Book Review: The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice *minor spoilers*

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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.

 

I found The Heavens Rise to be an enjoyable read. I didn’t love it as I remember loving A Density of Souls when it was released in 2000. (I went back to read that one again a few years later.)

For a mystery novel The Heavens Rise is really straightforward. There are no drawn out plot twists or turns. The reader can easily know what is going on. There is a touch of a supernatural element, though I feel the “mind monsters” where  introduced too late.

I would have liked some history about the parasite and some historical record of the “mind monsters”. Ben is an investigative reporter, so you would think after he found out the truth he would have looked into past stories about those strange creatures. Niquette’s experiments could not have been the only ones. Also, were there others affected by the parasite before Marshal and Niquette?
I really liked the way the characters developed and interacted with each other. Ben and Marissa were my favorite characters. I also found it very realistic that Ben never told Anthem the truth about Marshal.
What I really love about Rice’s writing is that he describes New Orleans so very well. The details of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (as well as another disaster) and the effect it had on not only the landscape but the emotional effect it had on the people, it gave the story life.
3.5 out 5 Mind Monsters.

 

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