Contains spoilers! You have been warned.
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The Revenant Records is an urban fantasy series that takes place in a modern world with an epic fantasy past. It’s not ‘our’ world, but is similar in terms of technology and culture. For more information, see the setting introduction and the glossary.
Seventeen-year-old half-elven Lukie wakes up on the beach, unsure how she got there. The last thing she remembers is playing with her band at her end-of-high school party. And she’s got three objects on her—a demo cassette, her car keys and her last family photograph taken before her elven mother died. She can’t remember why she has them; only that they seem important.
She travels into town and discovers that twenty years have passed. Her town is now a tourist trap, her father has moved away, and worse, she’s some kind of zombie. Trying to track down her friends, Lukie learns that she and her girlfriend Karra were murdered on the same night. She visits her drummer, Terek, who is a now a local bar owner. While questioning him, an unnatural hunger overwhelms her, and she drains Terek’s soul, only to be stopped by Cage, a wandering monster hunter (or ‘preserver’). After a one-sided fight, Cage restrains Lukie, and takes her photograph.
Lukie’s former bassist arrives—transitioned into the masculine Tamlyn Tanner—and now a middle-aged police inspector. Lukie calms down when Tamlyn feeds her a piece of his soul, and the three of them discuss her return. Lukie learns that she’ll need to consume souls to survive. Cage explains her objects are ‘cache artifacts’—embodiments of a powerful supernatural pact. Cage can use a revenant’s artifacts against them. Despite her requests, Cage refuses to return the photograph.
The three agree to team up to find the supernatural predator that killed Lukie and Karra.
The group returns to the beach house where the band last performed; where Lukie and Karra were murdered twenty years ago. Here they meet Nathel Clearwater, the band’s lead guitarist who runs off when he sees the undead Lukie. Tamlyn goes after him, while Cage attempts to show Lukie how to use her revenant powers and to read the past memories of a location. Lukie tries to recall her past, but can’t learn anything new about the night of her murder.
Cage interrupts—reporting a strange creature is attacking Tamlyn. The pair race into the nearby pine forest, where Cage fights off a shadowy creature. Lukie rescues Tamlyn, taking him to safety. When she returns to the scene of the fight, Cage is missing. A mysterious opponent forces her into Tenebra, the land of the dead.
Lukie discovers she made a bargain with a powerful ghost to return the living lands—to act as their servant in exchange for becoming a revenant. Her patron tells her she was killed by another revenant, who has built their own private world within Tenebra.
Lukie enters her killer’s realm, discovering that part of it was based on a 1960s version of Breakwater Bay High. One item—a trophy shield for the best athlete—glows with a particular resonance; it’s been awarded to ‘Baron Shark’. Lukie travels to a replica of the old beach house where she was murdered. It’s full of the souls of the victims the Baron killed over the years, including Karra. And yet there’s no touching reunion, as Karra blames Lukie for her own demise and imprisonment. Lukie insisted on performing on stage that night, rather than driving Karra home when she asked.
When the Baron arrives, Lukie challenges him to free Karra. Lukie fails to defeat the Baron and barely escapes with her life. She returns to the mortal world, where she meets up with Tamlyn again. Lukie despairs of avenging herself, and rescuing Karra, but Tamlyn has his own ideas. He arrests Nathel and interrogates him. Nathel cracks. The Baron is Nathel’s uncle, and he’s kept the Clearwater family hostage for decades. The family must help the Baron find new victims or their own souls will be devoured.
Lukie, and Tamlyn persuades Nathel to help them. Lukie finds the real world version of the trophy shield at the high school, and learns its one of the Baron’s cache artifacts. The three raid the Clearwater mansion, and rescue Cage and the Baron’s latest victims. The wounded Cage uses the Baron’s artifact to weaken him, and Lukie re-enters the Underworld, where she defeats the Baron with Karra’s assistance.
Lukie recovers some of her lost memories. She and Karra had broken up before her murder. And she’d been a horrible person to friends, forcing them to perform in the band against their individual wishes.
Lukie escorts Karra, and the other trapped souls to the afterlife, and earns Karra’s forgiveness. Lukie reaffirms her pact with her ghostly patron to thwart the machinations of wicked ghost lords and free trapped souls. She also resolves to be a better, less selfish person. Cage still refuses to return her photograph, but Tamlyn promises to sort it out for her.1 Tamlyn also mentions that he’s discovered her father’s new address….
- This is explored in the bonus short story All That’s Left of Her,