Friday, October 18, 2013

"The Heavens Rise" by Christopher Rice

The Heavens Rise
by Christopher Rice

The Heavens Rise is the latest offering by Christopher Rice. I came across this book as a member of NetGalley, a site dedicated to linking authors with reviewers. If you love reading and reviewing books, or if you're an author in need of reviews, why not give it a try? It's FREE.

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.

From the Journals of Niquette Delongpre
I'm not sure how long it was down there.
The soils beneath South Louisiana are constantly shifting; a mass of alluvial sands deposited over hundreds of thousands of years by the Mississippi's flow. It could have worked its way up from deep within the earth, possibly pressured by the nearby upwelling of one of the many salt domes that dot the bottom of my home state.
Or it could have been draw to the surface by the work of some retired and forgotten oil well. I've studied old survey maps. There were two within a five-mile radius of our property. But they were capped and abandoned decades ago.
I remember when my father got the call that the contractors had discovered some kind of artesian well just a few yards from where they were laying the foundation of the new house. I remember how excited he was as he breathlessly explained the possibilities to my mother and me. The cost of running a larger pipe between Elysium and one of the parish's main water lines was considerable; that's how isolated the place was. But after a little investigation, the aquifer turned out to be woefully small, an isolated pocket beneath layers of bedrock that had long ago been cut off from its original source.
Still, Dad wanted to put it to some kind of use, even if it was only temporary.

Book Trailer

Eric Shaw Quinn hosts this sneak peek inside Christopher Rice's novel and first supernatural thriller, featuring an interview with Anne Rice on the true definition of a horror novel. Christopher performs readings from the book itself. The Dinner Party Show's "Special Correspondents", relationship expert JoNell Samms and critic-at-large Jordan Ampersand, deliver their advance reviews of the book.


By Lynda Dickson
Marshall Ferriot has his eyes set on Niquette (Nikki) Delogpre, but her boyfriend Anthem Landry stands in his way. After engineering their breakup, Marshall and Nikki are exposed to a strange organism which will change their lives forever.
When Nikki and her family disappear, and Marshall Ferriot ends up in a vegetative state and later also disappears, Nikki's friend Ben Broyard teams up with journalist Marissa Hopewell to investigate their disappearance. This search will last eight years. When people start suffering from strange blackouts and find themselves doing things they have no memory of and, as the trail of dead bodies increases, we are left to wonder: who is controlling whom and who will be left standing?
The Heavens Rise is a tale of revenge and unrequited love, with a bit of horror thrown in for good measure. The story is told via excerpts from the journal of Niquette Delongpre interspersed with past (2005) and present accounts by Marshall, Ben, Marissa, and a couple of other minor characters. The New Orleans setting is as much a character as any of the people.
The author has a great writing style which flows easily. He is able to swap between different characters, male or female, black or white, gay or straight, and make them all believable. He weaves the story together in an artful fashion, never disclosing too much at one time. He even manages to inject some humor, as witnessed by this exchange between Ben and Marissa:
"I'm working on a novel."
"Don't bother. There're too many already and not enough people to read them."
"Seriously? You realize you said that out loud, right?"
Recommended for lovers of horror and young adult paranormal genres.

About the Author
By the age of 30, Christopher Rice had published four New York Times bestselling thrillers, received a Lambda Literary Award for Best Mystery and been declared one of People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive. His latest novel, The Heavens Rise, is a supernatural thriller about a young woman who is exposed to a mysterious parasite in the Louisiana swamp that gives her the power to control minds and unleash living nightmares. Together with his best friend, bestselling novelist Eric Shaw Quinn, Christopher recently launched his own Internet radio show. An outrageous and irreverent comedy The Dinner Party Show With Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn.
Christopher's first novel, A Density of Souls, was published when he was just 22. The controversial bestseller was greeted with a landslide of media attention, much of it due the fact that Rice's mother is a legendary vampire chronicler who shares his last name (Anne Rice). He served as a contributing columnist to The Advocate for many years and his additional criticisms and witticisms have been featured in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and his own Facebook page, which currently hails over 100,000 subscribers. The members of the InsightOut Book Club selected his novel Blind Fall as one of the best novels of 2008, and his noir thriller Light Before Day was hailed as a "book of the year" by mega-best selling thriller novelist (and Jack Reacher creator) Lee Child. His short fiction has been featured in the anthologies Thriller and Los Angeles Noir. He recently served on the board of directors of the West Hollywood Library Fund, which was instrumental in securing private funds to build a brand new state-of-the-art library in the heart of the city he now calls home.