Revival by Stephen King

Revival by Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Contemporary, Horror, Recent Historical
Length: Full Length (403 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs — including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties — addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate — Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings.

Whatever’s behind that door…it’s holy hell.

Stephen King isn’t called the master of horror for nothing. His books are guaranteed to cause nightmares and to stick with the reader long after the last page. This book was no different.

I’ll admit. The beginning seemed slow. Really slow. I thought, there is no way this all works together. Why am I still getting these little tidbits of information? Hang in there, because it really does all go together.

Now all these little bits aren’t boring. I felt like I got to know Jamie Morton quite well. I could pretty much see the guy. I didn’t like him–not all the time, but I could see why he did what he did. The sweet little boy starts out just that. Sweet. It’s life and experiences in various bands that help to shape him and make him into a bit of a monster. He’s redeemable and that’s worth reading.

Then there’s Charles Jacobs. He’s a minister and seems to be quite good. But what he seems and who he is aren’t the same things. This guy…he brought a whole slew of emotions in me. I liked him, felt sorry for him, wanted to throttle him, then pitied him. He’s an interesting character. He’s full of surprises and ratchets up the fear factor by being someone you could know in real life.

There were times while reading this book that I wasn’t sure what would happen next. The term revival isn’t just for the title. Revival pertains to not only the religious situations, but also to life. Just when it seems like something can’t turn for the better, it does. It also turns for the worse. That’s what was so…scary good about this book. I never know what would happen and sure as heck didn’t see the ending coming. Wow.

If you want a book that will stay with you long after the last page with haunting characters and a plot that’s complex but interesting, then this is the book for you.  Recommended.


  1. Jeanine Lesperance says:

    Love Stephen King Books and I really enjoyed your review. Thanks

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