Sunday, June 16, 2013

Horror in the Woods

Do you like scary stories? How about scary stories set in deep, dark woods well off the beaten path? If so, then The Ritual by Adam Nevill is the perfect book for you.

Four old college friends get together for a vacation backpacking in a very remote area of Sweden. Unfortunately, a couple of the guys are unprepared for their trip even before encountering the creepy unknown thing in the woods. Behind schedule, the group decides to veer off of the trail and bushwhack through the woods to make up for lost time. (Never a good idea, but especially bad when backpacking in remote areas that very few people ever tread.) On the map, it looks easy – cut through a slim section of woodland and then pop out near the river and enjoy the evening in a tourist hut. Unfortunately, the forest is not easy, the friends are unprepared, and there is something awful living in these woods.

From the very first page, The Ritual pulls in the reader and does not let go until the end. Suspenseful and surprising, this is a very fast paced book. Nevill does a great job of both building tension and developing the relationships between the characters. The sense of dread throughout the book definitely places this story strongly within the horror genre; in spite of this, the story does have glimmers of light and is not all gloom and doom, but readers should be prepared for more than a few gruesome scenes.

- Sarah, guest poster for Ravenous Readers

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