Lost Souls, written by Seth Patrick, is the second novel in a trilogy, and is the follow up to 2013’s Reviver. Published by Thomas Dunne Books in November, 2015, it is a solid second installment of the story, but it also stands alone quite well. As it had been about 2 years since I read Reviver, I wondered if I would remember the characters and events well; it turns out I had no reason to worry. Patrick did a great job of crafting Lost Souls to provide enough background to help a reader recall the previous book (his language even allowed me to recall whole scenes in great detail).He has also doen well to create enough support that it is possible to begin with Lost Souls and understand the characters and events without having read Reviver. While not a traditional zombie novel, the aspects of forensic science, the supernatural, and traditional thriller lend appeal to a wide audience of readers.
The story picks up with the main character, Jonah Miller, about a year and a half after the previous novel ended. Jonah is a Reviver, or an individual with the special talent of bringing the recently deceased back to life for a short period of time. Only certain people are capable of the job, and their services are used forensically (to get a victim’s own testimony in a criminal case) or privately (for a chance to say one last goodbye to a loved one). He’s still working as one of the best forensic Revivers in the business, but is worn out and tired from the stress of the job and ghosts of some physical injuries. Since the first book in the trilogy, though, the Afterlifers (a group of Revival oppositionists) has gained more standing and money, making them a very viable threat to the continuation of public forensic Revival. Things quickly turn for Jonah when he is involved in the Revival of the son of a powerful Afterlifer, and he finds himself quitting his job for the better of his company and the profession as a whole.
Especially with the profession of Revival in danger and more free time on his hands, it doesn’t take long for Jonah to learn that so many of the people around him are not who they seem. While working with a few trusted friends to uncover these mysteries, Jonah is eventually forced to flee and hide, as he is being hunted. Jonah has to learn to trust people he did not before in order to survive. He also learns of another new skill he has. Without giving too much away, Jonah can see things that most other people can’t, making his talents useful in combating a new danger to society and surviving in the ensuing adventures in the novel. Jonah and his crew end up in a new research facility, touted to be the place where the science of Revival would be studied and documented, as it is a ruse for activities much more dangerous and deceptive. When the novel ends, things are in a rather messy state in the research facility, but the world is safe...until the final novel in the trilogy! The setup is there for Jonah and his friends to find themselves in even more trouble in Patrick’s final installment, where it seems Jonah’s ability to see what is usually unseen will keep him as a key to the world’s survival.
To me, Lost Souls was more about the characters and the thrill and danger as they are in hiding and on the run than Reviver. It was certainly a good novel; very suspenseful and kept me up late turning pages. I did miss that less of the novel was focused on Revival, as it is such an original concept and I really enjoyed the descriptions of the process and all of the varied cases of Revival found in Reviver. It’s worth a read, whether or not you’ve read Reviver, and will especially appeal to lovers of supernatural and thriller novels. I’m waiting for the last book--I can’t wait to see where Jonah goes next--and I’m rooting for him as I’m sure his next challenges will be even more suspenseful than those in Lost Souls!