Ararat (2017) – Christopher Golden

Ararat is a horror novel that moves along at breakneck speed whether you believe in the subject matter or not. And that puts the reader in exactly the same situation that the characters in the book find themselves in.

When an avalanche reveals an impossibility on the mountain known as Ararat a pair of adventurers Meryam and Adam become part of an expedition to explore and document what appears to be a giant boat caught within the rock of the mountain.

Is it actually the mythological Noah’s Ark? It’s huge, there’s evidence of both animals and humans having been kept there. But there’s more. There’s a box, a coffin, sealed, and something even more impossible than the idea of the boat within it.

Racing along the story spills blood and guts and makes you question everyone around you. There is fear, paranoia, and everyone no matter their faith, learns that evil does exist. Trapped on the mountain as a storm rolls in the team is slowly torn apart literally and figuratively.

It’s a helluva ride, and Golden delivers the story in a rapid-fire manner. There are influences of classic horrors, interpreted and told anew, and the evil is nigh unstoppable.

There are some great sequences throughout the book, and like I said at the top of the review, the story doesn’t care what your beliefs are, you get plunged into the story and it’s happening. A number of the characters feel the same way, and all they can do is hope to survive.

If the evil is older than the religions that are confronting it then what good is your faith?

The story doesn’t give us all the answers, it hints, and lets you draw your own conclusions, influenced by your own beliefs (exactly like the characters), but are they correct? I love the fact that at the end of the novel you have so many questions about the nature of things. But it’s going to be a bloody ride to get to that point.

There are a wealth of characters in the story, each of them with their own motivations and desires, something evil intends to exploit, but one character Ben Walker, who works for that highly secret American organization DARPA may be around for more in additional novels (this one is followed up with The Pandora Box which I may have to dig into).

Despite that, Walker feels like the least realized of the main and supporting characters, the reader is more wrapped up in the story of Adam and Meryam. That being said, it’s a great ride, perfect reading for those who want a little horror escapism.

It doesn’t matter if you believe in physical and spiritual evil it certainly seems to believe in us.

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