The Ritual
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The Ritual

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  2,147 ratings  ·  452 reviews
When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience between them...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2011)
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Wow. This one came soooo very close to getting five stars from me. I am a horror buff and I LOVE to be scared ...really, truly freaked out. Not grossed out (I'll take a bit of that in good fun) but creeped out. My ideal physiological response to horror is when I get the heebie-jeebies (pardon my use of technical terms here) -- you know, the tingling spine, sweaty palms, paranoia, pounding pulse. I'm addicted to dread, and if you can make me want to sleep with the light on I will love you forever...more
The first half of this book was genuinely terrifying -- it's as harrowing as "The Descent," and in very similar ways. Luke and his three friends meet to go hiking and camping together, but Phil and Dom's less-than-stellar physical condition forces Hutch, the leader of the group, to propose a shortcut through a section of national forest. This shortcut turns frightening very quickly: not only is the forest much more dense and difficult to navigate than anyone anticipated, but early on they discov...more
Martin Belcher
First of all, I must say this is one of the most terrifying books I have ever read, the front cover write up describes it as being "horrifyingly scary" and it is not wrong!

This is my second Adam Nevill book, the first being Apartment 16 which was good, but The Ritual is by far streets ahead.
The story begins with four University friends reuniting in London and taking a hiking holiday to the remote artic forests of Northern Sweden, The friends Hutch, Luke, Dom and Phil all seem to have their own p...more
Imagine, if you can, that the Blair Witch project had actually been scary, and not just irritating teens with runny snotty noses randomly appearing in the dark, running, falling over, running again ... anyway, I digress. Nevill utilises the dark and primal iconography of pre-Christian religion to draw the reader absolutely into the bleak yet compelling landscapes of Swedish forests, where unnatural things lurk and stalk human prey. The atmospherics were superb, and I particularly enjoyed the Nor...more
Kealan Burke
An old-fashioned tale told in an old-fashioned voice, there is no denying the talent behind this book. An intriguing setup finds four college friends reunited for a trek through a dense forest in Norway. All goes well until their leader decides to take a shortcut through "virgin" territory, and soon they find themselves stalked by something monstrous and ancient. All the ingredients are here for an excellent horror novel, but while more than competently told, instances of long-windedness, repeti...more
I don't read much horror but I was excited for this book because I won it from one of the monthly giveaways for the Speculative Fiction Challenge. I read The Ritual in one sitting. The first half of the book was, for me, everything a horror story should be. It was suspenseful, chilling and scary. The unseen monster in the woods was made real enough that I wouldn't want to go hiking for a while. If you had asked me at that point I'd have said that I'd be sleeping with my light on that night.

Kasia S.
The Ritual was a stunning book to get lost in. The beginning with the four University friends trying to hike out through some ruthless Scandinavian forests ravages more than their clothes, they all have personal issues that over time have formed thorns between them and what better time to hash it out then out in the wild where tempers flare. So it's a double lost in the bushes story, physically and mentally, it's a grueling non hold barrel of a good time, for the reader who is safe on the couch...more
Joseph D'Lacey
The best novel - horror or otherwise - that I've read in many years. Nevill’s words teleport you to darker realms. Trouble is, once you’ve travelled to the world he creates, you never fully return... Brilliant and unputdownable.
Colin Leslie
Adam Nevill's previous two books Banquet For The Damned and Apartment 16 have been excellent ghost stories, mixing the best traditional elements with modern settings to revamp the genre for the modern age. Now, with The Ritual, he takes us deep into nature and pagan rituals in a Scandinavian forest with another powerful supernatural tale.
We follow the misadventures of former university colleagues, Luke, Phil, Dom and Hutch as they make the biggest mistake of their lives. What is planned as a reu...more
5 stars

"On your knees you weep. Sobs wrack your chest and your eyes are cried dry. Parched
heaving comes out of your raw throat and sounds strange to your own ears. You cry
because this is the end. Your life closes this way, in this dark and stinking place that
makes no sense. There is no justice in this and no way to escape..."

The Ritual is an amazing piece of survival horror. This book is like a cross between the movie The Blair Witch Project, and the novels; The Willows, and Mythago Wood...more
Bryn Greenwood
I found this a mixed bag. On the one hand, it had the compelling must-finish quality to it that I consider a must for horror novels. If a horror novel can't force you stay up past your bedtime alone in a dark house, it's not worth reading. In that sense, Nevill succeeds very well. In particular he amplifies the terror with some well-placed dream sequences that hint at horrors past and horrors to come.

I also felt that he did well at character development. In the first few chapters, it's a bit dif...more
For fans of H.P. Lovecraft I highly recommend this diamond in the rough. It combines all the needed elements to delight your ghoulish desires. It starts a little slow, hits what seems like a point of no return / where is this story going? moment in the middle and finishes strong. The ending is left open to your imagination, which is not my favorite way for books to end, but it worked with the style it was written in.

Four friends from different walks of life meet to take a holiday backpacking in...more
Ned Hayes
The Ritual by Adam Nevill is an astonishingly well-written contemporary horror novel. It is my new favorite horror novel.

The story is so solidly grounded in the reality of four friends lost in a Boreal forest, that by the time weird things start happening, you are utterly entranced and fully bought into their precarious situation, their small bits of in-fighting and their utter terror at being lost.

Nevill writes with a convincing contemporary verisimilitude, and a sense of care for his characte...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
G.R. Yeates
A fusion of old world mysticism and modern world malevolence & violence.

The Ritual introduces us to four old friends on a hiking holiday through the more remote borderlands of Sweden and Norway. They are becoming estranged as they realise that the different paths their lives have taken mean they are not as close as they once were. In this respect, their journey mirrors their fracturing relationships as they take the wrong paths, again and again, through an ancient, overgrown forest and confr...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

If only we could all stand up. All of us who have died unjustly for the Gods of the insane. There would be so many of us.

This is my second Adam Neville book.

This one took me a bit to get into and wasn't nearly as scary as Last Days, but it kept me turning pages and engrossed enough to want to find out what happened to the characters.

My struggle with the book was with the main character Luke. It was difficult for me to like an angry, sarcastic loser of an MC that settles arguments with his fists....more
This book was good, really good. I agree with a lot of the other reviews that the first half was way more frightening. It was truly scary. And once the second half started I wanted to be disappointed, but by the time I finished I realized that it had it's great parts too. The second half might not have been so viscerally terrifying, but it took you to the psychological and philosophical depths of what it feels like to know absolutely that you are going to die, in an awful way at that. When you
This is a taut, well-paced adventure horror novel that draws inspiration from the classic weird fiction of Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen. Four old friends harboring personal tensions with one another get lost on a hiking trip in a forest full of creepy ancient altars and whatnot. Horrors ensue. The novel is especially successful throughout part I, but not so much through part II, which, for me, and for at least one other person I know, nearly went off the rails. Without saying too much, t...more
I loved everything about this book! Exactly what I look for in a horror story. Scary without ever being in your face, but had me biting my nails throughout.
The last 50 pages of The Ritual had me so tightly wound I think I was holding my breath. I was definitely suppressing a scream, cursing my brain for not being able to read faster and fighting the urge to skip ahead barely able to stand the tension.

I enjoyed both parts of the story and loved the ending. Adam Nevill is great at keeping the reader in the moment and Luke is a character well worth rooting for.

An atmospheric tale of survival in the ancient forests of Sweden. I would recommend this boo...more
Keith Deininger
Actually, I enjoyed Nevill's novel much more after the 3rd act shift. The first section is done well, but is, to me, the tired material of B-rate horror movies. The second part--the "twist," I guess you could say--is more interesting because it deals with a more human element, with human "evil." A well-told story, but still, nothing new here.
Tanja Berg
Rating 3.5 out of 5*. Four friends are hiking in the Scandinavian wilderness. One of them, Dom, has hurt his knee. Hutch, the leader of the group, convinces the rest to take a short cut through some virginial - as in ancient and left to itself - forest to save a day. By the time they are getting lost, they find the carcass of something unidentifiable strung up in a tree. Rather than trying to retrace their steps, they plunge on. It soon becomes obvious that something is hunting them. Something w...more
It's taken me a long time to get around to reviewing this book. The basic reason is that I'm still trying to decide if I would recommend it. I feel like I have a love/hate relationship with it: loved the first part, not so crazy about the second part.

OK, if you think you want to read this book, I would stop here. Seriously.
SPOILER ALERT!! Turn back now, foolish mortal. Wait. Stop. Don't.

Still here? Alrighty then, let's get into the meat and potatoes of this novel.

The first part is your standard...more
Barrett Brassfield
Perhaps the novel's subtitle should read the Dunwich Horror Meets Hiking Metal Punks. This is a good thing. The Ritual is a fine piece of modern horror writing. It all begins innocently enough with four old friends 15 years removed from uni hiking an ancient forest in northern Sweden. Two of the four friends are unfit for such a trek and so a shortcut through the dense woodland is attempted but like many a good shortcut things go horribly wrong. The woodland is practically impenetrable and the g...more
Amanda Steinhoff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
B.P. Gregory
Give me the short version: Four men choose the worst place ever to go hiking: a chunk of Swedish forest as old as the last ice age, where visceral ancient powers have never lost their hold.

I personally believe that the mind comes with its own raw, dangling uvula. A sort of racially shared Jungian psychic gag reflex.

While writers like Chuck Palahnuik delight in ramming their finger in to induce vomiting, The Ritual skillfully tickles. Just enough to turn reasonable, educated people into packs of...more
headmistress A
i won this book a while a go and i finally got around to reading it and thank god i did THIS BOOK IS SOOOOOOOOOOO FREAKING TERRIFYING! and usually thats a good thing for me but this book has changed my whole outlook on the word terrifying i couldnt pick this up at night and read it cause i was so scared i only read it during the day when it was light out side. even though i never gone hikingbefore its scary enough that I wouldn't want to go hiking.the story is split into two parts. At first I th...more
May 01, 2012 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventurous hikers, Bear Grylls
This book would make an awesome movie. I would *not* feel guilty *at all* forking over $20 for a ticket and sneaking in a sample of rum to mix with my $9 Coke, just to see and hear this freakfest in the dark. Of course I would probably end up with my hand over my eyes for the better part of the film, and afterwards would have to watch clips of Phillip Phillips or something just to drag my spirit out of the depths of fear and depression. I'm SUPER glad this wasn't spoiled for me, so I'm not going...more
Jorgen Schäfer
If you ever want to explain to someone how word count requirements can ruin stories, give them this book. It starts out like any random horror / thriller. A group of people get lost in a big forest and get hunted by something that might very well be their imagination. It's a good read, and I enjoyed it a lot, even though it was a bit of a generic plot. But then the story finishes and all would be good, except the author apparently had a word count requirement, so he finished the book. I won't sp...more
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Contemporary Brit...: The Ritual 2 24 Jul 13, 2014 08:48PM  
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Adam L.G. Nevill was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969, and grew up in England and New Zealand. He is the author of the novels: Banquet for the Damned, Apartment 16, The Ritual, Last Days and House of Small Shadows. In 2012 The Ritual won the August Derleth Award for Best Horror Novel; in 2013, Last Days won the same award. He lives in Birmingham and can be contacted through wwww.adamlgnevill.c...more
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“It’s like you said, it’s all about P.R. these days. Brand management. Social networking. The corporatization of our own experience. We’re all our very own communications directors. But what a load of bollocks it all is when you’re faced by something like this.” 0 likes
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