Revival by Stephen King

“People always want a reason for the bad things in life. Sometimes there ain’t one.”

Almost everyone assured me that this is King’s scariest, darkest, and creepiest novel to date. I don’t completely disagree with the numerous acclaims, but I am considering this novel as heavily flawed. The plot was immersing, but only to a certain extent. I now understand why some people warned me that this novel was a bit dragging in the middle. A lot of uninteresting things did happen in the middle, and it made the novel a bit dull.

King never steps back from the line between sanity and insanity. This novel leaped beyond insanity, and I’m glad that it did. This is King’s specialty, horror. I wanted to be scared to the point of being unable to sleep, but honestly I was only a bit creeped out of the last few chapters, and that was it. The plot was not completely forgettable, but it’s not something new, for me. There is one novel that popped up in my mind while reading this, and that would be King’s older novel, Pet Sematary. They both had a similar theme, plot, and ending. The difference would be that Pet Sematary was executed way better, in terms of plot and characters. I hate to compare, but the resemblance can’t be overlooked. Pet Sematary will forever be one of my favorite novels, but sadly I can’t say the same for Revival.

This novel was not all bad though, and there are a lot of good things to say about it. The most prominent one would be the writing. You can never go wrong with King’s writing. It will always be enthralling and would keep you reading till the end. It’s not just the plot alone that does that, but the writing can have a huge effect on the reader’s reading experience. King just knows what words to use, and how to properly construct an interesting sentence and paragraph. This is why I consider him to be a master story teller. He knows how to keep your attention.

The characters were a mix of good and bad. Jamie was interesting and didn’t seem to annoy me in any way. I mostly like King’s main characters, and Jamie is not an exception. The rest of his family were also interesting, and that’s why I enjoyed most of the first chapters. The antagonist on the other hand, Charles Jacobs, was annoying as hell. He wasn’t consistent from beginning to end. It felt like I was reading a different character in the latter parts. I know it might be necessary for the plot development, but I didn’t like the sudden change in attitude. It didn’t result into development, but rather confusion. He also had a certain vibe that I didn’t like. He was obviously fake from the beginning, so all throughout the novel he was just annoying me.

The plot, like I said, was great. It had an interesting premise, and the conclusion was near satisfactory. If I haven’t read Pet Sematary, I believe I wouldn’t have predicted the ending. Less than halfway through the novel I already had a huge guess what the ending was going to be, and I’m disappointed that I was right. I like a good plot twist, something that would knock me out of my seat, but sadly this novel didn’t do that to me. I know a lot of people who were caught off guard though, so maybe it’s just me.

There are a lot of quotable lines in the novel, but I would be robbing you from the experience if I added all of them in here.

3.5/5 stars. Most of my friends loved this, but I’ve read better from King. I am considering this a really good horror/paranormal book, but not his best. If you’re new to King then I’m quite positive that you’d be mesmerised by this novel. Highly recommended to horror aficionados and King fans. I know a lot of diehard King fans who still enjoyed this, so once again, it might just be me.


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