I’m always really confused on how to start a book review.
Do I just jump right in and describe my reasoning for starting a book? Do I immediately go on a rant about why a book pissed me off or made me cry or laugh? Honestly, I don’t know. Some one give me a little bit of direction up here!
As always with reviews: SPOILER ALERTS DEAD AHEAD. TURN BACK NOW IF Revival IS ON YOUR TBR AND YOU DON’T WANT IT RUINED.
I even added a photo of my favorite place to read so you don’t have to see the review if you don’t want spoilers. YOU. ARE. WELCOME.
So, before we begin, and if you haven’t read this in a while, here is a really brief synopsis:
Kid is from tiny town and new preacher moves in. New preacher likes to play with electricity. Not any electricity, but special electricity. New Preacher’s family is killed, gruesomely. New Preacher goes off the deep end for good reason and starts trying to find a way to connect with dead fam through humans he cures with special electricity. Kid from hometown becomes drug addict and is cured by preacher thus intertwining their lives forever. Preacher finally figures out way to reach the other side after decades and it ain’t pretty.
Now, here are my thoughts on Revival:
Revival didn’t feel like vintage King to me. Let me rephrase that: Revival didn’t feel like vintage King until the last 50 or so pages.
Revival felt different. If you’ve read Revival, as well any other King books, something about it felt rushed. I don’t really know how to describe it. The story was great, but it got a little lost and rambly around page 300. King knew exactly where he was going, but I don’t know if he knew exactly how we were all going to get there.
I sympathized with Pastor Jacobs for a multitude of reasons and I don’t regret it.
I’ll be honest with you: I read through some reviews on Goodreads (without spoilers) before I started. I wanted to get a feel for Revival because the cover synopsis had me intrigued. Many reviews proclaimed Charlie Jacobs a ‘mad scientist’ of sorts. Ok, I can lightweight agree with the scientist aspect, but mad scientist? Nah. Come on, Jacobs lost his his wife and kid (both whom he loved dearly, I might add) and wanted nothing more than to connect with them again some how. Granted, the hoops this man tried to jump through to find his dead wife and kid were a bit much. Which leads me on to my next point…..
Revival may have one of the most gruesome King death scenes to date.
Can we take a moment to really reflect on that car accident scene? BECAUSE WHAT THE HELL, STEPHEN KING? Thanks for the enduring nightmare fuel. You win.
Revival’s overarching themes had me shaking in my boots.
Did you notice any themes? Because I journaled about MULTIPLE themes. So many reoccurring patterns scattered throughout Revival. The cyclicality and meaning of life. Loss, death, rebirth. The questioning of a belief system and witnessing the spectacular descent of an individuals who were flying the highest.
My favorite theme? Lightning. Lightning cut its way through this dark story physically, and in my opinion, symbolically. Let’s sit and think about this for a hot second; lightning in itself momentarily lights up the entire world, makes it visible, only to then plunge it back into darkness. Now apply this thought process to Revival’s storyline.
Well played Stephen, well played.
The ending, although terrifying, did not seal the deal for me.
Something about the cut scene felt… wrong. Mother is terrifying and the thought of that world being our afterlife? No thanks. But it felt off for some reason. I couldn’t fully understand why Jacobs’ cures all wanted to end their loved ones lives as well as their own. Was it because they caught a glimpse of the terror beyond our meaningless existence? Were they driven mad at what lies in wait after that last breath in Revival’s world? I don’t know. I tell you what though, the scene where Jamie goes to visit his brother and great-niece one last time? I was eyes-wide, heart pumping, terrified.
I’ll give Revival a 3.5/5 stars
Was Revival good? Sure. It’s quick and flows smoothly with a hiccup here or there. If you enjoy King’s prior work (like me), you’ll notice his lengthy descriptions of the mundane (which I love) and his second to none story building. But the ending just did not do it for me this time around. And I don’t exactly know what kind of ending would, to be honest.
Some reviews say Revival should’ve been a short story, I respectfully disagree. I could easily read another couple hundred pages about the intertwined lives of Jamie and Charlie. Actually, I wanted to know more about secret electricity and how Charlie knew so much about something hidden by the church (obviously for good reason).
I made sure to switch gears quick! I started Congo almost immediately. I’m already about a quarter of the way through. It’s such an easy read. I may need another book recommendation before this month is up!
Any books I should check out? Or King’s books you weren’t particularly found of? I want to hear about them in the comments below!
Until the next great adventure!