R.I.P. Review + Autographed Copy Giveaway: The Heavens Rise

October 19, 2013 Book Review, reviews 8

R.I.P. Review + Autographed Copy Giveaway: The Heavens RiseThe Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice
Published by Gallery Books, Simon and Schuster on October, 2013
Genres: Fiction, Supernatural
Pages: 336
Source: complimentary review copy

{My mother} was the one who had named the property years before I was born. Elysium, a final resting place for the heroic and virtuous.  It was an odd name for an isolated acreage of mud and cypress that was a good ten-minute boat ride from its nearest neighbor.  But my mother had an obsession with Ancient Greece that stemmed from the pagan-themed Mardi Gras parades that ruled our lives each winter.

Nikki Delongpre is popular, beautiful, best friends with Ben Broyard and  in love with Anthem Landry.  The three become inseparable when Anthem moves to the  exclusive private school in New Orleans.  But evil is afoot and has a name.  Fellow classmate, Marshall Ferriot is obsessed with Nikki and manipulates others in order to get her to break up with Anthem and go out with him.  But on the night Marshall believes is his big moment, when Nikki takes him to her family’s compound soon to be opened, he pulls them both into the pool in the darkness.  Unbeknownst to either is the snake-like parasites/creatures in the pool as well.  Choices made next affect all of their lives, including Nikki’s beloved parents.

Christopher Rice has a gift for producing atmospheric settings.  New Orleans lends itself to creepiness and suspense, with its fear-inducing swamps, crumbling, above-ground cemeteries and unique population of creole  french and voodoo.  Given those facts I expected to love The Heavens Rise.  And til about 1/3 of the way into the novel I just knew it was going to be a perfect spooky read for the season.  For me, however, The Heavens Rise did not deliver.

The mystery was there.  The Delongpre’s disappeared on a highway leading to Elysium, the new homestead.  Their vehicle was discovered, but no trace of either Mr./Mrs. Delongpre nor their daughter, Nikki, was uncovered.  Ben and Anthem were destroyed.  Ben lost his best friend of his whole life, and Anthem lost the only girl he ever loved.  With a mystery like that I had to know what happened!

The bad guy was known from the beginning, and he was truly a budding psychopath. There were even strange, snake-like worms that appeared early in the novel giving an element of true creepiness/fear factor show.  The writing is compelling with New Orleans being the most fleshed-out character.  Best friend Ben teams up with a brave, make-waves kind-of-journalist, Marissa Hopewell, soon after Marshall ends up in coma.  Marissa becomes both mentor and moral support to Ben as he struggles to make sense of losing his best friend while at the same time missing his chance to confront Marshall.  Marissa was definitely my favorite character with her no-nonsense, no-holds-barred method of journalism.

So what exactly did not sit well with me?  I thought we were headed one way in the novel and then bam! we swerved completely of course.  I knew there was a paranormal, supernatural element ~ I expected that being the New Orleans setting and front book jacket.  What I didn’t expect was the form the supernatural element took and it felt like almost a cop-out.  Also, the final confrontation felt contrived and the whole horror element did not deliver.  There’s a pivotal scene in the long-term hospital Marshall is placed once it’s determined he will remain in a vegetative state that had me anxiously turning pages. . .but then, the whole momentum of the novel changes and where I thought we were headed, we didn’t.

Christopher Rice is definitely talented as he kept me reading even when I figured out it was not going to be the book I thought.  I would typically stop reading at that point but he is a good writer.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a sequel for this novel, and I know there are many other bloggers who loved The Heavens Rise.  I wish I could say that I were one of them.  This novel will appeal to readers of Stephanie Meyer, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, or Scott Westerfield.

It is with many thanks to Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster that I am able to offer an autographed copy 0f The Heavens Rise to one of  my lovely readers.  U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


To participate in R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril or to find more spooky reads, please visit Stainless Steel Droppings.


8 Responses to “R.I.P. Review + Autographed Copy Giveaway: The Heavens Rise”

  1. Stacy

    Actually I have not read his books before. I loved the concept of it from the book jacket but it just didn’t come through for me. I’m with you regarding Anne Rice ~ thinking its probably the same with her son.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge