I love the Indie Author Community SO much at times, I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for their skills and imaginations. This book is another in a stack of scream-it-from-the rooftops-good books that you need to know about.
This is the second book in the Falling Awake series; Revenant, by Kristoffer Gair. After reading the first book, Falling Awake, which I found to be mystically touching, I thought I knew what I was going to get with the second. I was wrong... and never have I been more pleased to discover just how wrong I can be!
This is a supernatural thriller, perhaps occasionally crossing over into horror, and back again... and yet the focus is always on the relationships. This is what I love best about Kristoffer's writing. Everything he writes, even the spooky, creepy stuff, is completely accessible and relatable - well, maybe not the bludgeoning stuff - but everything else is totally relatable (I'm not a fan of bludgeoning; I'm a wimp by nature). In both books, the primary reason for the action is the emotional and spiritual connection that binds the characters... whether that connection is adversarial, cooperative, or innocent.
The evil elements that subvert peace and well-being are scary, to say the least. Kristoffer writes about their misdeeds in such a way that you are given enough details to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and constantly look over your shoulder, but he doesn't dial up the creep factor so much as to make you avoid the scene. You NEED those details, in spite of yourself. You are compelled to turn page after page, no matter the outcome, because you KNOW that there is a bigger, scarier shadow that will follow you, if you don't.
For those of you who think this stuff might be important (it's not, by the way), the main character of this book is a homosexual man in the 70s; who has a special connectivity to people... and can perceive things about them that they may not know themselves. This gift helps him to walk a path that brings him some closure... but not quite enough... to alleviate the nightmares of a tragedy from his past.
Here's what I love best about this book, though... yes, the main character is gay... yes, there are scenes that depict his relationships and encounters with other men... but it's NORMAL. This is not a book that forces a sociological or political agenda. Yes, there is a tender, loving relationship at the heart of this book... a few of them, in fact, both heterosexual and homosexual... and it's a non-issue. I would never classify this book as "gay fiction". To me, that's just a small part of the story, not worth specific attention... the story, however, IS worth ALL the attention!
The spooky parts of the story... the tender tidbits that make you realize these are whole people, not just foils... the weird scavenger hunt the main character must endure to find the answers he seeks... the creepy bits of edge-of-your-seat stuff that pull you through to those last few pages of the Epilogue, where you expect a full explanation, and are delighted to discover those details are withheld... those are the parts that make this book so worthwhile.
But... leave the lights on, and lock the windows... also, you might want to keep a tire iron nearby - just in case.
Thank you, Kristioffer Gair, for an unexpected adventure. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series - which for me, is not a small thing!
Learn more about Kristoffer Gair's work HERE
Watch our episode with Kristoffer Gair on Indie Reads TV
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