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Not Quite The Revelation I Was Hoping For

By Rhodeworks, author of Not All Heroes

Aug 15, 2018: Because of a WFG issue with posting the review, I’ve had to cut this down to the bone.

IN SHORT: The Revelation, in many ways, feels like a take on the genre I should get behind. It has prophecies, possession, ancient horrors and a blurred line between real and unreal. But, for all of its interesting ideas, it just isn’t up to the task of exploring them in a way that grips one’s emotions or intellect.

IN LONG: The cat people are a strange inclusion that are explained just enough to provoke the part of my brain that wants to know how they work but not enough to make it satisfying.

Story is generally decent. There are some cliches here and there. The big problem is that the prose is lifeless and dry.

While there really aren’t any issues with spelling or grammar and it all feels technically proficient, the story lacks spark, zest or just the ability to illustrate how characters feel instead of flatly stating it. It’s very academic. For example, describing fear: "Her heart began to race. Her hands began to sweat. Her legs were shaking." It does not convey the ‘primal terror’.

Similarly, the academic descriptions seem to follow through into descriptions of landscapes, people, and, at one point early on, sharks. At one point, I felt like I was reading a Florida tour guide. Even insane visions of massive thrones and cities of bones just feel flat.

Like a lot of serials, I got the sense that the author was writing as if describing things as if it were a movie—obsessed with visuals over feelings. When Revelations describes something, be it a landscape or a painting or an apocalyptic vision, it’s as if describing a painting. It feels very robotic at points.

There’s some stuff in some of these chapters that should be just be inducing mind-bending terror, that comes very close to making me say ‘wow’, but it’s all just rendered so clinically and emotionlessly that it just falls flat.

Story switches too quickly between viewpoint characters and events start happening too rapidly to have an impact. Pacing is way off. The first three chapters are, honestly, a bit of a slog. Some chapters are extremely short and feel like half a scene.

This is unfortunate because the story has a nice presentation, has a good technical construction in the sense that it lacks obvious errors (I think I spotted exactly one), some good ideas, but the actual storytelling is incredibly uneven.

Worth a look because of it’s difference to most other serials but the 3 is a low 3. Despite the technical quality of the writing, it’s all just a bit lifeless and it brings the whole artifice down.

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