By: Max Willi Fischer
Publication Date: September 2020
Reviewed by: Risah Salazar
Review Date: October 22, 2020
It is the year 1837 and our protagonist is Thomas Sullivan, a young man living in Connecticut. Thomas works for the Shaffers, particularly Peter Shaffer, the cabinetmaker, as an apprentice. He actually does not want to work with wood, but his father thinks this will be best for him. What Thomas really wants is to further embrace what his late mother loved and taught him - to read and learn new things. Despite being a commoner, he wishes to explore the world and make it a better place through the beautiful words printed on the pages of a book.
The life of an apprentice in Connecticut is uneventful for Thomas, but at least his master and the master's family treat him well. Jacob, one of the master's sons, is even one of his closest friends. This monotonous daily life changes when Otto Frohm enters Peter Shaffer's shop. The huge German scares the heck out of Thomas and Jacob, who were not expecting such a large and muscular man to enter the shop. But when Otto explains that he is Karl's brother, and Jacob knows that Karl is a good friend of his father, all is well. That's when Otto explains he is there looking for Peter to ask him a favor.
Looking back, what made everything scarier at the moment Otto entered the shop was the story Jacob was reading out-loud to Thomas - a story about a "Night Waster." The Night Waster is a creature who is believed to be dead but eats away his body while inside its coffin. And when nothing is left, it crawls to the bodies of its family members to continue its gruesome activity. The story of the Night Waster combined with people's fears of consumption, a chronic lung disease at that time, and Thomas' sighting of the "Flame Orb," now make his life a little more exciting. Maybe even haunting. Things are definitely about to get very interesting, and intense.
Max Willi Fischer's Revelations From the Dead: Chronicles of the Night Waster is an historical suspense novel that also tackles a wide range of social issues. The premise is a bit common for the suspense genre, but the story's development shows its spooky and unique side. Equipped with the element of surprise, there are a lot of hair-raising and heart-pumping scenes in every chapter. Careful world-building and evocative imagery will take the readers on an emotional rollercoaster ride. The book may appear to be shallow at first but don't let this stop you from digging in. This one is unexpectedly engaging and deep. The narration uses foreign terms and sometimes even jargon and colloquialisms, but everything is explained in the footnotes.
There are, however, a few things that keep this story from being a 5-star read. The pacing tends to slow in places, particularly in the second half. It is also noticeable how some transitioning among the dialogue and change in scenes are not as seamless as they should be. There are times when there is no indication of a break when clearly there should be, and that leads to a confusing reading experience. There are also numerous typos that hamper reading enjoyment. With a re-work from an editor, these issues could easily be erased and the top-notch story that is Revelations From the Dead, would shine through.
Quill says: While there are some shortcomings, Revelations From the Dead: Chronicles of the Night Waster remains a gripping read.
For more information on Revelations From the Dead: Chronicles of the Night Waster, please visit the author's website at: maxwilli.weebly.com