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Beneath the Rising

(Beneath the Rising #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  562 ratings  ·  146 reviews
A coming-of-age story about two kids in the middle of a war of eldritch horrors from outside spacetime…

Nick Prasad and Joanna “Johnny” Chambers have been friends since childhood. She’s rich, white, and a genius; he’s poor, brown, and secretly in love with her.

But when Johnny invents a clean reactor that could eliminate fossil fuels and change the world, she awakens the pr
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Solaris
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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Charlie Jane Anders
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get an early copy of this delightful novel about a teenager named Nicky Prasad, and his supergenius best friend, Joanna "Johnny" Chambers. Johnny has invented tons of technologies and scientific breakthroughs that have transformed the world for the better, in this alternate version of the early 2000s --- but when Johnny invents a perfectly clean reactor the size of a shoe box, which can provide nearly limitless power, she accidentally summons some ancient elder gods who wan ...more
K.J. Charles
May 17, 2020 added it
Shelves: sff
A deeply weird and exceedingly involving SFF tale of a young supergenius (Johnny, a girl) and her very ordinary best friend Nick. Johnny invents a machine that creates free non-polluting energy, and in the process breaks reality, letting Lovecraftian Things from outside start sidling into the universe in a terrifying way. As Johnny and Nick race to put things right, lots of truths start slithering out from under the rocks.

I loved this. It's really weird, but it's absolutely centred on humanity--
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
3.5 Stars - Video Review:
This was an incredibly unique speculative fiction novel that blended together elements of horror, science fiction and fantasy.

At its core, this is the story of a deep relationship between two lifelong friends. This was easily the best aspect of the novel. I loved reading about the friendship between Johnny & Nicky, which felt very authentic.

Another fantastic element of the story was the focus on wealth and race. This story explored the disc
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Premee Mohamed’s globe-trotting sci-fantasy cosmic horror alt-history adventure debut doesn’t exactly shatter genre conventions as much as pants them and run away giggling. The novel has a kind of nervous energy that is both puckish and disarming, like a court jester whose council the king values.
Beneath the Rising begins in Alberta, Canada, not long after the September 11, 2001 hijackers failed to bring down the World Trade Center in New York. Many of the world's biggest problems have already
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
DNF @ 34%

Okay i'm sorry i lost interest in this book and it was taking me way too long to finish even with the promising start and premise.

And the fact that it said Morocco is in the middle east took me out of the story sooo fast and was the last thing i needed to convince me to put the book down.

It was really intriguing at first and there are so many good concepts put in it and things i've never seen explored before which might have kept me reading but it all requires huge amounts of research a
Christopher Munroe
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A brisk, interesting riff on adventure stories and Lovecraftian horror that manages to pull off a number of quite genuine surprises, over the course of its story. The worldbuilding here is rich and fascinating, the characters are likeable, and the plot has a fun, pulpy feel to it without coming off as derivative. This is a fun book. You ought to read it!
May 23, 2020 added it
DNF @36.%.

I have really embraced the DNF this year. This is not a bad book. I just wasn’t enjoying it and there are just too many books out there that I could totally love to push through reading one I don’t care about.
May 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, fantasy
Alternate history cosmic horror globe-traveling adventure SF that's primarily a study of the relationship between two young people: Joanna "Johnny" Chambers who is a 17-year old super-genius who has single-handedly rewritten the history of the early 2000s with her amazing inventions and discoveries and her best and only friend, Nick Prassad, a fairly ordinary Canadian teenager.

When Johnny invents a new shoebox reactor that seems to generate free energy she also opens a gate into our universe for
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.

It was fun to read Premee Mohamed in a text vastly different from what I associate with her fiction, and she finds a confident voice in a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure as well. Her debut novel draws heavily from tropes - from the supergenius Johnny (and what a good deconstruction of that trope it is!), through many-tentacled cosmic horror and direct references to Lovecraft, to secret libraries and archaeological wonders hidden under the dune
Joanna “Johnny” Chambers, child prodigy, multiple-billionaire, and inventor of countless technologies that save lives, has awoken Them, the other-dimensional horrors intent on conquering everything, with her latest invention, and she and Nicky Prasad, her hopelessly in love with her and her best friend, must travel the world to locate the bits of arcane knowledge necessary to close a gate between our world and where They reside.
Premee Mohamed keeps things moving, and the scares are frequent and
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was just one of those random library acquisitions I stumbled upon during my usual catalog perusing. It sounded intriguing, but a book featuring two teenagers…well, it reeked of YA potential. Which is perfectly fine…for YA readers of appropriate ages and absolutely weird for adults. And yet, this one has such praise and accolades from such respectable genre luminaries and nowhere (absolutely nowhere, I checked) did it suggest YA. Coming of age story, sure, but that’s different and infinitely ...more
Terri Jones
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. Great prose and dialogue. Great characters, terrifying horrors, actions and scary consequences, past and present slamming together for the MC (Nick) over and over as the girl genius and our MC try to right wrongs and confront mistakes and do the right thing.

The end is at once satisfying and terrifying; the sequel drops March 2, 2021.

I've read The Collected Works of H.P. Lovecraft, so let me tell you definitively; THIS is the eldritch horror you are looking for.

Bonus, this author is
Wayne Santos
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beneath The Rising is a rollicking 21st-century take on cosmic horror, moving away from the dark and stormy climes of the New England coast to the rolling plains of the Canadian mid-west and the Festival City of Edmonton, Alberta. Joanna "Johnny" Chambers is a teenage, Canadian wunderkind who has brought uncountable scientific achievements to the world. Her best friend is Nick Prasad, an ordinary teenage boy keenly aware of the massive social, economic, and cultural gap between the two.

On one le
This book was a challenge because I found the main character wholly unsympathetic. Was he written with that in mind, or is the reader meant to empathise with him? He's resentful, blamey and jealous and his love for Johnny never seems to rise above those feelings into, oh, a genuine attempt to understand her and support her.
I absolutely *loved* the mad science, the social commentary and the looming eldritch horrors.
But I was so wrong footed by Nick's attitude and choices. I wanted to shake him t
Rajiv Moté
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beneath the Rising isn't what it seems. On the face, it is a thriller about racing across the world to stop an incursion of Lovecraftian horror-gods bent on subjugating and ruling humanity. But that's scaffolding. What's at the heart of this story is something more savage, more disturbing: the relationship between the girl named Johnny--a white science super-prodigy who seems to take Mary Sue characters to new heights, and Nick--brown, poor, ordinary, the faithful sidekick bound to her with unsp ...more
Kendall Culbertson
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Somewhere between 2.5-3 for me.

This book took me longer to read than normal, and I’m still not exactly sure why. I think overall, I wanted this book to be more about the monsters/gods, but it was strongly focused on a literary exploration of the relationship between the two main characters. Usually that would be fine, I like those kinds of books too, but the relationship between Nick and Johnny was so hot and cold that it was just difficult to read about after a while. The ending gives you an i
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
A compelling read! I probably read this faster than I should have, so I think it will deserve a re-read (especially as there is a sequel coming out!). I really liked that Nick and Johnny were from Canada (as a Canadian myself!). I have been trying to think if I have read any Eldritch horror that was set in Canada, and I don't think so. The plot was fast-paced and engaging. The characters were interesting and multi-faceted. I just wish there had been slightly more background or world-building. So ...more
Kate Sherrod
Apr 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: story-bundled
This started as a bit of a slow burn for me but once it got going, holy crap! This is cosmic horror with a very 21st century feel, with an unusual pair of protagonists, two trauma-bonded teenagers, trying to save the world while managing very real stresses on their relationship. The narrator, more or less a brown teenage Dr. Watson to a blond white girl Sherlock Holmes, has a compelling voice and his struggles through the obstacles the world throws at a brown adult- presenting boy travelling que ...more
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great genre crossing story with an alternative 2001; a world with great scientific achievements but now ancient monsters awaken and two friends must save the world and possibly their friendship

Full Review - HOPE HAS A PRICE

Nick Prasad has always enjoyed a quiet life in the shadow of his best friend, child prodigy and technological genius Joanna ‘Johnny’ Chambers. But all that is about to end.

When Johnny invents a clean reactor that could eliminate fossil fuels and change the world, she awakens p
Carrie Laben
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
There are many books with tentacle monsters but only a few of them function as challenging, no-easy-answers semi-allegories about liberalism in colonial societies as well as exciting, plot-driven stories, so that's pretty cool. ...more
Matthew Brown
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazingly fast paced and an incredibly unique voice.
S. Barker
Well, that was really interesting. Who would've thought you can write a book about cosmic horror with tons of humor in it!

I loved the beginning of the book, so powerful with the image of little Nick waking up after a tragedy to see Johnny (a girl named...) for the first time.

It was a really breathtaking read, no time to stop as we follow the two main characters in a race against time that felt very Indiana-Jones-esque. Fast paced, with brief instances of horror and a lot of fighting, I think it
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
3 stars. When it was good, it was really, really good. The protagonists were young, and kind of got on my nerves a little. But man there was some excellent, scary, cosmic horror in here.
J. K.
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beneath the Rising is a beautiful, exciting, hilarious, devastating, breathtaking, intimate adventure novel about power and privilege, and about friendships that smother and sustain us. There are a lot of books “about power and privilege” coming out right now, but Rising isn’t about rich white people behaving badly—not really. It’s about surviving and maybe even fighting back against them.

There are really three main characters here—Johnny, the genius: rich, white, and exceptional in every way; N
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Spy Kids, but older and better. The power dynamic between Nicky and Johnny pulled me along through this quest-adventure. Their banter and complicated relationship provided humor and tension that the overall plot lacked for me, and I took great satisfaction when Nicky learned the truth. I was furious for him. This book will make for excellent discussions and book club arguments. I could see the framing of who had what choices, the meaning of consent, who suffers when bad things happen, and intern ...more
Sara Norja
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher. I wish I could talk about spoilery things, but I'll leave this review spoiler-free since the book isn't out yet.

Beneath the Rising is an intriguing debut novel focusing closely on two characters: Nicky Prasad, the first-person narrator, and his prodigy/genius best friend, Joanna 'Johnny' Chambers. Johnny is a scientist and inventor with a penchant for improving the world. Nicky has always lived in her shadow, and struggles with his feelings of
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I was really conflicted about this review, as I feel like I need to process this book more.

The book was definitely exciting, and it kept me engaged. As for the characters, however, I found them really difficult to connect with, especially Johnny. Their relationship was oddly co-dependent, and I’m not totally sure how that furthered the story.

As I was getting closer to the end, I thought I understood where the book was going; it started to feel very topical, in that it seemed like a commentary on
Jennifer Donohue
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was all-in on this book from the very first page. Nick and Johnny's friendship is one of those fantastic, frustrating, loving, ride-or-die relationships that you just love to see in fiction. Their occasionally inappropriate banter at super tense moments is just perfect. These very ill-equipped and mostly unprepared kids have to save the world that mayyyyybe Johnny put into danger in the first place, but that's ABSOLUTELY why she wants to fix it, and they've got a ticking clock to race against ...more
Eileen Lee
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I finished this yesterday and the characters are still with me; their unique voices are both endearing and frustrating, like real people can be. Premee Mohamed really nailed the ending, which was fair, even though bittersweet, to both Nick and Johnny.
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it
I dearly wanted to like this book - it came well-recommended and no-one said the fatal words "Young Adult" until after it was in my hands. I have trouble reading things as though I am a teenager, so...pinch of salt with my personal disappointment. This is not a horror novel, and especially not a cosmic horror one.

There are some genuinely, deeply horrifying concepts brought up (any magic technically destroys the world and everyone in it, but it's all respawned outside Time so there's not even a b
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