Monday, October 21, 2013

The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice

Series: standalone?
336p.
Publisher: Gallery Books
Available NOW
Source: From publisher for review
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.
 I've been wanting to read a book by Christopher Rice for a while now. Was happy when I got the chance. This is not a sweet story, but a horror book. I seem to be able to handle horror books better than movies (paranormal and monster movies are good, but no slasher films). This does have blood, guts and gore, but not so much you are running for the bathroom. It has just the right amount to keep the atmosphere of horror running throughout the book.

I do have to warn those that are like me and do not like to see animals hurt. There are a lot of scenes with animals being killed or dying. However, this is more a plot driven book so a lot of these scenes are kept a bit at arms length. Still, those like me will have a bit of trouble getting through those scenes. They are there with purpose. It lends the correct amount of horror to what is going on and who is doing it.

Now even though this is plot driven more than character driven, I think it works. You do connect on some level more to the secondary characters (who really come out as primary). Still, it isn't a book where you connect to those characters deeply. I feel it is purposeful in that way so it works. It helps keep up the suspenseful world in which these characters live.

In the end I give this book 4 stars. I found the first half of the book a bit tighter than the last, but it was still enjoyable and has an opening for a series if the author wants to go there.

23 comments:

  1. I loved The Heavens Rise. It was hard to read about the animal deaths—the first time it happened I was shocked—but I really enjoyed the element of horror it added. The ending was a little... different, but I still really liked the story as a whole. Great review!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

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    1. I didn't enjoy the element of horror it added, but it did add it! So, I do see why it was necessary in the story.

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  2. Somehow, I have no problem with violence towards adults, I am fairly desensitized that way. but animals and kids really get to me. I handle horror books well, but movies not so much. I don't know how I'd feel about the characters, though, I really need a strong connection.
    Great review, Mel.

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    1. You and me both! Adults, no prob, but kids and animals... eep! It seems that I can handle horror books better, but I'm still leery about trying them, but I'm starting to do that! :) In this book the lack of connection just worked for the way it was written. Usually I have to have a connection too!

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  3. Sounded great until I got to your review and the part about there being a lot of scenes with animals being killed or dying.

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  4. I just can't read it :( I want to give one a whirl by him but I don't think this will the one!

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    1. Understood. I don't think I would have if I had known, but I do enjoy his writing. So need to try more of his books!

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  5. Oh, nope. Not gonna read it. I can't read about animals dying. Just not gonna happen. Thanks for the warning!

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    1. Although I would say read a book by him. I think I'll add his other books to my wishlist.

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  6. Oh no! Lots of scenes with hurts animals? Sad

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  7. This sounds like a great Halloween Read! Sppoky. Hurting animals? Ehhhh, not sure if that will sit well with me.

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  8. Oh it's been a while since I've read a horror book, it's fun sometimes. I think I saw a review about this one but don't remember much. Thanks for the review.

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  9. I don't do too well with horror novels. I tend to prefer thriller or mystery to flat-out terrifying, so I might skip this, though I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. Wonderful review, Melissa!

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  10. Strangely, horror books tend to bother me more than movies. My imagination is too good!

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  11. This book is on my wishlist, and like you I handle horror in books better than on film. Lovely review and despite the poor animals I am excited.

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  12. That trailer makes my heart pound. Sounds like a great read. :D

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  13. I love Anne RIce and I grabbed a copy of this and will be reviewing it next month because I am most anxious to read her son's work, and I want to read Joe Hill SK's son as well. I love a good character driven book.

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  14. I have only read his first book, preblogging days, and I loved it. Not sure why I haven't read any of his others though.

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  15. I've been wanting to try Christopher Rice too, but now I"m concerned because I get super squeamish when it comes to animals being mistreated. Maybe I can handle it since it's at arm's length. But I'm glad I'll know that going in. Thanks for your honest review!

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  16. I also deal with horror in books better than in movies (I stay FAR from the movies, but will consider books, sometimes). I think the animal killing would bother me but it might be something I can overlook if it's kind of kept at arms length. This might be a touch too intense for me though!

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