The Ritual by Adam Nevill – review


The Ritual by Adam Nevill

Pan Publishing

This is a fantastic horror novel, one that is genuinely chilling and disturbing. It’s really two books in a way – everything up to about halfway is one terrible story, then the second half is another, equally horrible story. But both are expertly knitted together at the end.

In all honesty, I preferred the cold, open, chilling first “story” more – four friends lost in ancient woods in Scandinavia, being hunted by… something. Nevill’s writing absolutely shines here and in many ways a novella of this story alone with a different ending might have been close to perfect.

But when the story switches (can’t tell you why or how without spoilers) it becomes an entirely different type of horror story. It’s still brilliant and I enjoyed the whole book, but I’ve seen some reviews where people loved the first half and hated the second half. I can understand that, but I still enjoyed both and the story as a whole by the end was very satisfying. It’s the first of Nevill’s novels I’ve read, and I’ll certainly be reading more.

A tremendous tale of old gods, ritual horror and desperate survival. Highly recommended.


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About Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter is a British-Australian author who writes dark fantasy, horror and sci-fi, rides a motorcycle and loves his dog. He also teaches Kung Fu. He lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, with his wife, son, dog and cat. He’s an award-winning author of six novels and over sixty short stories and novellas. So far. Read extracts from his novels, a novella and short stories at his website – – or find him on Twitter @AlanBaxter and Facebook, and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.

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