cover image Revelator


Daryl Gregory. Knopf, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-525-65738-5

Shirley Jackson Award winner Gregory (We Are All Completely Fine) spins an addictive tale of historical horror, set alternately in 1936 and 1948 in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, where bootlegger Stella Wallace communes with Ghostdaddy, “the God in the Mountain.” Stella comes from a line of Birch women who were deemed Revelators due to their ability to communicate with this god. But after she discovers the god’s true intentions and learns how the Revelators before her have died, she runs away from home, determined not to meet the same fate. Twelve years later, her grandmother, Motty, is found dead, and Stella must return to finish what she started as a child and fulfill her family’s destiny. The mystery surrounding Ghostdaddy is slow to build and initially disorienting, but as the narrative toggles between Stella’s childhood and her present day, and the truth about Stella’s family and their folk religion unfolds, Gregory ratches up the tension in stunning prose, and the book goes from frustratingly opaque to un-put-downable. Readers who stick with this are in for a thrilling ride. [em]Agent: Seth Fishman, the Gernert Company. (Aug.) [/em]