understand the whys and wherefores. Every time the story took off along came more background information. After reading this book I was the one the needed reviving!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Waking the Dead, 9 July 2013
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This review is from: The Reviver (Hardcover)
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A genre book can be dominated by an idea and this is certainly the case with Seth Patrick's `Reviver'. Imagine a world where people have discovered latent powers that allow them to revive the dead for a few minutes after they have passed. What could you do with such power? You could help families find closure, giving them one last chance to say goodbye, or get the victim of murder to solve their own case. Patrick has come up with a great idea, but what kind of book is it? Horror, science fiction, thriller; all and none of these.

At its core `Reviver' ends up being a supernatural detective novel with small amounts of horror. Jonah Miller is a reviver who discovers a shadowy cabal who appear to be bringing ancient beings back from the dead. He goes about this with lots of interviews and research. With so much of the book dominated by investigative procedural work, it really loses momentum in the middle. This is a shame as the start and end are thrilling and full of fun concepts.

It felt at times that Patrick was unsure what type of book he was trying to write. I think a simpler tale of Johan investigating a murder or two would have been a better base for a series. The large conspiracy elements of `Reviver' feel a little rushed and could have instead been teased out over 5 or 6 books in a series like Jim Butcher's `Dresden' novels. As it is, Patrick has taken some very interesting concepts and made a sweeping book out of them. There is certainly fun to be had in how Patrick integrates the ability to wake the dead with day to day police work. In my mind this concept was more interesting to explore than the overarching plot that ends up dominating the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Crime thriller with a supernatural twist, 14 Sep 2014
By 
Michelle Moore (Dartford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reviver (Paperback)
Jonah is a Reviver – someone who can revive the dead for a short period of time. In Jonah’s case, he works for a forensic team, so he revives in order to let the victim testify about the events of their death. It’s a well controlled experience, and is used as evidence in courts.

However, during one revival, Jonah experiences something which makes him question exactly what they’re doing.. another presence, which he can’t explain. He’s told it’s just an hallucination, brought about by stress, but Jonah isn’t convinced, and starts to dig deeper. He ends up involved in something much bigger than he expected.

For the majority of the book, this feels like a crime / thriller, with this very interesting twist. The whole issue of Revival is explored, including it’s uses and problems, and it’s this aspect which lifts it well above average. Some reviewers have found the book too slow, but I disagree – there’s a lot of information to give, and aspects of reviving to explore, and I enjoyed this.

Throughout there’s an uneasiness, a suggestion of a supernatural element, and towards the end this becomes more apparent, and there’s a definite switch in the book. I have to admit, this did worry me for a while, because I’ve seen similar books which started to feel.. well, silly. In my opinion though, Seth keeps a realistic tone, and it soon settles into a good ending.

Whilst it would have been possible to keep simply to the idea of forensic revival, I’m not sure how far it could have been taken in the future. I would imagine that the supernatural aspect will feature quite strongly in the next book, and I look forward to finding out where we’re taken next.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ends up as a different book to the one I thought I was getting...but that's not a bad thing!, 12 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Reviver (Kindle Edition)
This is an unusual book but a really good one. I really enjoyed reading it though I did start to go 'what the...?!' about two thirds of the way through.

I thought it was an interesting idea and it certainly is. It's great to read something that's original - there just seems so much more scope to explore the world if no-one's done it before. The characters are well drawn and I was firmly involved in their emotional lives. The concept of bringing murder victims back from the dead is handled well, sometimes graphically, and it's by no means a hearts and flowers experience, especially for the revivers for whom it is harrowing and physically gruelling. This is described particularly well.

I was quite happily going along, enjoying the 'whodunnit' aspect (well, more of a 'whydunnit' I suppose) and the characters, when the book took a bit of an odd turn and I started to wonder where it was going. I persevered as I was still enjoying the writing and the book had me gripped by then, and actually it didn't descend into the ridiculous as I was concerned about. It just about managed to hang on and keep one foot in reality. It started out as futuristic crime, wandered into sci fi, played around in horror and teased us with the supernatural, and still ended up being a good read.

It's very easy to see how this book would translate into a film; it's very visual and the story is prime movie fodder, and I see it's already been snapped up so I look forward to seeing it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, intriguing and chilly - an original mix of crime fiction, horror and thriller, 26 Jun 2013
By 
Kate (Oxford, Oxon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Reviver (Hardcover)
Jonah Miller is not your usual forensic scientist. He is a member, one of the very best, of the Forensic Revival Service in the United States. His job is to attend mysterious or violent deaths as soon as possible after they occur, while the soul is still within reach of the corpse. He is able to touch that body and for a short time, hopefully long enough, he is able to communicate with the dead and with their help discover the truth of their death. The dead don't lie. There is a humane side to the business. The nearest and dearest are able to attend the revival and, if possible, they are able to give their dead loved one a final message to help them on their way. Almost always that message is `I love you' or `I'm sorry'.

Something isn't right, though. As the novel begins, Jonah takes part in the revival of a brutally slaughtered young woman. But during the process the woman becomes terrified, sharing her fear with Jonah. He lets her soul go - by losing physical contact - but not before he recognises something else in the dead woman's eyes, something not quite human, that has its own message for Jonah. It is clear that Jonah is especially receptive to the remnants that revivals can leave behind - he can never let them go completely. As Jonah searches for an explanation for the horror that communicated with him, he is aware of other forces watching him, guiding him, frightening him.

Reviver is a great first novel by Seth Patrick. It is a mixture of things - thriller, horror, paranormal, crime fiction, mystery - each coming to the fore at different times and all driving the story on with a fast pace. It is chilly and in places quite frightening - one moment in particular sent cold fingers dancing down my spine - but, despite the strong presence of the paranormal and the horrific, above all it is a dark detective story in which our detective hero, Jonah, must piece together the clues before he is himself unravelled.

Jonah is supported by some intriguing characters, especially Annabel who has her own questions she wants answered, and the dialogue is fast and punchy. There is a dark humour to it. Reviver is always fun to read despite its theme. It also raises some fascinating questions about the finality of death and the treatment of the dead in a world in which the dead may not be dead enough and when secret (or not so secret) agencies can abuse the deceased. The dead always tell the truth but they can also be terrified - can anything or anyone be more vulnerable than such a soul? In such a story you'd expect to be moved and in Reviver you will be. Grief has a strong presence. The whole context of the history of revival is also created well here, and has a strong representation in the figure of Daniel Harker.

I am a wuss when it comes to horror but I do like the chill that shivers through the atmosphere of Reviver. I actually found it more thriller than horror and if the novel had any fault for me it would be that I didn't find it frightening enough. Regardless, Reviver is a fine first novel and the great news is that it is the first in a trilogy. Reviver has a fabulous premise and I can't wait to see how Seth Patrick develops it in the novels to come. I am grateful for the review copy.
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The Reviver
The Reviver by Seth Patrick
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