My rating: 3 of 5 stars
‘The first time I died, I was five years old’ That’s Daisy West talking. She’s died, and been Revived five times because she’s part of a covert government programme testing drugs that bring people back from the dead.
That cover line got me; it’s a fantastic, hooky one-liner that basically can’t but help get you excited about the book. And I was excited, and I was intrigued, but then issues of pacing in the final quarter or so made me switch off. I have difficulties with books that start big, start bold and brilliantly, and then resolve everything very quickly in the final movements. Revived is really, really good until that point in time when the resolution of events need to occur, and it’s at that point that things become troublesome and over too quickly. A key plot point hinges on a moment early on in the book that I had to look back to remind myself of. Whilst I have no problems with seeding plot elements early, I have difficulties when that seeding is so covert that the ‘aha’ moment of the main character comes a little out of the blue for both the reader and the character themselves.
But, all that said, Cat Patrick’s a really confident, engaging and stylish writer. Where Patrick sang for me, was in her writing about Daisy and her relationship with Megan and Audrey. This is fun, real friendship with shades of subtle light and dark where required. There’s a key moment with Daisy where she confesses the existence programme to a certain individual – and that’s kind of a brilliant moment. Patrick writes a mixture of love, selfishness, and tunnel vision really really well and brings an intense believability to this episode in particular.
I sort of wonder whether this is a book of two halves – one, with the drug programme, sliding into the realms of awkwardness, and the other, between Daisy and her friends, the saga of a girl discovering who she really is – and I wonder whether this book would be stronger were it just based on the latter.