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The Reddening: A Folk-Horror Thriller from the Author of The Ritual. Paperback – 31 October 2019
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"Supernatural horror does not get much better than The Reddening. If you’re a fan of slow build-ups, heavy atmosphere, superb and intricate plotting, bloodletting and a novel which has a unique sense of time and place then you are going to love this quality story. 5/5." Gingernuts of Horror.
“The Reddening is an intense, chokehold of a novel. It grips from the start and holds you down as it makes you consume the horrors within.” This is Horror.
"I enjoyed this book so much and cannot recommend it enough to all horror-loving readers. Pick this one up for the gore, high tension, and superb writing. 5 Stars" Night Worms.
"The Reddening is initially a slow burn tale that ramps up to be a pacey multi-faceted horror that is so well written Adam Nevill is seriously starting to challenge Clive Barker as my favourite author I can offer no higher praise" Kendall Reviews.
"Powerfully visceral in all senses of the word, but it’s also fiercely intelligent - this is powerful, razor-sharp writing." Hypnogoria.
"The Reddening is another horrific gem to be added to the author’s back catalogue. The novel succeeds in being distressing yet captivating, unsettling but also often heartfelt. It’s quite the emotional rollercoaster, exactly how every good horror novel should be." The Eloquent Page.
"Be warned: The Reddening is not a book to read alone. The sense of impending doom is there from the get-go. But it is genuinely hard to put down. Just keep the lights on." Pop Mythology.
"The Reddening served as my introduction to the work of Adam Nevill. That being said, I hadn’t even finished the book before buying 3 more of his novels, it’s that good." Steelrain Reviews.
"Easily a strong 5/5 on this one." Horrorbound.
"One of the most disturbing things I’ve read in quite some time." Anthony Watson.
"The Reddening" is Nevill’s Devon Wickerman, and under his spell you might well, like me, shrivel into Edward Woodward hollering a heartfelt, yet impotent “Jesus. Jesus Christ!” Patti's Blogspot.
"If you like horror with complex storylines, wonderful characters, a rough coastal setting, archeological digs, cannibalism and cults, then you’ve found the right book. My rating is 5/5 stars!" She Reads With Cats.
"This horror is cosmic in the Lovecraftian tradition." Carmilla Voiez.
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Top international reviews
After heavy storms in a quiet part of Devon, a paraglider notices a fissure in the cliffs. Investigating, he discovers a cave and evidence of an old Neolithic settlement. The discoveries are startling and disturbing; cave paintings of strange animals, cannibalism on a large scale and elaborate burial rites. Strange figurines are discovered of dog headed women; these ancients also had a rather unpleasant habit of recycling old bones as drinking vessels.
Lifestyle journalist, Kat, is covering the story, and afterwards has strange dreams and thoughts of these ancient cave dwellers and their forgotten Gods. She and partner, Steve, also meet up with Helene at an exhibition about the caves. Helene is in the area trying to make sense of her brother’s suicide. He had recorded weird sounds near the vicinity of the caves, shortly before his demise.
It soon transpires that the ancient ways are not totally forgotten in this neck of the wood. Some of the local’s focus is on something that still seems to dwell in the caves below. Something that lived side by side with the early cave dwellers.
The details about the “something” and the ancient settlement are tantalisingly scant. It is pre-history, lost in time and going back aeons.
The story explores the usual tribal elements of humanity, the brutality under the mask of civilisation. I thought it went further than that though and the hard, ruthless, calculating cynicism near the end left me wondering who was exploiting what.
The description of the Devon landscape was also a world away from the usual image of rolling hills and coastline. It was dark, bleak and savage, inhospitable and timeless. Adam Neville did a very good job of making the reader (this one anyway), feel their insignificance against the vast backdrop of time and landscape.
Whilst reading the story you know that much of the inspiration comes from Adam Nevill home in South Devon because as always, His descriptive style allows you to actually imagine yourself being in that environment.
For me, the story seems to be based around timeless savage primordial forces within the natural, supernatural worlds as well as the potential barbarity that dwells just beneath the surface of humanity, making the oceans of southern England seem an apt place to place this story.
It was as enjoyable to read this horror from a predominantly female perspective as it was to have read THE RITUAL from a male perspective, which shows the versatility of Adam Nevill as an author. Also apparently whilst just after finishing writing this story there was an archeological discovery and dig a mere few miles from Adams home? I here the strange call of Cthulhu
I won’t talk about the story - many other reviews will do that. I’d like to talk about where, for me, the true horror of this story comes from: a closed community with its own rules where the law is meaningless and where incomers are shunned at best. Which one of us has never been the new girl, the guest at a party where everyone knows everyone but you, the new colleague who’s left out of “in” jokes and sits alone at lunchtime? We are a sociable species, not meant for isolation and when being left out is the least worst option in a situation we know we are in trouble.
The Reddening combines the fear of isolation with shared ancestral horror in a very visceral way. Think The Wickerman crossed with an Egyptian death cult and you might begin to understand the horror of The Reddening.
Was it perfect? Well, there were a few places where tightening the prose may have improved the book, but this is the best horror of the year for me. I wonder if there is another out there to beat it? I almost hope not *shudder*
Adam's writing is so great, you can picture yourself in each situation with the characters. Which makes the book terrifying.
I got sucked into this world so much, i read every single chance i got to see what was going to happen next. Even if was only for a few mins at a time.
Claustrophobic, tense, creepy, gruesome, heartbreaking - only a few words to describe The Reddening. Oh, and that cover...fantastic!
Fan of horror? Do yourself a favour and check this out. You won't be disappointed
I really wanted the cover to do it justice and I was primed to give this 5 stars. I am aware of the author's excellent reputation and loved The Ritual. This book is along the same lines with it's dark mood and ancient cult undertones.
It is exceptionally well written and the basis of the plot is most definitely appealing but if I'm being brutally honest it just never had the big pay off I was hoping for.
There were plenty of dark, creepy moments throughout but I just felt that there were missed opportunities to step it up a notch and really freak you out. That said, this would make an incredible movie and the ability to expand upon the book could result in something visually stunning.
Let's hope the movie rights are picked up on this one.
Sorry for being the first non 5 star review Adam as I know you will read this, I just have to be honest!
Update: finished reading.
Thought it was an absolutely great read and very well written. I don’t want to give the story away, but was gripped throughout with the characters, the setting and the plot.
I will certainly be seeking out more works by Adam Nevill in the future, particularly some of his short stories which I’ve heard are very good.
I hope you find my review helpful.
I loved this story. It is quite intricate so took me a while to fully read, but a good ride! An horrific tale of rituals kept underground,literally, you never know what goes on behind closed doors! We never fully meet the entity, but that is great as you use your imagination to great effect.
I'm not quite sure why there are a few naysayers, makes you wonder what kind of books they could write!
The ending was a horrendous let down, after all you've been through with the characters and then it just fizzled into nothing, so many loose ends and jumps he made, like he got bored of his own writing.
It's a huge shame because 'the ritual' was such a fantastic book, a really creepy horror novel (that he then allowed Netflix to absolutely butcher into some awful B movie thing).
I thought I'd found a new horror writer to follow but maybe I was wrong...
The pitfall is that some parts of the book drag on. For instance, the author writes about one of the female protagonist's escape from a situation (so I don't give the story away), but dialogue around this and how it all happens drags on and on and on and you get my jist. It is also in contemporary language so the C word is launched a few times, unnecessarily. I suppose that can't be helped given the contemporary times we live in.
To summarise, this is good and worth a read, but not perfect.