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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sense of menace..
I bought this on the strength of Adam Nevill's previous novel `Apartment 16', which I found extremely disturbing, and a great horror read. I wasn't disappointed with `The Ritual'.

The book is in two parts. In the first part 4 friends hiking in the Swedish wilderness get hopelessly lost. The sense of menace as they trudge through the damp, densely forested...
Published on 30 Oct 2011 by TillsGeliebte

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First Half Fantastic! Second half, Not So Much
There's no denying Nevill knows how to create an atmosphere of genuine fear. The first half of this book ramps up the tension and terror as the mysterious beast picks of the group one by one, but once the plot is explained at the midway point and the action shifts from the primal horror of this lost forest, it hits a speed bump and slows down to an uninteresting grind...
Published 22 months ago by DR Burden


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sense of menace.., 30 Oct 2011
By 
This review is from: The Ritual (Paperback)
I bought this on the strength of Adam Nevill's previous novel `Apartment 16', which I found extremely disturbing, and a great horror read. I wasn't disappointed with `The Ritual'.

The book is in two parts. In the first part 4 friends hiking in the Swedish wilderness get hopelessly lost. The sense of menace as they trudge through the damp, densely forested landscape is almost palpable. With a rising sense of panic amongst the four men it seems the harder they try to get out of the forest, the more it wants to keep them there. It made me want to keep looking over my shoulder so I ended up only reading the book in the daytime! What they find along the way and the events that follow set the scene for the second part of the book, which is equally menacing and edge of the seat reading.

Adam Nevill has a way of drawing the reader into the story and assaulting their senses with such vivid and disturbing imagery - what's not to like?!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars First Half Fantastic! Second half, Not So Much, 18 Sep 2012
By 
DR Burden "Horatio" (northumberland, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ritual (Kindle Edition)
There's no denying Nevill knows how to create an atmosphere of genuine fear. The first half of this book ramps up the tension and terror as the mysterious beast picks of the group one by one, but once the plot is explained at the midway point and the action shifts from the primal horror of this lost forest, it hits a speed bump and slows down to an uninteresting grind that I didn't really want to finish.

I will keep reading his work, because he's a decent horror writer, but the overall plots and story points need to be worked on, because both The Ritual and Apartment 16 generate some real hide behind the covers fear for the reader, but both seems to bottom out long before the end.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great horror adventure, 24 April 2012
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This review is from: The Ritual (Paperback)
I've read the book and also read some negative reviews.
As someone who ventures frequently in the mountains I could totally identify with the characters and how they must felt. Nevill does a good job giving the feeling of the dense forest, the isolation of the place and the helplessness of been so far away from civilization and help.
The book is a journey, and as such it must be seen. It is not an action book, and if someone anticipates something like that, then this is not the book for him. Someone mentioned a long ending, but it's all part of the story, part of the journey. Cutting short would spoil the adventure and all the previous chapters spent describing the hell the four guys went through.
Were they unprepared? Yes, they were, but you know, this happens in real life. Many times I had with me people in the mountains that would be unfit, but took them with me just because they were so excited about it. This is life. You cannot exclude a friend from an activity - right or wrong, this is a reality.
For me, Nevill's book was a great reading, and kept me company for many nights. I didn't want it to end.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!, 6 Nov 2011
By 
Miss Matthews "Nicky Matthews" (West Midlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Ritual (Paperback)
Having picked up this book in my usual hurry to work, I didn't realise just what I was about to discover. The first Adam Nevill book I have read and it immediately found a place at number 1 on my beloved book list.

I've always loved a good horror story and mostly the ones that play unashamedly on your physce and senses but this is just something that goes beyond that. Every part of your mind is opened to the deep seated fears and horrors within you by taking you further and further into the darkness and by making you realise that it's only the beginning.

This isn't just a horror story though, it goes further than that, yes it scares the hell out of you at times as you can totally find yourself there, the point where he wakes and is being watched by them is just breathtaking stuff of nightmares! But it hows it feeds into your mind, all of the things that you keep locked away and never share with anyone, are all unlocked and brought to the forefront of your mind and it makes you see humankind stripped down to it's very bare bones, physically, mentally and emotionally. It hurts, it scares, it awakens and it fills you with the thought of life and death and all thats in between. At times I cried at the sheer raw emotion of it all. It's beautiful.

If you're an avid book reader but not necessarily of horror, please please take time to read this book, it's an outstanding piece of work from an outstanding talent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a worthy rival to Mo Hayder!, 19 Oct 2011
By 
Chloe (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Ritual (Kindle Edition)
So pleased I stumbled across The Ritual! I struggle to find horror writers that are as chilling as Mo Hayder but I've finally found one in Adam Nevill. I recommend reading late at night for maximum effect - I'm not easily scared but The Ritual had me listening out for a creak or bump in the middle of the night. Or was it a hoof?.... Am looking forward to getting my hands on his first two books.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nevill Just Gets Better, 17 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Ritual (Paperback)
If you go down to the woods today, whatever you do, heed this one warning: don't take The Ritual with. It'll scare the sense of adventure right out of you.

Hot on the heels of last year's smash hit horror Apartment 16, rising star Adam Nevill returns to wreak havoc on your dreams once more - and on career-best form, for The Ritual is superb. It is from start to finish a far more ambitious book than its predecessor, for the larger part a substantially more effective one, and wreathed throughout with such wonderfully evocative exposition as to engender an atmosphere equal parts awful and exquisite.

But let's meet the gang.

Our main man, Luke, is in truth a bit of a layabout. Having bounced from job to job back home, and woman to woman - but of course - he looks back on his years at Uni, when he shared a Birmingham bedsit with Hutch and Dom and Phil, as "the best days of his life. Of all their lives, he liked to think." (p.45) But that was lifetime ago, and though he and Hutch have kept in touch, hiking together all their adult lives, Luke fears he's grown apart from Phil and Dom... or else them from him. He's right to be afraid.

One drunken night at a wedding reception, the former flatmates plot to renew their acquaintance. Six months later, they meet together in Sweden, to tramp and camp in the pristine wilderness of the North. All too soon, however, tensions begin to flare, and it becomes apparent that neither Phil nor Dom are fit enough to blaze the trail our dab hands had planned. A short-cut is negotiated, through a forest a ways away from the beaten track. The boys go "off piste," where "there are no trails." (p.9)

Bad move.

Because something is waiting for them in the woods. Something so horrific none of them can even begin to conceive of the harm it must mean. Something "from times before symbols and languages could depict such things that hunted and meant murder." (p.208)

The unremitting wilderness of sub-Arctic Sweden is of course a landscape far removed from the luxury London apartments of Adam Nevill's last effort, and it is a grand conjuration indeed; grand and quite, quite terrifying. Luke and his cronies of old quickly find themselves lost in a world stood still, utterly apart from all we can comprehend, and therein the unknowableness of the night, and the horrors it could hold, come front and centre.

Rather too front and centre, as it happens, for in the last act the evil is exposed and explained, and unmasked, the thing loses much of its darkly sparkling lustre. Come to that, the entire last third of The Ritual marks an abrupt about-turn in tenor and in tone so sustained that it serves to dispel the massing thunderheads of terror and tension Nevill so delicately evokes in the early-going. Without getting all spoilery, the aforementioned evil, as it happens, turns out to be "inevitable, relentless and predictable. Imaginative, he'd give it that much, but soulless." (p.341)

That said, the sense of place Nevill establishes in The Ritual is simply excellent; to a one, his characters are naturalistic, and easy to believe in; and the horror that haunts them, before it is so rudely revealed, is truly a chilling thing. Thus, The Ritual can only come highly recommended. It has its faults - foremost amongst them the profoundly unhelpful compulsion to explain what should by all rights be inexplicable and a few lamentably transparent attempts to instil in the reader a pre-existing sense of foreboding (see p.25) - yet these are familiar Achilles heels in horror, and it is in the final accounting tremendously easy to overlook the selfsame issues the genre's grandmasters still stumble upon in an author with such promise and talent and ambition as England's answer to Stephen King, Adam Nevill.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Painfully Drawn-Out, 12 April 2012
By 
C. Gordon - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ritual (Paperback)
This book was painfully drawn-out. I was riveted at the beginning when the lads were lost in the dense forest but then how many times do we have to hear that they are lost, wet, cold and hungry, or should have gone this way instead of that... And then there was the 100 page ending - repetitious cycles of going upstairs downstairs inside outside - and unbearable contemplations of 'should I have done this or should I have done that'. By the time I made it to the end I wished I hadn't bothered.

Read Deliverance instead. Humans are much scarier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Horror Thriller, 25 July 2014
By 
Bill Mason (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ritual (Paperback)
A group of four old friends (all men), who first met during their university days, go hiking in the Scandinavian wilderness. Two of them have not prepared for the challenging hike and are soon in physical difficulties. Life has moved on for all of them with wives, kids and careers. They decide to take a short-cut through a forbidding forest, and unsurprisingly, they get hopelessly lost. The first half of the book had me thinking of it's likenesses with Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. In the fashion of Hansel and Gretel, they stumble across a creepy old house, which they think will be their salvation from the hostile elements, but which actually harbours a terrible ancient secret. Lurking in the forest outside is something very skilled in the art of hunting (much like the unseen predator in the equally brilliant The Terror by Dan Simmons). The second half of the book is about the battle for survival between the four men and the ancient entity outside which wants to prey on them. The four characters, by and large, are likeable, and as you get to know them, you feel increasingly engrossed in their worsening situation. The author very skilfully uses a lot of daunting and menacing imagery, and he deploys some very vivid nightmare sequences, which add to the sense of pending catastrophe for the lads. The pace of the book is rapid, and the descriptive passages about the wilderness are excellent. What adds significantly to the strength of the book, is that the author keeps you constantly guessing about what will happen to the men, it is never predictable. Just like The Terror by Dan Simmons (which I review elsewhere), this gem of a novel takes the rider on a seriously scarey rollercoaster ride.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable, scary, intelligent horror novel., 24 May 2011
This review is from: The Ritual (Paperback)
I have had some nightmarish experiences in the Scandinavian wilds in my youth. Hiking trips across mountain ranges/fjords like small oceans/food that will inspire nightmares... Luckily though, it was nothing as bad as those unfortunate souls in Adam Nevill's latest supernatural horror offering The Ritual. Anyone picking up and reading The Ritual can rest assured though, as nightmarish, ancient horror aside: you're in for a treat.

Nevill's earlier two novels, Banquet for the Damned, and personal favourite Apartment 16, are proof of his credentials as a top-flight horror author. They're also chilling reads, and evidence too of Nevill's knowledge not just of writing ability - but something else other horror authors should take note of - an equally strong knowledge of the horror and supernatural genre, of what has gone before. With his knowledge, he builds and crafts something new, something scary, and something that will entertain those out looking for more than just the pulp-horror read (though there's nothing wrong with that either!)

The change of location in this latest novel is key: whereas earlier, more urban locales were highly effective in delivery atmospheric and associated cultural thrills and spills galore, Nevill shows us that he's just as comfortable making us feel ill at east in the isolated, cold and harsh forests of bitter Scandinavian climes as he is the backstreets of London, or small alleys of St. Andrews. Despite the isolation, the vast space, the bad things here are far more in your face, far more brutal. Yet he hasn't forgotten his subtle creeping terrors either. For here he is at home with M. R. James, with Ramsey Campbell and the like, in ability to keep the reader glued from page to another.

Read The Ritual if you want a scary book, dripping atmosphere and well written by an author who knows the genre, and who really wants to entertain (by scaring) his readers. Nevill's one of the best things to happen to British horror in decades, and well worth checking out.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and enticing, 18 July 2012
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This review is from: The Ritual (Kindle Edition)
I have read 3 of Adam Neville's novels so far and this has been my favourite to date. Another reviewer wrote that 'The Ritual' is like 2 books, and that's true - but the crossover is made very well. The first half is a good atmospheric horror, the second half is an uncomfortable thriller/horror.

I couldn't put it down, I was reading it in bed at first but at about 40% through I left work early and came home, made a coffee and lay on my bed and read the rest in one sitting.

Loved it, and I recommend it wholeheartedly!
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The Ritual by Adam Nevill (Paperback - 7 Oct 2011)
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