The Ritual by Adam Nevill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Just in time for October. Wanna dive into some very nicely creepy atmospherics and get reacquainted with your old buddies on a camping trip, just getting away from the old world, finding out what the big deal about Scandinavia is?
Of course, these four men are a bunch of ponces. They eventually grow on me after some of the real festering shit comes out, but before then, there's very little positive I can say about it other than the fact that the atmospherics are pretty awesome. And that's fine. We're used to horrors that are filled with all manner of flawed characters and they either eventually step up to the plate or they're served on it.
Of course, that's only half the novel. The second half was much better, in my opinion. It kept up the oppression and atmosphere but changed it into a glorious death metal tribute full of cliches and old school satanism tripes AND remained a survival horror with the same creepy vibe as before. We've just added new layers to the creepy. The payoff is pretty sweet, too, and all my struggling with the initial characterization was worth it.
It's so hard to see a character grow with something like genuine understanding, but when it happens, it is delightful. :)
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