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.
Rice’s foray into this facet of the fiction genre engulfs the reader’s imagination by melding the mystery invoked by the Crescent City with the scars left in the wake of Katrina. Christopher Rice has created a piece that can only be described as Dean Koontz meets Stan Lee, laced with underpinning of the current political strife that marks the nation’s view of New Orleans post-Katrina, rife with corruption a la Ray Nagin style.
Heaven’s Rise tells the tale of two unlikely best friends, Ben and Anthem, who are left reeling in the wake of the disappearance of the girl, Niquette Delongpre, who was the keystone to their friendship. Deep in the bayou was a place that Niquette Delongpre’s father and mother envisioned as their own private Eden, where they poured their energy into building their estate, Elysium. With a party planned to showcase Elysium, Niquette and her family embark together from New Orleans towards the swamps whose brackish waters surround Elysium. The Delongpre’s never reach their destination, nor were they ever heard from again. Sadly, in the Delongpre’s paradise there lurked a serpent infinitely worse than that of the Bible which holds the key to the vanishing of the Delongpres.
Rice’s tale is highly imaginative, illustrating New Orleans and the surrounding bayous as vivid and real as anything that Michelangelo could have painted. For a younger author Rice mingles the dynamic of society seen through young and unbiased eyes with an edge of supernatural that leaves the readers fully sated.
I would like to thank NetGalley.com for supplying Rice’s book and for the opportunity to review such a wonderful piece.