Is 2020 the year when I finally catch up on various series I had set aside and forgot about? I decided I would this year finish Chew, The Boys, and Locke & Key, and then I discovered another series I read and enjoyed, Revival, ended after eight volumes and I had the fifth in my unread trades stack. Will I make an effort to finish that one as well this calendar year?
Truth be told, probably not. But I did finish that fifth volume, subtitled Gathering of Waters.
As of yet, no one knows what caused a group of people who all died within a short span of time to come back to life in a small Wisconsin town, seemingly unable to move on. They have all come back with seemingly different levels of insanity, or at least they don’t seem to be quite right. For Dana Cypress, that means being a good cop and single mom while her kid sister Em, one of the Revived, looks for answers, both keeping Em’s status a secret from their dad the local chief of police. Is it some sort of magic or spiritualism that brought them back or some weird twist of science? Whatever it is, these people have come up with a wide variety of responses ranging from excessive piety to suicidal tendencies to some form of psychosis.
But at this point in the series, the cold Wisconsin winter is starting to thaw, and there may be some answers. Now, the town has enough problems. Despite a federal quarantine, people constantly sneak in to see if the river running nearby can offer some curative properties. Local anti-government hermit Edmund Holt has some plans of his own to make a political point. The feds have set up special labs to research captured Revived, and locals were unaware of the lab’s existence. And into all that comes two new flashes.
For one, it seems the initial wave of reawakened people aren’t alone as revived animals start to appear when the weather warms up, and Em learns she’s pregnant by her missing college professor lover.
As a cohesive narrative, these elements don’t really hang together very well. Instead, each of the members of the Cypress family has to deal with things on their own. Chief Cypress is stuck between the feds, the politically-motivated mayor, and some particularly pious Revived when the news of the lab gets out. Dana looks into Edmund for unrelated reasons. And Em goes off to find her missing lover, picking up some possible clues as to why she and the others came back along the way.
Tim Seeley seems to be beginning to wrap this story up, appropriate since this is the halfway point. There’s only some vague hints as to what brought Em and the others back, and that’s fine. Those wailing ghost things take this story off, and since those seem to be the only thing that can permanently kill a Revived in many ways but are themselves vulnerable to running water, that may be for the best as there wasn’t much room left for them in this one. The series has implied these beings are the Revived’s disembodied souls, but what does that say when Em took a couple of them out, including hers? Can she give birth in her current state? Will the baby grow inside of her? Can she, as she muses, abort it? These are the sorts of questions the series raises at this point, most notably what is to be done about people who cannot die? And what do they themselves want to do?
Yeah, I may need to finish this one sooner before I forget about it again. 8.5 out of 10 revived fish.