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The Heavens Rise

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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.

321 pages, Hardcover

First published October 15, 2013

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About the author

Christopher Rice

42 books2,425 followers
Christopher Rice is the recipient of the Lambda Literary Award and is the Amazon Charts and New York Times bestselling author of A Density of Souls; Bone Music, Blood Echo, and Blood Victory in the Burning Girl series; and Bram Stoker Award finalists The Heavens Rise and The Vines. An executive producer for television, Christopher also penned the novels Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra and Ramses The Damned: The Reign of Osiri with his late mother Anne Rice. Together with his best friend and producing partner, New York Times bestselling novelist Eric Shaw Quinn, Christopher runs the production company Dinner Partners. Among other projects, they produce the podcast and video network TDPS, which can be found at www.TheDinnerPartyShow.com. He lives in West Hollywood, California, and writes tales of romance between men under the pseudonym C. Travis Rice. Visit him at www.christopherricebooks.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 403 reviews
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,574 reviews5,908 followers
November 5, 2014
I tried to not judge the son by the sins of the crazy mother. This book is not getting it though. I have another one of his to read so I'll try again.
See I can be nice!
This one is so frigging boring that well..pervy kitty on my status update showed what I would rather be doing.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,447 reviews7,542 followers
September 5, 2014
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

The Heavens Rise might just be the scariest thing to come out of the swamp since

"Magic withheld gives birth to nightmares, and so I have no choice but to stand back, open my heart and let the heavens rise."

Have you read the synopsis yet? You haven’t? Good. DON’T! This book could have possibly been 4 Stars if the f-ing blurb didn’t spoil the whole damn story for me. The big reveal/“dun dun dunnnnnnnn” moment doesn’t happen until the 61% mark. WTF??? It might as well say “don’t bother reading the 300+ pages contained in this book ‘cause the handy-dandy synopsis will tell you EVERYTHING that’s going to happen in a few simple paragraphs.

Now that that is out of my system, herewego . . .

Nearly 10 years ago Nikki Delongpre’s family vanished while on their way to a housewarming get-together at “Elysium” – their newly renovated dream home in Bayou Rabineaux. Nikki’s disappearance left her best friend Ben, her boyfriend Anthem, and all of their unanswered questions behind. It also left behind something else – an ancient parasite which gives its victims the ability to possess and control the minds of others.

Scary, right????

I have had this book for nearly a year. Due to the *ahem* attitudes *ahem* a certain person who shall not be named has expressed about reviewers, I just couldn’t make myself read this one. However, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and get through all of my old ARCs, so I decided to suck it up, disregard the sins of the mother, and go for it.

I’m glad I did. The Heavens Rise is what Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures could have been if it they weren’t so busy being giant piles of turds instead. The mystery (if you can call it that after reading the spoilerific synopsis) was intriguing, the bad guy was creepy, the supernatural stuff was a fresh twist rather than a regurge of the same ol’ same ol’, the main characters were in their mid-20s (perfect for both YA and adult readers), and dare I forget to mention Marissa, a character who will easily go down as one of my top 10 faves of 2014.

ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Rick.
Author 118 books1,018 followers
May 3, 2014
Dear Christopher Rice,
I have a confession to make. I've never read any of your books until now. I'm ashamed to admit that I prejudged you, assuming you were riding your mother's coattails to literary success. Thank you for proving me wrong with THE HEAVENS RISE. What a powerful novel! And what an amazing and inspired contribution to the horror genre. Your detailed and emotionally-gripping narrative did what all good books do--made me think, touched my heart, and best of all, kept me counting down the minutes until I could return to the world you created in THE HEAVENS RISE. I loved every minute of it and I owe you a big apology for not reading you sooner. Head bowed, and self-chastened, I will now be adding your other books to my to-be-read stack.
Profile Image for Book Him Danno.
2,398 reviews53 followers
December 4, 2013
You remember when you were young and movies really scared you; and then 20 years on you go back and watch the same movie and cannot believe that it ever had any effect on you at all? Well that is how I felt after reading The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice. I came into the book thinking it would be at least spooky if not slightly shocking; and maybe that was my mistake as a reader. Overall it was a pleasant story that struck me more of a Stephen King novel that has been watered down with an even mix of Stephanie Meyer.

The good news is Christopher Rice is quite a good writer and can tell a story. It just seemed he was stuck between the two words of supernatural. Either you want to follow historical precedence and make the reader want to sleep with a night light on (Book Idea – a supernatural novel wherein a night light invites the horrors to the victims!!), or to follow the modern trend of misunderstood teen monsters in love. When you play to both you get pleasant and nobody wants that in their supernatural.

In the end it seemed he played it safe and only told half the story. We only got Nikki’s story in snippets, the history of the horror source was glossed over briefly, the fear of the victims just lightly touched on, and a contrived final confrontation that never really satisfies. And then you get the Shawn of the Dead epilogue wherein you have the metaphorical Simon Pegg keeping Nick Frost in the back shed.

So the book is very readable, and the story is inventive, but just misses the mark for a truly supernatural thriller it is advertised to be. Stick with this author though because you can tell he has a home run in him and you wouldn't want to miss that.
Profile Image for Patrice Hoffman.
553 reviews259 followers
October 15, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Historical Fiction.
920 reviews590 followers
April 2, 2016
I knew I was going out on a limb with Christopher Rice's The Heavens Rise, but I can't help feeling annoyed that it proved such a disappointment.

Having read the blurb I expected darker subject matter, but the vulgarity of the Rice's language paired with the his dependence on trite stereotypes grated my nerves. I would have been able to handle ominous, but the fact that I found much of the material offensive depleted my patience and made it intensely difficult for me to care about the narrative.

The transparency of the cast only served to increased my irritation. Nikki, Ben, Anthem and Marshall have very distinct roles and to be blunt, Rice wasn't able to augment their established functions with enough intrigue or depth to capture my interest.

Already hanging by a thread, I pushed through in hope that Rice would pull off something interesting in terms of content, but truth be told, my husband's inexplicable love of bad horror flicks has yielded more original content. The parasite, even with the psionic twist just didn't intimidate me...

For me, The Heavens Rise is a horror that failed to horrify. Not for me and not one I'd recommend.
Profile Image for So, I Read This Book Today.
722 reviews116 followers
September 28, 2013
It isn’t the big things that frighten me the most. Oh, they are frightening: the storms, the fires and floods and hurricanes like Katrina. Their devastation is horrific, tremendous, outside the realm of reality in their own way.

But those things can be shared, in all their pain and anger. What frightens me are the small things, the unseen things. The man who touches his three-year-old daughter, behind walls and in secret. The woman down the street, whose empty eyes have long given up hope for rescue from her abusive husband. The eyes of a starved and beaten animal, long past any understanding of why their loving nature has been so abused.

The Heaven’s Rise pushes those buttons, edges those boundaries, between madness and despair. Where evil is a scent or a sound, a chill running up the back of the neck. The sense of a shadow, just out of the reach of mind and eye. A memory, dropped deep within the well of the psyche, rising, groaning, into the subconscious at three in the morning.

In The Heaven’s Rise, all the evils, small and large, play a prominent role. The uncaring heartlessness of the political machine of New Orleans, the greed that played a role in the losses caused by Katrina and the tragedies that occurred before, during and after the storm. Greedy oil companies and exploding gas pipelines. The cruelty and hatred, the corruption of a body politic out of control.

But those are the large, the expected things. What shivers over my skin while reading this book are the small terrors, the 3AM night-sweats, the shadows in the corners of the room, moving and flowing, rising up. Superstition and hatred and death, and the spooky world of the Louisiana bayou jacked-up on the aftereffects of terror.

Sometimes, the nightmares that the rich can cause are worse than any dark creature, risen from the swamps. Especially given the powers of those shadows, those denizens of the darkest nights, and the fog shadowed edges of reality. It is the psychopath in his plain little house, living his plain little life, sharpening his blades in his plain little kitchen, before he walks out the door. The sociopath, passing through the crowd, innocuous and calm, quietly planning the collapse of the markets, or the deaths of thousands upon his whim. Pol Pot. Ted Bundy. The quiet, unobtrusive fellow next door. The one you would never suspect.

The same. The same. They are all the same. The blankness in their eyes, the lack of a soul. Or a soul so blackened, so twisted, that the very act of having a soul is a torment, an automaton of evil, with lifeless, unblinking eyes. The primitive eyes of alligators, of lizards. Of blasted humans, drinking in the misery of others like a fine wine.

There is mystery and death and long hidden, deeply primitive secrets to this story, set both before and after the depredations of Katrina. Secrets and lies, and blasted human souls draw you into the book and keep you there, holding your breath while you skim the pages, drawn into the depths of greed, hatred, and pathology which would make Stephen King and M Night Shyamalan green with envy. For the horrors here are horrors of minds lost to the shadows, puppets with cut strings, dancing across the stage, deranged events in the midst of chaos. Monsters live in our minds. Our psyches. Only, sometimes? They get out.

And yet, at times, a small flame burns in the distance. The faint, small light of hope.
Profile Image for John Amory.
Author 19 books45 followers
August 27, 2013
It seems that Christopher Rice attempts to reinvent himself with every new book he writes. A Density of Souls and The Snow Garden were stylistically and thematically similar (both read like deliciously melodramatic soap operas), but ever since then he has experimented with different genres: the noir thriller (Light Before Day); the military thriller (Blind Fall); and the international spy thriller (The Moonlit Earth). The Heavens Rise adds yet another genre to Rice's catalog: the supernatural thriller.

Niquette (Nikki) Delongpre's family has recently decided to turn part of their New Orleans estate into a swimming pool after discovering a well beneath the land. When she and a fellow student, Marshall, end up in the newly-dug trench one night, they are attacked by mysterious organisms. Not too long after, Marshall seemingly loses his mind and ends up in a kind of coma while Nikki and her family drive off the road and are never heard from again.

The Heavens Rise will likely disappoint readers looking for or expecting another A Density of Souls or The Snow Garden. Unlike in those books, Rice's language here is concise and sparse, allowing the reader to create the story just as much as the author does. This makes for an uneasy read that is simultaneously wholly satisfying; it forces the reader to participate with the work: filling in blanks, inferring, thinking about the text and story in a way that engages with it.

Rice shows quite a bit of maturity and growth with this latest work, writing about a large ensemble of characters in alternating perspectives who have individual personalities without having them turn into after-school specials as many of the characters in his first two novels did. He is learning subtlety as he writes more. There is still the underlying current of a coming-of-age novel here, but it's not so in your face with its themes. There are ideas at work about the nature of evil and what it means to be human, themes far more universal in scope than Rice's early works. This is not a 400-page parsing out of emotions and identity. The one gay main character, Brandon, is post-gay: his sexuality is mentioned, but it is not a defining trait of his character nor does it drive his arc in any way; this is the kind of LGBT representation needed in media, the kind that shows sexuality is really a very small part of someone's overall character and doesn't dictate how or why someone exists. Brandon's life isn't shaped by his sexuality (in the way Randall's is in The Snow Garden, for instance) but by the disappearance of his best friend and its aftermath. These characters are dynamic, psychologically complex, and often downright frightening.

As for the story, it's one you kind of have to lose yourself inside of. Like I said, this isn't the kind of interconnected melodrama Rice was writing at the beginning of his career. This is a plot-driven supernatural horror story (that spoiler is major, by the way, so proceed at your own risk) which delves into some base human fears. The writing is strong, particularly the dialogue and descriptive language that makes Rice's signature gothicism come to life so effortlessly. Everything hurtles along to an explosive climax and satisfyingly open ending.

The Heavens Rise feels mythic, with its allusions to the Garden of Eden and Elysium, in style and execution. It's grand and far-reaching and epically told, and I highly recommend losing yourself in it the way I did.

4.5 stars - Rice's strongest work yet
Profile Image for Mary.
593 reviews45 followers
October 13, 2013
Well, that was interesting. And, sad. And, entertaining. And, FREAKY!

The Heavens Rise is my first Christopher Rice novel. Going in, I wasn't quite sure what to expect but, in most ways, the author has exceeded my expectations. THR is equal parts crime drama, thriller, romance, paranormal and more. You can read the synopsis on Goodreads or Amazon but it doesn't really do the book justice.

What I really liked:

- Character Development - the reader gets to know Niquette, Anthem, Ben, Marissa and Marshall. In some cases, we know more than is comfortable. Who really wants to be in the mind of a sociopath like Marshall? A good writer allows you to enter that mind, no matter how disturbing, and exit the other side without too many scars. Christopher Rice did this.
- Love of New Orleans - of course Rice loves New Orleans...his mom is Anne Rice, famous for her stories based in that city. I appreciated that Christopher not only talked about the beauty and the strong people. He also dipped into the underside and some of the not so pretty things that live there.
- Using timeline to build tension - For most of THR, the author goes back and forth through time. While Niquette's journals begin the story, we are quickly taken to Marshall's hospital room. He clearly is not a stable person (understatement of the year). As the novel progresses, we are shown the past events that put him in the hospital and ultimately led to the final showdown between the main characters.
- Marissa - probably my favorite character - a tough, smart African-American woman who has dealt with racism and sexism throughout her life but doesn't allow it to bring her down. She fights for her career and for what she believes in.

What didn't work as well for me:

- Most of the paranormal elements were well written and made sense. "Making sense" is important to me as a reader. I love zombies, vampires, wolves and witches. But, the who, what, where, when and why have to be there. There was one piece of this that just didn't fit for me (no spoilers but basically the effect of having someone control your mind and feel strong emotion.) For some reason, I felt that this needed to be explained more fully. Maybe it was just so far-fetched that I couldn't wrap my mind around it.
- Some of Niquette's decisions were a little off. Based on what I knew of her as a character (friend, girlfriend, daughter), they didn't seem in line with her personality. Most of it was pretty minor but I wished these mistakes had been further fleshed out so that I could understand why she chose a certain path.
- Overall the writing was well done. There was an example though of the same word (giant) used three times in two sentences. Just a personal pet peeve of mine.

In honor of Freaky Friday, I'm going to share a personal story. When I was pretty young (maybe 5-6), my Mom told me about an article she had read about amoebas. Apparently these gross organisms were in a pond and they decided to enter the brain of an unlucky swimmer. It caused personality issues and physical pain. Yes, my Mom told me this as a very young child. Since then I have had multiple nightmares on the subject and even the word "amoebas" makes me cringe. Why am I telling you this story in this review? Well, you have to read the book to find out but it brought this fear back into the forefront of my mind. Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Christopher Rice. Now I'm going to have the nightmares again.

4/5 stars for a really great story. Recommended to everyone!

Thank you to the publisher for providing an E-ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jane.
Author 10 books821 followers
December 31, 2013
Where I got the book: e-ARC from NetGalley.

I went through a major Anne Rice phase at one point a few years ago and then grew out of her. When I saw that her son Christopher's latest was available at NetGalley I was curious, and in the mood for some horror/thriller.

The plot, or at least a bit of it; Anthem, Marshall and Niquette were high school friends but ten years later Niquette is missing, presumed dead, with the rest of her family, Marshall is a coma patient and Anthem has developed a drinking problem. And weird things seem to be happening around Marshall; small animals and birds are found with exploded heads and the nursing staff are committing random acts of violence.

From that beginning the action shifts back and forth over the years, taking in the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, the history of the three friends, and the lives of journalists Ben and Marissa. What slowly unfolds is a story of paranormal power in a New Orleans setting: sound familiar? The Witching Hour, anyone?

So would I have thought Christopher Rice sounded like his Mom if I didn't know the connection? That's the question that's been plaguing me. Because dang, he really does. His writing is less florid, tighter, more action-packed, more socially aware; but there's the same fluid style, the same centrality of New Orleans in their thoughts. I was not expecting so many points at which I found myself thinking this felt like an Anne Rice novel.

And exactly the same criticism as I had of The Witching Hour all those years ago: the story doesn't bear out the promise of the writing. You get all this great atmosphere, creepy tension, some superbly memorable scenes, and in the end these rather comic-book monsters that I felt totally meh about. And not nearly enough was said about Katrina, which in the hands of Stephen King, say, would have provided some truly terrifying wet-your-pants moments that I'd probably still remember ten years later. Which is one of the reasons I don't read much King.

But I digress. This book just didn't work for me as a whole, although it worked very well in parts. I went back and forth between two and three stars because while I thought the plot was just OK (or OK-to-lame) I definitely liked the writing. I feel like Rice isn't really digging deep enough into the darker corners of his psyche, which you really have to do if you're going to write good horror. Either that or he should stick to literary novels, which I think he'd do pretty well.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,430 reviews992 followers
October 12, 2013
Thanks to the author, publisher and netgalley for the review copy and for the disturbed sleep….

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. Out October 15th.

Intense and atmospheric. Right. Spot on description. Hey, me, I don’t get creeped out by novels often, a good horror or ghost film yep, can affect my nights but when I’m reading of strange and terrible things my brain usually seems to accept that and much as I enjoy them they stay where they are supposed to. Exceptions to this rule: Geralds Game by Stephen King and now, The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice…

For a start its a brilliantly imagined story….one that almost immediately sinks into your subconcious and stays there for the duration, no matter what else you are doing. A family disappears, a town mourns, but something strange and terrible is going on…and for those left behind the nightmare may only just be beginning.

Some real life events are incorporated into the story and that works well – the atmospheric and truly haunting setting give it an edge and I loved the whole thing. I love Mr Rice’s writing style, and setting the novel both in past and present to get an overall look at what is going on creates an offset to the reading experience and all in all this was a wonderful addition to the halls of horror fame.

It won’t be for everyone – but if you like a good supernatural and twisty tale of intrigue then I’m fairly sure you will enjoy this. Even if you do dream of snakes and dark water and terrible things….

Happy Reading Folks!
Profile Image for Ashley Finnegan.
178 reviews17 followers
November 18, 2013
Hmmm.. I don't exactly know how I want to start this. I have this book sitting in my kindle right now at 92%. That's not far from being completely finished and yet.. yet I don't want to spend anymore of my precious time on it. I usually give a basic rundown of what a book is about when I do my reviews and then head it up by saying whether or not I liked the writing style, plot, characters, etc. I'm not going to summarize this time.. I like reading supernatural reads, that is why I was drawn to this book in the first place but I am truly disappointed by it. As far as writing style Christopher Rice done a decent job. I think it was just the story itself that I couldn't connect with. When I first started this book I thought it would be easy to get into but then I don't know, things just kept..falling short. I tried to give it a chance and kept picking the book up only to read a few more chapters and become tired of it. That is NEVER a good sign. If a book is good, really good you can stay awake much later than normal because you've become so engrossed in it. That is the way I like to read, when everything around you falls away and you are in so deep that time is no longer relevant. Even if a book is just ok I can still somewhat read through it pretty fast because there are usually certain parts you can get lost in. Yeah, that did not happen at all during this entire novel. My attention was easily distracted and I just became...bored. I thought about what I was going to write in this review, about if there was one character, one scene that I might spend time telling about and then I realized it's just pointless. I give this book two stars because the overall writing/editing is done well but other than that.. *yawn*
Profile Image for Cheryl.
940 reviews
June 9, 2019
An ok read, but nothing special. It's really more SF than horror, and not that scary. (Think along the lines of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.) Uneven pacing, with the first half being fairly boring. I don't think I'll be reading more by this author any time soon.
Profile Image for Elo .
661 reviews59 followers
December 20, 2014
To be published on October 15 2013

This is the first ARC I read, since I registered on Netgalley yesterday.

Ok up to me now.

First, I'd say the book is way to slow. I spend half the book waiting for the story to kick-off, and at this point I was just wishing for the book to be over. And yet I went on, mainly for my book of the day challenge, the review purpose and a little curiosity remaining: I read half of it, now I want to know why.

I felt the premise of the book, if not a little misleading (but aren't all the book summary are?), intriguing. Louisiana, a thriller vibe and supernatural elements in the bayou. Yes gimme!

Yet, I found it mostly confusing. The several narrators/POVs don't help the story according to me. It doesn't help building the suspense, for what is actually a kind of thriller/horror story.

Secondly, the characters. I have to say I had no feelings whatsoever toward them and couldn't care what would happen to them. And when you don't love characters, then you have a problem. And I keep thinking that with more than the first half of the book supposingly setting up the story, there would have been way enough time to make me care about them.

I'd say the one with the most potential has to be the bestfriend, Ben, turned into journalist. And his mentor/colleague. We saw their first encounter and then how their relationship evolved and it was nice. However, Niquette, the girl that I first thought would be the main character, and it's actually all fine if she isn't, well we barely saw her.

Ok, it's all part of the mystery, you'll tell me. And you kind of "see some of her actions" through the book but what a letdown...

This lead me to my last part (I guess, how my semblance of structure is working out so far?): the explanation. What a letdown that make me think "all for this?". I have to say, it's not much of how it happens that what happen. This paranormal element (at least that's what you guess) is actually revealed to be a science thingy. That doesn't do it for me. Not because I don't like science, not at all (even if I'm far from the scientist myself) but because it was so...weird. That's definitely not the best word for it but that's all I get for now.

Also because I found it to be very badly exploited but mainly because the reactions it provoked to Niquette's family. How in the frakking hell people react like that?! I'm not saying there aren't people that act weirdly to weird stuff but for me it wasn't really believable and just made me actually dislike the characters. Niquette's father and Niquette herself. And then Ben.

Maybe the story will have come out better for me if the book was narrated by Niquette herself. So we would have been able, I hope, to understand a little bit more of this whole mess. Because it would have been more human. That's it, I felt like this story lack human emotion, even when the trio of friend do have a sweet relationship. And we get to see nothing of it.

Oh, and the real last point. The bad guy. Ok, he's just so bad. I'm absolutely not saying that all bad guy have to have an explanation for being bad but man, here he's just presented as as bad as human gets. He was already a psycho raper-in-training before he got "infected" and it just went all down after that. We don't really get behind his motivation, do we? Apart from his obsession with Niquette.

Ok, I'll stop now. I really didn't plan on saying all of this and I'll stop now.

I wouldn't recommend the book, at least to people who like the same kind of stories I do (if you can know what I like). But of course I'm not all-knowing and if you like the summary and think you'll like the book, maybe see by yourself.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Claire Walker.
21 reviews1 follower
February 8, 2017
You can read more of my book reviews over at the rabid bookworm.

I want to say first off that I didn’t finish this book – I tried really hard to but just couldn’t force myself past the 70% mark. I loved the setting, New Orleans both pre and post Katrina were really brought to life by the author but the time jumps between 2005 and 2013 were really quite jarring for me because if you finished reading half way through a chapter you struggled to figure out what time period you were in when you resumed.

We meet 3 best friends – Niquette Delongpre, Her boyfriend Anthem and her best friend Ben. The trio’s lives are shattered one night when Nicky and her whole family go missing (presumed dead) off the highway one night. We see the tangled wreckage that Anthem’s life become, relying on booze to get him through the years after her disappearance, we see Ben constantly seeking truth as a way to deal with his grief and we also meet Mitchell, a twisted sick boy who was involved in an incident with Nicky before she went missing.

The Delongpre’s live on their estate Elysium, and an artesian well is found on the property. The Delogngpre’s use it to fill their swimming pool shortly before their disappearance and Mitchell and Nicky both fall into the pool. There’s something in the water, a slimy plankton or mould and it would seem whatever is in the water starts to change them.

Days after Nicky’s disappearance, Mitchell takes a long dive out of a third story window leaving him in a vegitative state and life goes on… until one day, dead animals start to appear outside Mitchell’s hospital room, all with the same injuries. Heads exploded, brains spattered all over the lawn and the whispering of the hospital nurses about mind control by the boy in room 4.

Now at this point I was absolutely hooked! Who was this creepy boy in room 4? Was it just weird superstition and hysteria that was sweeping through the staff, or was there really something supernatural going on? Shortly after this introduction to the mystery of the Delongpre’s though, I felt the tension and suspense kind of ebb out of the novel and to be honest I started to feel bored.

We find that Mitchell even before his hospitalization was a creep of the largest magnitude at best, a budding psychopath at worst. He fantasized about killing Nicky Delongpre and actually did something I suspect caused their car to crash. We’re left clues that Nicky might not be as dead as everyone thinks she is and we also discover that Mitchell has been slowly coming out of his state of vegetation, with the power to send others into a fugue state and control their actions.

He thinks Nicky is alive and is seeking revenge on her and all h=who he perceives that have wronged him. Now here’s where I really ran out of patience with the book – it’s patchy – you’re absolutely hooked for several chapters and then the excitement seems to ebb away. I’ve now gotten to the point where I’ve given up – I’ve been bored for around the last 60 pages and to be honest I can’t force myself to slog through some more until the writing picks back up again.

I think this book has the promise to be amazing but the writing style just isn’t for me. I’ve never read Christopher Rice before, so I’m not sure if this is on par with his other books but maybe in a few years I will pick up another because the author certainly knows how to make me hooked and excited. I just wish he could keep up the steam!

So a promising book certainly but this one just isn’t for me.
Profile Image for Marvin.
1,414 reviews5,324 followers
September 25, 2013
Christopher Rice has written a creepy novel of the supernatural but it's more than that. The author has devised a post-Katrina love song for New Orleans. His novel teems with Southern atmosphere and the characters are steeped in the New Orleans tradition. I may be off here, but this story about four teenagers who are changed by a mysterious and tragic event reads like an allegory to New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina. We have four main characters who are destroyed by a strange occurrence and struggle to regain normalcy, maybe never regaining it. I'm purposely being vague about the event. Technically there are three of them but they are connected, Suffice to say, I might not go swimming when I'm in Louisiana. The main success in this novel is how well Rice develops his four characters; Nickie, Anthem, Ben, and Marshall. Even Marshall, who has to be one of the weirdest and most repulsive characters I've come across in a novel, is beautifully managed in this story that spans eight years. The author has a lyrical form of writing but it doesn't detract from the more terrifying aspects. My only complain is the switching of time in the first half of the book. It is a little disorientating and took away from the otherwise excellent buildup. But once you get into the story it takes hold of you. This is the first book by Christopher Rice that I've read but I've been told it is quite different than his usual. It is also his first horror novel. What I can say from this reading is that the author has a style that combines the richly descriptive and psychological style of his mother Anne Rice and the on-your-edge storytelling of Stephen King. I will be checking out his other books but, frankly, I hope he writes another horror novel.

Four and a half stars.
Profile Image for Shannon Yarbrough.
Author 8 books18 followers
March 20, 2023
Christopher Rice definitely inherited his mother's knack for creating complex characters with complicated storylines. Part supernatural sci fi and part horror, The Heavens Rise takes place in Rice's hometown of New Orleans and revolves around a handful of characters and their relationships to each other. At the center is an unexplained parasite that gives people mind control abilities as well as the unexpected ability to turn into a part human - part creature related to their biggest fear. The parasite is linked to a swimming pool fed by a well, but that really isn't even the most important part.

In fact, there are lots of details left out (mostly the who, what, when, where, and why) at times. But you'll soon discover, it doesn't matter! Rice purposely throws the reader deep into the story and you are just meant to enjoy the ride. Not even the characters are privy to all of the information throughout the whole book. You'll soon discover you don't need a lot of explanation and Rice isn't going to spoon feed you the answers to them anyway.

At the center there is a love story. Two young men are torn over the same girl. Rumors abound, but the girl has disappeared unexpectedly with her parents. One of the men is involved in a freak accident that leaves him a vegetable for several years with strange occurrences happening around him in the hospital. A reporter friend is left to solve the puzzle until the man wakes up from his coma and sets out to find the answers on his own, and also seeks revenge.

In a way, the book is a love letter to New Orleans. Rice sheds some light on its public problems, both nationally and locally. There's a statement here but Rice is not standing on a soap box to tell it. Overall, it's a solid mystery / horror novel that new and old fans of Rice will devour.
Profile Image for Heather (glitterandlashes).
55 reviews10 followers
November 18, 2017
I was extremely excited when I happen to come across the book while out shopping for, yes more books, as I had read a book by this author a while ago and remember enjoying it quite a lot. Now although aside from that the synopsis was very intriguing and I thought I would give it a go.
The beginning was great and was pacing itself quite nicely and I began to get my hopes up that I had lucked out found another great book, but towards the middle I was beginning to lose interest. Which kind of pissed me off because I really liked these characters. I couldn't wait to see where the plot would take them. The more I read the more disappointed I got, which ticked me off even more. The end plot twist was not was I was expecting and I did not enjoy it at all.
That being said I did think it was well written and I loved the characters. I wasn't a bad book, just not for me. *insert pouty face*
Profile Image for Lynda Dickson.
581 reviews57 followers
October 19, 2013
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.

I received this book for the purpose of providing an honest review.
November 11, 2014
This is one of a number of books I read over the holiday period, but didn't have the time (or more honestly the inclination) to write a review as I was reading it, so this review will not be as long or as detailed as my usual reviews are.  Christmas was crazy busy with cooking and last minute shopping and I just wanted to read another great book without having to use my brain to write an intelligent and cohesive review, so I apologise for my dreadful laziness and promise to do better through the rest of the year (except maybe during my two 3 week long holidays where I might be too tired to read as well as review).
I received a free Adobe Digital Editions copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley, this has not compromised my ability to write an honest and critical review of the book.
I really enjoyed this but was surprised when it turned from a horror book where the horror was being created by a teenage serial-killer in the making with strange supernatural powers giving him the ability to continue killing despite appearing to be in a vegetative state, to a horror book where all the horror has been caused by contact with an ancient alien species.  When it turned out that aliens were involved I was a little disappointed because I wanted to continue reading about Marshall the serial killer with psychic powers, and adding the aliens confused things a bit, the aliens made the story seem to be two stories meshed together.  Like Rice couldn't quite decide what kind of book he wanted to write, so put both genres in the one book - the book has a split personality.  Mum's reading it now and she seems to be enjoying it as well.
Profile Image for Ionia.
1,430 reviews66 followers
October 17, 2013
So...hmmm. Yep. Not the best way to begin a review, perhaps, but I am not certain what to say about this book. I think if you are the type of person (like me) who enjoys thrills and chills at a more psychological level than a physical, action-based one, that this book will keep you happily occupied. Christopher Rice did a beautiful job of creating characters that have depth and make you want to learn more about them with this novel.

I was impressed mostly by his ability to make the bad guy more than just a simple villain. He is a truly twisted, vile individual that at times, makes you want to jump into the book and deal with him yourself. I found that the other character's reactions to him were very important in how I, as the reader, saw him. With every new event, you can't help but hate him just a little bit more. These are the kind of books I love. When the author can so clearly make me feel something for a character, I must be reading a great book.

There were times during this that I felt the descriptions were a bit much, but for those who do not know the area described in the story, this was likely a bonus.

The world of corruption, bad human behaviour and decisions that come back to haunt them were incredibly well displayed. One thing is for sure, it is hard to read this book and not think about life.

I liked the way the story was arranged, the plot was interesting and well planned and I enjoyed the end.

This was a great book, in my opinion. A bit twisted, dark--but I like that in a book.

This review is based on a digital ARc from Netgalley and the publisher.
Profile Image for ★Moonrise.
139 reviews306 followers
October 15, 2013
While Niquette "Nikki" Delongpre is going about her life in much the same manner as other teenagers--dealing with the ups and downs of adolescence, spending time with her best friend, and chatting with the new boy on campus--she is unaware of evil forces creeping up on her, surrounding her friends and family, and gearing up to unleash fury from the most unlikely of sources.

With her loyal friends as constant companions, what harm could befall this young girl? She has always lived in New Orleans, attends the most prestigious school in the city, and lives a relatively charmed life. Alas, it is just one secret, one unfortunate misstep, that will set off a series of events that will alter the course of their lives for all time. And it is in this story, as we shift between two time periods nearly a decade apart, where true horror begins to unravel. But in the unraveling, pieces of a puzzle are ultimately shifting into place, just fitting together a little... differently.

This is the kind of book that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. It was... haunting, torturous, exquisite. Perfectly paced, I loved the way information was shared at just the right time; slowly at first. It kept me guessing from start to finish! But throughout the story the reveals were abundant, building up and coming together like a symphony. Gorgeous. And although there may be sadness in some endings, there are others that leave you feeling... complete. That was this book. And it was heavenly.
Profile Image for Lectus.
1,029 reviews32 followers
November 2, 2013
Via http://onlectus.blogspot.com/2013/11/...

Hadn't I loved the beginning of the story, I would have given it 2 stars.

I feel this book was written by two people. The beginning was one thing and the end was another. I could barely put the book down at the beginning, and then mysterious force entered the second half and the story became blah; especially the supernatural part of it.

Let me start with the character of Marissa; two complete different people at the beginning of the book and the end. I was liking Marissa so much at the beginning and then she turned out to be a typical nothing.

Nikki: I thought she was going to be the main character, but it turned out she wasn't, but that's fine. It's just that was such a strong part at the beginning, and then became... nothing.

Marshall: absolutely the best character. When I started reading I was like "Oh my fxx god!" And then he became your typical psychopath with no explanation whatsoever.

I was also rooting for Ben and Anthem but the novel as a whole left me empty.

Nothing: that is what I got after I invested so much emotion in the beginning. As I said at the beginning, did two different people write this story? The supernatural part was interesting at first, but it turned out to be just a ridiculous thing to create some mystery.

For me, this book had a very strong and powerful beginning that turned into a crappy happy ending with a bunch of senseless murders that amounted to nothing.
Profile Image for Jenn Noto.
59 reviews
May 28, 2015
I was debating for a while if I thought this book should get a 4 or a 5. I ended up just giving it a 5 since, for me, it's on the higher end of a 4.5.

Really, the only reason I wouldn't give it a solid 5 is because there were quite a few grammatical errors throughout the entire book. However, they didn't bother me that much so it wasn't too big of a deal.

Other than that, I really enjoyed "The Heavens Rise." It was extremely enjoyable to read; full of suspense and it always kept me guessing. I found quite a few times that I had to hold myself back from skimming ahead to see what would happen next, because I just couldn't wait. I also found myself getting very emotionally attached or detached from certain characters. You know it's a good book when you start feeling anxious or empathetic for some characters; but then you really wish some others would just hurry up and die already, because you're so sick of them and their mannerisms you can't even see.

Considering that this is Christopher Rice's first supernatural thriller, I'd have to give him kudos for doing such a great job. I've never read any of his books until now, simply because he's usually a mystery/thriller author and I normally am not interested in that genre. However, now that I've been able to enjoy this one, I can see myself giving his others a shot in the future.

Well done; highly recommended.
Profile Image for Eva.
Author 5 books21 followers
December 11, 2013
I’ve been waiting for this kind of book from Christopher for a while, something in the fantasy genre, but subtle and literary. As well, literary fiction readers will enjoy this because it’s not so “genre” that it will put them off but is definitely “genre” enough that genre fans will snap it up.

It’s hard to describe why this book is so good, but it’s an absorbing read with memorable characters. The lines are blurred between who is good and evil. There are shades of gray. There also isn’t a generic cookie-cutter ending, and many interesting and predictable things happen.

"The Heavens Rise" is a slow burn that must be digested over time, and it takes time to percolate within the reader. Although Christopher Rice definitely has his own distinct voice, there is a flavour or seasoning of Anne Rice in here, which is also a good thing as fans of her will also like this book.

Ultimately a powerful story coupled with fantastic storytelling, a page-turning plot, beautiful and lush descriptions, as well as phenomenal characterization makes this a must-read not only for fans of Christopher Rice's previous works, or those who have always wanted to try his work but have yet to, or horror fans, or dark fantasy fans, or literary fiction fans--it's a damn fine book, period.
Profile Image for Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤.
789 reviews1,184 followers
October 30, 2013
If I liked this genre (thriller), I probably would have given "The Heavens Rise" a 5 star rating. However, I don't like the genre and normally don't read this sort of book. I read it because: Anne Rice (the author's mother) is one of my favourite authors, because both this and her new book were published on the same day, and because it is almost Halloween and I thought it might be fun to read a 'scary' book for once.

Christopher writes very well, very descriptively. The story mostly held my interest, and that's saying a lot for me with this kind of book. However, I did have to skip over all the gory parts. :P I enjoyed the first part much more than the second, perhaps because I had to do a lot of skipping over and missed a lot in the second half. If you like thrillers, you will probably like this book. If you're like me and don't like thrillers, you might enjoy some parts of it, as I did, but it's certainly not a must-read.
Profile Image for Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions .
1,314 reviews271 followers
Want to read
June 14, 2013
This isn't even out yet and I feel disappointed in it.

First because it sounds like its from a females pov. (If she's lesbian I'll forgive this) and this only disappoints me because there are already so many heterosexual characters out, I dislike seeing an Lgbtq switch over. I get authors can write what they want to write, it is just personally disappointing to me.

Second the name of the girl in the blurb really annoys me already. I can't imagine having to read that over and over again in the actual book.

To read or not to read.
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