The Ritual by Adam Nevill
Book of the Month
Reviewing hundreds of books can leave one a little jaded with the excitement that precedes the starting of a new novel less often experienced. So when a book arrives that rekindles those feelings it is something to cherish. The Ritual had this effect on me for one reason - Apartment 16. Adam Nevill's horror debut was one of my favourite books of 2010 and the very reason that I started reading his latest book the moment it dropped through my letterbox.
Why did I enjoy Apartment 16 so much? Well, for a start, not since reading Stephen King's It did a book managed to instill such a feeling of fear and disquiet in me. For more reasons please read the full review here.
In The Ritual, four old university friends set out into the Scandinavian wilderness, to escape the problems of their lives and reconnect. But as is so often the case, the common ground has simply been lost, and so tensions begin to rise. When an ill-judged shortcut leaves them lost, hungry and surrounded by forest untouched for millenia, they discover that their nightmare has only just begun...
I think it is fair to say that a bunch of friends, lost in a forest and being stalked by something unwordly has been covered before but then again what hasn't. Most books are variations on themes but the ones that you remember, and the ones that are the most succesful, are those that make the journey the most enjoyable. And this is exactly what Nevill does - he is a really good author, of that there can be no doubt and although his genre is horror he does not have to rely on gore to chill his readers, instead he focusses on the human mind and how the thought of something terrible happening is often almost as bad as the experience itself.
The short, concise chapters make for a fast-paced narrative and the pages simply fly by. I read this book in three days, which is very quick for me, and possibly the best guide as to how good a book/author is. The stand out-moments are the time the foursome spent being hunted in the forest and the bizarre death metal band (Blood Frenzy) that make an extremely unexpected - but spotlight-stealing - appearance in the story. It has been over a week now since I finished this book and it has really stayed with me and I find myself thinking about it on numerous occasions, and this is another very good sign.
The are only two negatives that I can think of mentioning. The first is that it took me quite a while to get into it, probably more than one hundred pages. The characters just didn't seem to develop fully until almost a quarter of a way through, which I think was the reason for this. Secondly, I didn't enjoy The Ritual as much as I enjoyed Apartment 16. But then again I haven't enjoyed many books as much as I did Apartment 16 and it feels a little churlish to say so. I guess it's a bit like saying I didn't enjoy The Stand as much as I enjoyed It, both are fine books, it's just that one appealed more to my tastes.
And I think that this will be the case here. If you asked one-hundred individuals to read both on Nelvill's last two books I would imagine that it would be a fifty fifty split as to which one they enjoyed most. They are quite different with only a few similarities.
In summary all I can say is that is a book that I would definitely recommend as Adam Nevill is an author that is always worth reading. I would be interested in other people's opinions too, if you enjoyed The Ritual more than Apartment 16, or vice-versa, then let me know by posting a mini-review below.
This The Ritual book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read The Ritual?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Ritual reader reviews
Raven from Canada
The Ritual was an amazing book to read, I sometimes struggle getting into a story but from the first page I read the first 20 chapters in the blink of an eye. In my opinion it never got too slow and the fast pace was refreshing compared to the stories I had been reading before. Its especially fun to read when spending a week camping in the mountains... I can't look at a tree the same way again. Now Apartment 16 is next on my bucket list.
Becky from Pontypridd, South Wales
This book is one of the best I have ever read! It scared me to the point that, after reading it at night, I had to watch a relaxing TV program before going to sleep!
Caroline Metcalfe from North Yorkshire
This book takes the very heart of the human mind, strips it to the flesh then gives it hope. That thing that is so evasive in this day and age... strip your life of it's grandeur and enjoy the ride.
Sharon from Horsham West Sussex
The Ritual...e njoyed this book so much, couldn't put it down... felt the despair... thirst and fear when the 4 men got lost... A great read.... Apartment 16... brilliant read... very spooky but between the two it would be The Ritual I enjoyed most.
Mandy from Wiltshire, UK
I absolutely loved both Apartment 16 and The Ritual. I couldn't pick a favourite as they were both so different. All I know is I read The Ritual in a day and I could feel the mindless fear of the group as if I were there from the first chapter. It had a feel of The Blair Witch Project in the first half, which I really liked... that pure terror of knowing you are that close to evil. The second half was total brilliance... oh, to walk a day inside Mr Neville's dark mind! I'm just glad the ending was as it was or I might have had to kill myself!! I am a fan of the great Mr King also, but I actually think this is darker than King and was perfect at getting to grips with the basics of human nature... as ugly as it is.
Tracey from Lichfield, Staffs
Amazing read, loved it as much as Apartment 16, hard to pick between them. I did find myself getting into this one from the very beginning which I think was down to the short chapters making it easy to "just read one more"!!
9.9/10 from 7 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
John Cleaver series
I Am Not A Serial Killer is the story of John Cleaver, a 15-year-old sociopath who works in a mortuary, dreams about death, and thinks he might be turning into a serial kil...
Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the...
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be ...
Cinema of Shadows
Welcome to the Woodfield Movie Palace. The night the Titanic sank, it opened for business... and its builder died in his chair. In the 1950s, there was a fire; a balcony fu...
The Pilo Family Circus
You have two days to pass your audition. You better pass it, feller. You’re joining the circus. Ain’t that the best news you ever got? Delivered by a trio of ps...
The terrors afflicting the sleepy town of Hampstead, Connecticut, were beyond imagination. Sparrows dropping dead from the trees like rotten fruit, disfiguring diseases spr...
After the ruins of a vast, ancient civilization are discovered on the ocean floor, Coast Guard officers find a series of derelict ships drifting in the current-high-priced ...
Inside Out is the story of Denton, a down-and-out no-hoper who lives with his mother and hits rock bottom one day during a road-rage incident. What should be the lowest mom...
Devourer of Souls
Welcome to Clifton Heights, an average Adirondack town. It's nice enough, really. Except after dark. Or on cold winter days when you're all alone... Sophan. An anci...
Great fantasy books published in 2011
The Crippled God
The Bonehunters march for Kolanse, led by Adjunct Tavore. This woman with no gifts of magic, deemed plain, unprepossessing, displaying nothing to instill loyalty or confide...
There's a reckoning on the way . . .. . . and Sookie has a knack for being in trouble's way; not least when she witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, ...
The Book of Transformations
Mark Charan Newton
A new and corrupt Emperor seeks to rebuild the ancient structures of Villjamur to give the people of the city hope in the face of great upheaval and an oppressing ice age. ...
The Alloy of Law
The Mistborn trilogy has become a firm favourite with fantasy fans the world over. The imagination that Sanderson brought to the series and his skill at marshalling epic st...
Cat and her cousin are key players in a drama of dragons and politics. Everyone wants something from them - including the warlord who's conquering all Europa and the Co...
City of Dragons
The dragon keepers and fledgling dragons have discovered a route to the lost city of Kelsingra but there is one problem: they need to be able to fly to cross the treacherou...
The Wise Man's Fear
Picking up the tale of Kvothe Kingkiller once again, we follow him into exile, into political intrigue, courtship, adventure, love and magic ... and further along the path ...
The Neon Court
War is coming to London. A daimyo of the Neon Court is dead and all fingers point towards their ancient enemy - The Tribe. And when magicians go to war, everyone loses. But...
The Silly Solar System
Our Solar System's a wonderful place, A collection of planets rotating through space, With the Sun at its heart, its own glowing star- ...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: