The Ritual

The Ritual

3.9 8
by Adam Nevill
     
 

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When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience

Overview

When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn't possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. As the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn't come easy among these ancient trees . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“And on the second day things did not get better.” This suitably foreboding opening sentence sets the stage for a dark and mesmerizing horror debut that riffs on Algernon Blackwood’s classic story “The Wendigo.” Hutch, Luke, Dom, and Phil set off on a camping trip in the forests of Sweden, only to find the woods hostile to their explorations. Tensions arise when it becomes clear that two of the party aren’t physically up to the challenges of navigating the rough terrain, and fears set in with the discovery of an eviscerated “thing” hanging higher up in a tree then any animal would place it. Nevill makes the natural world deeply menacing, using the power of suggestion rather than explicit images to create a growing claustrophobic feeling as the difficult journey to return to some semblance of civilization embeds the quartet only further in the grasp of primal evil. Agent: John Jarrold. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

“A mind-twisting journey into the dark backwoods of terror. Deeply disturbing and absolutely riveting.” —Jonathan Maberry

“A book which preys on our most basic, instinctive fears, then amplifies them ten-fold. A desperate, intense descent into the depths of somewhere unimaginably ancient and unspeakably evil.” —David Moody

“'And on the second day things did not get better.' This suitably foreboding opening sentence sets the stage for a dark and mesmerizing horror debut that riffs on Algernon Blackwood's classic story 'The Wendigo.' Hutch, Luke, Dom, and Phil set off on a camping trip in the forests of Sweden, only to find the woods hostile to their explorations. Tensions arise when it becomes clear that two of the party aren't physically up to the challenges of navigating the rough terrain, and fears set in with the discovery of an eviscerated 'thing' hanging higher up in a tree then any animal would place it. Nevill makes the natural world deeply menacing, using the power of suggestion rather than explicit images to create a growing claustrophobic feeling as the difficult journey to return to some semblance of civilization embeds the quartet only further in the grasp of primal evil.” —Publishers Weekly – Starred Review

“A spine-tingling tale of one man's survival in a truly horrific realm.” —Suspense Magazine

Library Journal
When four university friends embark on a camping trip in a Scandinavian forest, their goal is to reestablish old ties while briefly escaping the pressures of their day-to-day lives. Tensions rise when an ill-conceived shortcut leaves them lost in the dense wilderness and nearly explode when the men encounter an eviscerated corpse strung up in a tree. Lost, terrified, and now hunted, they know their nightmare has just begun. Despite the apparent Blair Witch/Dreamcatcher/Deliverance-derived premise, Nevill's U.S. debut spins an old idea into something fresh, gripping, and deeply disturbing. The presence in the woods is unspeakably evil, but the growing hostility and violence among the men is nearly as alarming. VERDICT Nevill's prose is sometimes challenging—he repeatedly pummels his readers with lengthy passages of baroque description that slow down the action—but, in the end, he has crafted a harrowing read that will keep readers riveted right through the final page. Highly recommended, especially for fans of gritty, literary horror by authors such as Scott Smith, Clive Barker, and Dan Simmons.—Jeanne Bogino, New Lebanon Lib., NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429950664
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
02/14/2012
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
73,388
File size:
410 KB

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Read an Excerpt

The Ritual


By Adam Nevill

St. Martin's Griffin

Copyright © 2012 Adam Nevill
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312641849

Ritual, The
IBENEATH THE REMAINSPROLOGUEAnd on the second day things did not get better. The rain fell hard and cold, the white sun never broke through the low grey cloud, and they were lost. But it was the dead thing they found hanging from a tree that changed the trip beyond recognition. All four of them saw it at the same time.Right after they clambered over another fallen tree to stumble into more of the scratching bracken, they came across it. Breathing hard, damp with sweat and rain, speechless with fatigue, they came to a halt. Bent from the weight of the rucksacks, bedding and wet tents, they stood under it. Looked up.Above them, beyond the reach of a man standing upright, the dead thing sagged. Between the limbs of a spruce tree it was displayed, but in such a tattered state they could not tell what it had once been.From the large rib cage drooped the gut, wet and blue in the light seeping through the canopy of leaves. The pelt was spread out across surrounding branches, holed but stretched taut in places. A ragged hem about a crumpled centre suggested the skin had been torn from the back in one quick ripping motion. And at first no head could be seen in the mess of blood and flesh. Until, in the violent red and yellow suddenness of hung meat, the bony grin of a jaw bone waspicked out by them all. Just above it was an eye, big as a snooker ball but glazed and dull. Around it a long skull in profile.Hutch turned to face the others. He always led the group as it staggered through the forest looking for the new trail. It was his idea to come through here. His face was pale and he did not speak. Somehow the shock of this sight made him look younger. Vulnerable, because this mutilated statement up above their heads was the only thing on the camping holiday he did not have an answer for. Didn't have a clue about.Phil couldn't keep the tremor from his voice. 'What is it?'No one answered him.'Why?' Dom said. 'Why would you put it up there?'The sound of these voices reassured three of them enough to start talking over each other. Sometimes answering questions. Sometimes just voicing new ideas. Only Luke said nothing. But as the others talked they moved away from the thing in the tree more quickly than they had approached it. And soon they were all silent again, but their feet made more noise than at any other time during the hike of the last two days. Because there was no smell coming from the corpse. It was a fresh kill.THE RITUAL. Copyright © 2011 by Adam Nevill.

Continues...

Excerpted from The Ritual by Adam Nevill Copyright © 2012 by Adam Nevill. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author



Adam L. G. Nevill was born in Birmingham, England, in 1969 and grew up in England and New Zealand. The Ritual is his first novel to be published in the U.S. His book Last Days won the British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel of the Year.

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The Ritual 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
tretman More than 1 year ago
This book was incredible. It was my first with this author. Great characters, superbly written. If you love wilderness survival tied with the creepy and supernatural, definitely check this out. One of the best books I've read in some time. Nice job Adam. I'm on to Apartment 16!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first half was really good and totally a page turner!! But once I got to the second half, it became kind of boring and predictable. When i first started reading this book I thought for sure I would rate it 5 stars. But once I actually got to the end, I was left unimpressed and uninspired. Good read, but definitely not the best. 
seldombites More than 1 year ago
This book is a mysterious and terrifying glimpse of what it might be like if ancient myths were real and ancient rituals still practiced somewhere in the untouched wilderness of the world. Definitely do not read this at night.
BCBowers More than 1 year ago
Excellent! A must read for those that love suspense, outdoors and horror/thriller reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love love love this book i know its because of the character luke i have read it twice now and fell in love with luke all over again i wish more books had such xharacters will read again
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Shelly65 More than 1 year ago
I really, really liked the first part of this book, and wish it would have ended there. The second part just got too weird for me - anarchistic juvenile delinquents, creepy old women and ancient forest gods were just a bit overdone. Perhaps the old woman and the wonderfully eerie attic would have been enough. Having said that, I will be looking forward to reading more by the author. The characters were well fleshed out (no pun intended) and I quite enjoyed his writing style.