THE RITUAL is a book many folks should probably not read at night. If the deep dark forest frightens you, if evil in its most primitive form is beyond your comprehension — do not read this book. If you want an adult Grimm Fairy Tale, than read this. Regardless, a trip to the Nordic Arctic Circle just got crossed off my bucket list. After reading THE RITUAL, I also will attend Krampus with a slightly different emotion, I believe.
I gave the book 4 stars because as is my habit I read more than one book at a time and THE RITUAL was chosen many a times when it should have been the turn of one of the other volumes that occupy my reading spaces. There were moments in the text that I felt I may not give it above 3.5 stars because I was stricken with the thought that I was reading a cross between the script for DELIVERANCE and Stephen King’s MISERY. But Nevill throws some craggy twists, complete with old-growth moss to impede your trope-thinking and makes it work well. And for a debut effort he deserves the 4 stars, as Nevill drags the reader through some of the more horrific moments of pain and suffering and straight on through to redemption in its most “life is impermanent” brilliance.
I would recommend this story to those that like dark tales as much as I do — Nevill is not afraid of it and dives deep into it. For that I give him mad props. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this author.
*SPOILER ALERT* I also admire the way Nevill took the character you most liked in the beginning and turned him into the fall guy and took the least likeable characters and made you feel sympathy or at least pity for them, as well as turned one into a relatable hero antagonist.