Review: Revival by Stephen King


5 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

Revival was a lovely surprise from the people at Hodder, who actually sent me two copies of the book – so I passed one onto a friend, and we ended up reading the book at the same time. It’s always fun being able to discuss a book with someone who is also reading it, or has just read it. I don’t know if this is what motivated me to pick up my reading speed (read in three days, compared to how it’s been for most of my time during my Masters so far, that is SUPER quick), or whether it was just because the book completely and utterly drew me in.

At first, Revival didn’t feel like your usual Stephen King novel. It didn’t quite have that sense of sheer creepiness, only perhaps a slight sense of unease. And then suddenly, one horrific event, told in full King style gory bits and all, turned it all around. It jumped back and forth in time, throwing shocks in my face and then only explaining them chapters or hundreds of pages later.

Whilst definitely a unique story that explores how one small incident can change so many lives, for better or for worse, as well as being a pretty thorough character story, I felt that Revival didn’t quite deal what was promised. The blurb claims that “This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written”, and whilst I agree that it is rich and disturbing, it was definitely not a terrifying conclusion. It was, quite frankly, just very, very odd. Odd is something that Stephen King does very well, but apparently not this time. Everything was over a little too quickly, and overall it just didn’t satisfy me.

Despite that, I am more than happy to give this book a five star rating. The build up of the story, the characters (particularly the protaganist, Jamie), the tension – definitely all worth it. I had a lot of fun trying to guess what Jacobs was up to, and what Jamie’s part in it would be. And whilst it’s not creepy and horrific in the style of The Shining, for instance, it is yet another fine example of why Stephen King is so popular – boy, can he write.


8 thoughts on “Review: Revival by Stephen King”

  1. Stephen King is one author I’ve NEVER read, and I’m not sure if I should/will – I don’t usually read scary/gory books, because I don’t like scary/gory movies. I love thriller and suspense though. Hmm… might need to take a nosy at his backlist and see if there’s any I’m missing out on. R x

      1. Mr Mercedes is DEFINITELY worth reading – I think it’s a brilliant plotted detective story which is a new thing for King but awesome!

  2. I’m a recent Stephen King fan. I’ve only read two of his books so far, but have already two more waiting for me. So far I’ve loved his work. He is an amazing writer and I can undoubtedly understand why he is so popular. The man sure has a disturbing mind. I hadn’t picked one of his books up until last year because I’m easily scared and was under the impression his books wouldn’t allow me to sleep again, ever. As it turned out they are indeed very creepy, but not “I can’t sleep” scary. So I’ve been really enjoying his work.
    I have to admit I was really looking forward to Revival, especially because of the blurb’s claim you mentioned. I haven’t read enough of his work to know if that is true, so I’ll take your word for it. I’m still glad it was a great read for you, and now I feel like some of the pressure on the book has eased, which is always a good thing. I hate to have huge expectations on a book, because even if it’s great, it won’t feel as great as if I didn’t had those expectations and was just surprised with the outcome.

    1. Which ones have you read? I’m glad they’re not “I can’t sleep” scary, but they definitely are creepy and make you think!

      It’s definitely a wonderful book. I just felt the conclusion was a little oversold. But then I’ve also seen reviews that have agreed with the blurb, so I guess it’s down to how you might perceive it 🙂

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