Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: The Heaven's Rise by Christopher Rice

The Heavens Rise
By Christopher Rice
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publishing Date: Oct. 15, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

This was a very dark novel. While labeled a mystery/thriller, it almost could have been labeled horror. The cause of all the mayhem in the book is a parasite found in the well water at Elysium. The well feeds a swimming pool on the property. Niquette and Marshall fall into the pool and are infected. The power the parasites give them allow them to control others. Sometimes with devastating effects. Shortly after this, the DeLongpre family disappeared in an accident. Marshall Ferriot almost died in a strange incident when he fell 31 stories. It would have been better if he had died, for he ended up in an institution unable to move or communicate – in a “permanent vegetative state”.

Eight years later, strange things start to happen. Outside Marshall’s room, animals are dying. It seems their heads have exploded. Then a nurse kills herself in his room in a most gruesome way. And Marshall disappears.

For the first few chapters the book jumps back and forth from the present, to eight years ago when Niquette, Marshall, Anthem and Ben are just out of high school. This background is necessary in order to understand the events of the present day.

The ability that Marshall has to control other living beings has a very evil feel to it, which is magnified by the evil things he forces those he controls to do. Marshall uses these unsuspecting people to help him recuperate after he wakes from his coma.

The events that follow are strange indeed, with the discovery that any emotional attachment to the person being controlled causes them to change into some kind of monstrous being. No creature has ever been turned back to its original form.

The book has a somewhat happy ending with Niquette and her lover Anthem being reunited and the enemy destroyed. But life in New Orleans will never be the same as long as these parasites are active.

I found this book much too dark for my liking, but I think that people that enjoy the horror genre will enjoy this book. I also did not like crude language in the book either.

On the positive side, I did find the pace of the book was good, and despite the things I didn’t like, there was enough in the story that kept me wanting to read to the end. Because this was such a dark novel, I thought it was good that the ending was not a Pollyanna ending with everything working out perfectly

I gave this book 2 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley who provided me with a free review copy in exchange for my fair and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

About Christopher Rice:

Christopher Rice is the author of 4 New-York Times best-selling novels. He is the son of novelist Anne Rice and poet and painter Stan Rice. He now lives in West Hollywood where he can explore screenplay writing, but did live in New Orleans for a time, and where his novel “The Heavens Rise” is set. Rice is openly gay and his works include descriptions of the gay male in contemporary America.

Books by Christopher Rice
·         A Density of Souls (2000)
·         Snow Garden (2001)
·         Light Before Day (2005)
·         Blind Fall (2008)
·         The Moonlit Earth (2010)
·         The Heavens Rise (2013)

Contact Christopher Rice

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