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Review: The Ritual - Adam Nevill


Genre: Horror

Published: Pan Publishing, may 2011

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars


Oh boy... My dislike is strong for this one...

I’m not the biggest horror-fan, but was recommended this book by a friend who told me it was "more of an atmospheric/psychological one" and it was one of her favorites. While I don’t agree, I can’t really blame her for that description… For about the first 100 pages, this is pretty accurate, and I did really enjoy myself. Adam Nevill does a great job at creating the creepy atmosphere of the forest. I would say this atmosphere is so dominant in the story that the forest is like a 5th character: an ever present glooming horror of isolation and claustrophobia. This first part serves as the “psychological part” and was genuinely creepy to me. However, around the 250 page mark, the novel has a serious identity crisis. It tosses all the psychological suspense out of the window and goes full on gory-creature-feature-style. In short it becomes all the things I hate in horror: bad writing, clichés and heavily relying on gore and playing on disgust rather than actual fear. I truly don’t understand why authors do this: I have NEVER had an experience where gore worked for me in a book. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a medical student, but you really have to try hard to gross me out, and even if you succeed, that doesn’t mean I will you book because of it. Qualitywise, the second half truly would be more befitting in some Reddit-thread than in the work of a published author. I would have loved to see a continuation of the tone of the first half, which made this turn of events such a disappointment.

If you loved this book; power to you and I apologize for being so crude, but this really, really was not for me…


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