Book Reviews

The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice

17571317[1]New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice brilliantly conjures the shadowed terrors of the Louisiana bayou—where three friends confront a deadly, ancient evil rising to the surface—in this intense and atmospheric new supernatural thriller.

It’s been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished near Bayou Rabineaux, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, the survivor who ran away from the mangled stretch of guardrail on Highway 22 where the impossible occurred…and kept on running. Who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction…and who alone knows the source of her very bizarre—and very deadly—abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.

An accomplished surgeon, Niquette’s father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium: “the final resting place for the heroic and virtuous.” Then, ten years ago, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred something that had been there for centuries—a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body.

Niquette is living proof that things done can’t be undone. Nothing will put her family back together again. And nothing can save her. But as Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. And unlike her, this man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge. – Goodreads

This is the first book I have read by Christopher Rice and like his mother (Anne Rice), he definitely knows how to write a chilling story difficult to get out of your mind.

I was looking to add some new genres to my reading list and boy was this very different from what I normally read. It is not a quick read simply because there are many details and parts to the story that you have to keep straight. The flipping between present and past did get confusing at times but didn’t deter from the story. Christopher Rice’s rich prose also gave the story depth and an eerie atmosphere:

“Then, a moment of stultifying blackness would arrive, stealing the passage of time, an intermittent distortion that turned a march of ten years in the conscious world into an endless tape loop of revelations lost, rediscovered and lost again.”

This is a very tough review to do because I can’t comment an any parts of the story or it will spoil it for others. It’s one of those where you just have to dive in and experience it for yourself. I especially liked how Rice developed the setting of the Louisiana bayou. But thanks, I might never go swimming again!

This book would not let me put it down until about the last fourth of the book and then I got a bit distracted. Even a bit scared to learn more. Maybe it was because some of the elements were horrific, disturbing and creepy. Definitely not the book to read before bedtime. The dreams I had! But I knew going in that this was a supernatural thriller and the synopsis above from Goodreads is very accurate to the story. I am just not a horror type person. Horror films, the scary parts of Halloween-not for me. I was actually covering the lines of the story as I was reading to brace myself. Big baby, I know.

For fans of supernatural thrillers/horror/paranormal/sci-fi, you will love this story. Even for those who are willing to broaden their horizon and try something new.

The Heavens Rise will be released on October 15, 2013 and to learn more about Christopher Rice visit his site here. There is a great video trailer for the story which will make you either run to order the book or hide under your bed.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for this advance, uncorrected reader’s proof. I was not required or compensated for this review. You will be getting my therapy bill in the mail soon!

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