Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice

The Heavens Rise is the first novel I've read by Christopher Rice and hopefully will not be the last. Rice takes us on a journey through the murky, black, swamp water in Louisiana where there is more than meets the eye, is lying in wait. Three friends are up against an evil the world has never seen before who's only goal is revenge.

The Heavens Rise is an engrossingly atomospheric, poetically written, supernatural novel with elements of horror that will scare the pants off some readers. The novel follows a group of friends Nicolette Delongpre, Ben Broyard, and Anthem Landry and shifts focus between their lives during high school, and as adults eight years later. After a devastating car crash leaves Nikki's mother dead, the Delongpre's vanish almost into thin air. Ben and Anthem have not seen or found evidence that Nikki and her father are alive but are hopeful their queen will return. 

One single lapse in judgement puts Nikki in danger of crossing paths with a villain who is hellbent on getting revenge. In an effort to get restitution for the slights against him, Nikki's best friends are fair game to get what he wants by any means possible. Even if that means killing them.

Rice clearly has some good writing chops that are very obvious in this novel. His use of imagery, plot, and setting make for a read that is very interesting and hard to put down. Rice also makes sure to chronicle Hurricane Katrina and how it affects the cast in a way that provides another layer to characters who would seem one dimensional otherwise.

Although well written The Heavens Rise was not able to leave me with no gripes. My most major gripe is the villain. Although he has a sound reason for wanting revenge on Nikki, I couldn't help feeling he was just a big bully having a temper tantrum. An extremely severe temper tantrum, but still... He was a jerk even before he had a reason to be a jerk. Another maybe less glaring gripe is that I wanted the moments of chaos to be savored. I wanted the battles not to end so abruptly. For so much attention given to detail, I couldn't see why those moments were so dismal and hurried.

The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice is worth the read and is highly recommended for lovers of supernatural fiction. I definitely enjoyed it. This is not his first novel so I'm off to add his other works to my to-read list.   ****

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