The Resurrectionist is a truly original novel by Wrath James White. The story unfolds around Dale- a scrawny serial killer who has the uncanny ability to bring people back from the dead. In the process of resurrecting the dead he wipes out the moments leading up to their death. The plot plays out like a tightly woven super hero story- there is a well crafted origin story, some amazing super powers and a lowly schlub that no one would ever think of as extraordinary. The difference here is that the super hero also happens to be the villain who uses his God-given super powers to commit unspeakable acts of violence. This is where the whole moral dilemma lies. Who would give a despicable human being this miraculous power? White does a remarkable job exploring the implications of that question without ever coming across as preachy or condescending. He addresses religion with enough reverence that the reader is able explore the question within the confines of their own faith without feeling pressured into coming up with a concrete answer. It takes a truly unique writer to create these feelings within a reader.
Wrath James White is a talent unlike any other. I’ve read plenty of hardcore horror but rarely has it challenged me in the way that The Resurrectionist has. The story dissects the impulses and reasons for our own personal impulses and addictions. I think we can all see a bit of ourselves in Dale’s unsettling preoccupation with his “beloved”. We all have cast aside the concepts of responsibility and consequence when we become truly obsessed with something. Sure, it may pale in comparison to Dale’s obsessions but it is a mysterious human emotion we can all relate to and Wrath brings that to light in a very delicate and interesting way.
The Resurrectionist is not for everyone. It is graphic, bloody and ultra-violent but it is also challenging and graceful in its brutality. Wrath has successfully crafted an extreme tale of horror that should be accessible to most fans of the genre. He has done such a wonderful job with this title that there is little doubt in my mind that Wrath James White is the new king of hardcore horror!