From New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice: Three friends confront a deadly, ancient evil rising to the surface in a “masterful coming-of-age novel” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
It’s been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction… She alone knows the source of her very bizarre—and very deadly—abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.
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, 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. 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.
“Creepy, chilling, and almost impossible to put down” (Booklist), The Heavens Rise is an intense and atmospheric supernatural thriller about the shadowed terrors of the Louisiana bayou.
The patient in Room 4 was named Marshall Ferriot and he couldn’t dream.
Instead he experienced vivid eruptions of memory that came from the center of what he perceived to be his person. After the terrifying fall that landed him at death’s half-open door when he was only seventeen, he lost all sense of his physical body.
Only rarely was he given some sense of the passage of time and, when it came, it was always accompanied by the jarring realization that his home was a dark, purgatorial place where dreams and memories, all those aspects of human beings people consider to be intangible, took on discrete wavelengths before they were stripped from those human souls they once defined.
In these moments, he could feel himself dragging against a current of souls broken down to their raw constituents—a quantum flow of hopes, nightmares and memories—and it made him feel like shark bait being towed through open sea. While he had no sense of his limbs, he knew he was still too fully formed to be worn down and passed through this pulsing refinery of the spirit.
Then, a moment of stultifying blackness would arrive, stealing the passage of time, an intermittent distortion that turned a march of ten years in the conscious world into an endless tape loop of revelations lost, rediscovered and lost again.
Sometimes he could hear the nurses. Their whispers and their shouts would come in at equal volume and, with them, a dim awareness that they spoke of him often because they were afraid of him.
But, for the most part, Marshall Ferriot’s consciousness fluctuated steadily between vivid memories of the time before his fall and a terrifying awareness of his paralysis at the edge of death.
And the memories were growing stronger. They had come to include rich sensuous details that suggested an awakening of some kind might be close at hand. But first they carried him back to New Orleans, the city of his birth, and to the swamps of Tangipahoa Parish and a place called Elysium, where he’d been granted his first and last taste of a beautiful girl with cat-eyes and honey-colored hair, a girl whose very name filled the remnants of his soul with sustaining rage.
"A masterful coming-of-age novel...Rice's characters are complex and real, his dialogue pitch-perfect, and his writing intelligent and strong. He builds suspense beautifully...amid enduring philosophical questions about what it means to be human."
– Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Christopher Rice never disappoints with his vivid people and places and masterful prose. He will hold you captive under his spell as his images and emotions become your own."
– Patricia Cornwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Bed
“Christopher Rice is a magician. This brilliant, subtly destabilizing novel inhales wickedness and corruption and exhales delight and enchantment. Rice executes his turns, reversals, and surprises with the pace and timing of a master. The Heavens Rise would not let me stop reading it--that's how compelling it is.”
– Peter Straub, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. God
"Christopher Rice has written an amazing horror novel with more twists and turns than a mountain road. You'll think you know your destination . . . but you'll be wrong."
– Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dead Ever After
“Christopher Rice has crafted a rich and haunting world in The Heavens Rise. This story of a tormented family and the events that have led to their destruction and onward into the future is tense, tight, disturbing and made very real by a very talented author who obviously knows his way around the Big Easy. An excellent read!”
– Robert McCammon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Travel By Night
"Creepy, chilling, and almost impossible to put down...a page-turner."
"With rich, multi-layered characters merging into the lush backdrop of pre- and post-Katrina, south Louisiana, Rice had my attention from the start...every twist and unexpected revelation fell into place smoothly and kept me engaged...looking forward to the next amazing story."
– Suspense Magazine
“Deep within the swamps outside New Orleans, Niquette Delongpre and her family unearth a well that brings secrets to the surface – secrets that should have stayed buried in the soils of the Mississippi river. The author – son of Anne Rice – has written a creepy, intriguing and dangerously addictive supernatural novel.”
– The Sun
"The Heavens Rise is an entertaining and chilling story published just in time for Halloween."
"This is Rice’s best book to date, with evocative language, recurring themes and rich storytelling that will raise the hairs on the back of the neck. It rivals the best of Stephen King at times and sets a standard for psychological horror."
– Louisville Courier-Journal
“THE HEAVENS RISE is an eerie tale of the supernatural set against the backdrop of the swamps of New Orleans. Christopher Rice does a marvelous job at incorporating the imagery of New Orleans into the tale... [He] expertly weaves together the past and the present as the tale alternates back and forth between the timeframes, giving us the full history of the four main characters and how they ended up as they are today… it is the strength of the character building and the richness of the imagery that makes THE HEAVENS RISE so chilling...I can't recommend THE HEAVENS RISE enough!”
– Fresh Fiction
Rice draws upon his New Orleans roots to create at Louisiana that may seem familiar but is a bit more terrifying, bringing about a perfect blend of spooky and memorable...the depth of character, chilling atmosphere and moral dilemma are all marks of a superb story."
– Shelf Awareness
“Tense, gripping, gory at times, "The Heavens Rise" is every bit the novel one would expect from, well, someone like his mom.”