Revenant [BOOK REVIEW]

Revenant Book CoverAuthor: Kat Richardson
Publisher: ROC Books
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Mystery
Unique Elements: Supernatural detective who can see into the spirit realm
Series: Greywalker
Release Date: August 7, 2014
Number of Page: 444 Pages
MSRP: $25.95
Discount Link: Click Here
Publisher Website: www.penguin.com
Author Website: Click Here
Reviewer: JT Hanke
Final Score: 5 Moons (out of 5)

Seattle PI, Harper Blaine, died after being brutally strangled, but was brought back to life. Since then, she’s had the power to communicate and interact with creatures and entities that exist in the nether realm known as “The Grey.” (For those of you unfamiliar with the Greywalker series of books, here’s a link to the first book  so that you can get started on this great supernatural mystery series!)

Brilliant Moon Award

In the previous book, Possession, a strange series of seeming possessions tipped Harper off to a deadly game that a diabolical relative (at least, in spirit) was perpetrating. At the conclusion of it, her fiancé, Quentin, left her in the Emerald City to pursue his father and his Ragnarok-scale plans involving Bone Mages in Europe.

In Revenant, the story continues as Harper and her vampire necromancer, Carlos, return to Carlos’ home country of Portugal to help Quentin finally stop his father’s ruthless plans, using Carlos’ own dark past in the country to their advantage.

Story

Considering this is the concluding chapter for the Greywalker series (at least for now), the story in Revenant had a lot to live up to, since it’s, essentially, the ENDING of a 9 book epic. Richardson has a done a great job of keeping the series tight and compelling throughout–avoiding the trap that some other Urban Fantasy writers have gotten mired in by oversexualizing their tales—and this final piece is perhaps some of her strongest work.

In addition to exploring the demons in Carlos’ family tree (and seeing how the author cleverly ties this tale to her first Greywalker book), the story introduces us to more of Quentin’s family, the mythology of the Bone Mages, and brings back some old friends, like the witch, Mara, and her brood.

While I won’t ruin anything, I will assure you that it ends in such a way that, while I will eagerly snatch the series up whenever/if-ever she chooses to pick it up once again, it’s got enough closure that, if she were not to continue it, it doesn’t feel unfair. If it were to be compared to the finale of a beloved TV show, taking the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale as the high point and the Star Trek: Voyager finale as the low-point, this might actually exceed the TNG finale, in my opinion.

Dynamics

The dynamics in Revenant are really interesting, since we have Harper completely out of her element on so many levels. While she’s gone to other countries in the past, she’s dominantly been in places that are very much like the Northwest in terms of climate and style and even culture. (London has some strong similarities to Seattle in many ways, for example.) While she’s been to Mexico in a novella, Porugal has even more strange combinations of culture and language, which is then combined with extremes in weather and fashion that prevent her from doing almost any of the things she’s most comfortable with—like packing a gun or wearing jeans.

This inability to do the things she’s most comfortable with, combined with her less god-like powers, give the Harper in this book a much greater feeling of vulnerability.

And in this more vulnerable state, Richardson can most successfully explore Harper’s relationship with the two most constant “men” in her life—in circumstances that are just as unusual for them. Quentin’s dogged attempts to pursue his father, while trying to protect her and his family, lead to greater strain in their union. Meanwhile her relationship with Carlos grows much deeper and more personal as she must help in his own weakness—revealing things she’s never known before. The questions Richardson asks through these interactions is very needed for the reader to most understand the protagonist and, conversely, Carlos and Quentin.

Gothic Fit

Greywalker—with its exploration of secrets hidden in the spirit realm, questions of life and death, and exploration of taboos and, conversely, social norms—has always been a series that has a strong Gothic appeal. Revenant further embraces this with villains that gleefully harvest children for bones with which to construct monsters from, while, in sometimes the same breath, leveling questions about the road to redemption from those guilty of similarly monstrous actions. A good Gothic novel should always leave you thinking and Revenant definitely does that!

Closing Thoughts

As a series, the Greywalker books are rock solid supernatural suspense and mystery, and Revenant is a solid conclusion. If you’ve been reading the series, then you’ll be happy to pick this up, confident that Richardson’s masterful touch on the manuscript stayed strong to the very end. And if you haven’t read the series yet, get started on the first one and prepare to have a pretty awesome ride along the way.

Story: 5.0 Moons (out of 5)
Dynamics: 5.0 Moons (out of 5)
Gothic Fit: 5.0 Moons (out of 5)
Final Score (not an average): 5.0 Moons (out of 5)

Score: Five Moons

Author: JT Hanke

J.T. Hanke is the founder and former editor of DarkestGoth Magazine. Stepping down as editor in 2019, he currently serves as it's technical adviser and a contributing writer.

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