Mister King has a lot going on in 2014: after releasing Dr Sleep and Mr Mercedes, here’s yet another novel and I can tell you it’s awesome. One of the biggest inspirational influences on Stephen King is H.P. Lovecraft and his fictional Necronomicon. This has never been any clearer than when reading Revival, because King uses the fictional contents of the Necronomicon (that nobody really knows) as the basis of his book. While Lovecraft has never been clear on this issue, Revival‘s character Charles Jacobs is aware of what’s inside the book and he uses it for no good.
Charles uses what he calls ‘secret electricity’ to heal people’s illnesses, but these ‘revivals’ have serious consequences. While Jamie doesn’t want anything to do what it, he gets caught up in Charles’ web at different stages in his life. Revival follows Jamie as he grows up and grows older. Faith, the afterlife, but also music are a big part of that. King is, as always, master of the details. Everything he mentions in chapter one will play a part in the rest of the book: these things pop up when you don’t expect them to. This makes clear that King is a great storyteller.
A big bummer for me was the ending. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I can tell that it disappointed me. Throughout the book the afterlife is one of the big questions, which makes the book a thrilling read. While King refers to Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, he never imitates Lovecraft. Until the last thirty pages. That was the only thing about the book that bothered me, but besides that I really loved it.