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Revival by Stephen King comes by the way of Audible for this review and its seems to be pretty polarizing. If you love Lovecraft, this is definitely the book for you – don’t read another second of this review and just buy the book. If you’ve never heard of Lovecraft, then read on!

Revival – Spoiler Free Review

A gentle reminder, this review is for the Revival audio book version ready by Lemmy Constantine. I will discuss the narrator in a moment, but first let’s take a dive into the world of Stephen King’s Revival.

We start our journey somewhere in the 1960s in some small town. In many ways, Revival is a lot like other Stephen King books — small towns are horrible. I’m pretty sure I’m not spoiling anything here. Every time Stephen King opens a story in a small town, you just know them folk are in for a world of hurt. Revival is no different.

With Revival, though, we get an odd couple paring of a reverend and a boy. Mind you, Reverend Jacobs (for those of us not Church minded) means that the man can marry and his wife is the talk of the town. Imagine a small town where the only thing of note that happens is Cow-Chip bingo (it’s that ‘game’ where you bet on where a cow will poop…no, really…). In the end, it’s that small town nature that really builds Jamie Morton (the boy) and maybe tears him down a bit, the way only small towns do.

Speaking of tearing down, the Rev might be full Jesus at the start, but he has the doubt and fear of most of us. A little bit of tragedy can go a long way to expose what people say they believe (or maybe do but just in good times) and what they actually believe when the (non-Cow) chips are down.

After what seems like a ‘so long and thanks for all the fish’ moment, we zoom past the years (years seemingly kinder to some than others). What happens next might seem a bit of a forced pairing, but, as with much of King’s work, it seems to ‘fit’.

Lovecraftian

Without major spoilers–there are deep Lovecraftian themes and vibes here. The writing feels decidedly an act of love for horror years gone by. The vocabulary is Lovecraftian, the set ups, the inter-linking, and even the mythos all play a role in Revival.

What started out as subtle started to get louder and louder until a cacophony blasted from the page. It was a bit of a thrill to catch the first few strings and wonder ‘Wait, is King really…’ and then being rewarded at the end of the novel with such a passionate homage was worth the price of admission (or credit!).

Like I said, if you love Lovecraft, then Stephen King’s Revival is definitely the book for you. If you despise Lovecraft, you might want to skip on through.

Stephen King, Revival

A note on Audible

Audible is an Amazon company that churns out what is the modern day equivalent of books on tape. If if you’ve ever had ‘that’ experience at the library or some long forgotten Borders or Book World shelves, then you know what you’re getting into. No matter how good (or bad) the book is, if the narrator sucks then the whole thing crumbles.

Although not Will Patton or Craig Wasson, two of King’s strongest narrators, Lemmy Constantine gives a commanding performance in Revival. He hits the notes and puts the right energy and emotion to leave the dear listener wanting more. If you aren’t into Lovecraft, give the sample of the audio a try and see what I mean.

Stephen King’s Revival – Score

Revival, as an audible book gets a 4.8 from me. It’s smooth, the story has a decent hook that develops well, and if you’re a Lovecraft fan then this is a no-brainer. If you’ve never hear of Lovecraft (I’ll link a few below), then you might miss some of the ‘inside’ jokes King puts into this novel. Either way–fan or not–it’s well worth the credit.

4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Where to buy Stephen King’s Revival?

If you want to check the book/movie/show out, feel free to click on below via Amazon. Remember, if you buy, we do get $.

Book Reviews

What Have We Done: Alex Finlay Produces Another Hit

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  • Jenna: A stay at home mom with a secret assassin past
  • Donnie: An alcoholic rock star
  • Nico: An executive producer of a reality television show

They all have a past, but who is out to get them?

The Plot

Jenna, Donnie, and Nico share a troubled past. They were all orphans who lived at Savior House — which is much less savior, much more terror. When their friend Benny, a famous judge, is murdered and the FBI comes looking, Jenna, Donnie, and Nico must race against the clock to figure out who is targeting them.

The Verdict

From the author of The Night Shift, which I reviewed here, I would expect nothing less than what Finlay has delivered. Finlay notoriously creates stories with palpable thrill and spine-tingling revelations.

I particularly enjoyed the character of Jenna. She is a reformed assassin living a normal life as a new stepmom. When she is called in to make a hit and her family is threatened, she goes badass mom on ’em. While I still thought Donnie and Nico as characters were engaging, it was nothing for what I felt for Jenna.

Also, major props to Finlay for creating a character that kills with a very unique weapon. Read it to find out more!

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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Book Reviews

“The Writing Retreat” Gone Bad: Julia Bartz’s Debut

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Keeping it all in the family, Julia Bartz’s The Writing Retreat is the debut novel of the sister of Andrea Bartz, author of We Were Never Here, which I reviewed here.

I was much more impressed with The Writing Retreat than I was We Were Never Here.

The Plot

Five up and coming female writers under 30 are invited to a writing retreat hosted by the reclusive and acclaimed horror writer Rosa Vallo. Rosa reveals the details of the retreat: each writer must complete a full length novel from scratch over the next month. The best novel wins a multi-million dollar publishing deal with Rosa.

Suddenly, the retreat turns into a nightmare when one writer goes missing in the snowy terrain outside.

The novel hinges on friendships in turmoil and has a focus on LGBT+ representation as well as interpersonal female relationships. The novel explores the dark publishing world and the search for fame and the Great American Novel.

The Verdict

This novel is atmospheric and intellectual, page turning, and the English major’s required reading. I absorbed this novel and found Julia Bartz’s writing and conceptual chops to be leagues above her sister’s.

Ths novel releases on February 21, 2023 and it should be in your cart right now.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Buy it here!

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Book Reviews

A Murder in Reverse: “Wrong Place Wrong Time”

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The Plot

“A brilliantly genre-bending, mind-twisting answer to the question How far would you go to save your child?”  — Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Jen watches her son murder a stranger. Stab him to death. She and her husband, Kelly, watch as their son Todd is taken into custody.

The next morning, Jen wakes up and it’s yesterday. Jen knows that at the end of the night, her son kills someone. She is determined to stop it.

Jen goes further and further back in time trying to discover why Todd murdered a stranger and how to stop it.

The Verdict

This book is twisty. Right when you think you know the ending, something else is there to prove that the story is more multifaceted than that. While the premise of the novel is simple, Gillian McAllister elevates a simple concept with deep, dark twists.

It is best that you don’t know too much going into this one. For fans of Blake Crouch, this is such a good thriller with time travelling vibes.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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