Discover What Lurks Beneath In Rice’s New Horror Story “The Vines”

Christopher Rice's "The Vines."

Christopher Rice’s “The Vines.”

Readers who entangle themselves in Christopher Rice’s new book “The Vines” will find themselves ensnared in 24 hours of hell on Earth. That’s the time frame for this fast-paced horror novel that takes place primarily on the grounds of a restored plantation on the outskirts of New Orleans. The book begins with a bang when the owner of the palatial home discovers her husband’s infidelity during her own birthday party. When she flees to the property’s gazebo in a suicidal fit, her spilled blood awakens a subterranean life form whose existence might be traced back more than 150 years when it was used for both good and evil by a slave on the property. By stirring the blood-thirsty vine, Caitlin Chaisson puts the region in peril, including a best friend who has recently become estranged.
Workers on the property, especially the gardener and his young daughter, have long known that something wasn’t right at Spring House, as the plantation is called, but it isn’t until the night of Caitlin’s birthday party and the mysterious disappearance of Caitlin’s cheating husband after a horrific scene in the ground’s gardening shed that Nova begins to research strange tales dating back to the time that slaves inhabited the property. She enlists Caitlin’s friend Blake to help uncover the secrets and the deeper they dig, the more danger they encounter until Blake comes under the spell of the seemingly implacable creature. He soon discovers that through own free will and a refusal to let the plant possess him as it has Caitlin, he is able to harness the vine’s evil power and use it for more humane purposes.

Christopher Rice

Christopher Rice

This is Rice’s second venture into the horror genre and like “The Heavens Rise” he employs an organic, malevolent force that lurks below the ground. His characters in “The Vines” might be more finely drawn but his descriptive powers are in top form when conjuring images of abject terror. With this supernatural thriller he is following firmly in his mother Anne Rice’s footsteps and delivering stories that are both original and spine tingling.

Christopher Rice Releases Second Novel in the Horror Genre

Christopher Rice

Christopher Rice

Would you rather read something classified as “horror” or as a “supernatural thriller”? Labels attached to his work are just one of the things Christopher Rice discusses in an interview with Lambda Literary Review as he promotes his latest novel “The Vines.” The book follows Rice’s first foray into the horror genre since last year’s release of the sci-fi thriller “The Heaven’s Rise,” a book reviewed by Oscartude. Among other topics during the Lambda interview, Rice talks about what it was like to tackle a genre that is so closely connected with his mother, novelist Anne Rice. He also talks about writing the screenplay for one of his mother’s books “Tale of the Body Thief.” In talking about various labels, Rice discusses whether he feels the term “queer horror” is necessary to describe his latest works. Readers might be surprised to learn that the gay author doesn’t like the term “queer” at all and would rather not use it to describe either himself or his work. “The Vines” is in bookstores now.

Christopher Rice’s Sci-Fi Thriller ‘The Heavens Rise’ is One Hellish Trip

Christopher Rice's 'The Heavens Rise.'

Christopher Rice’s ‘The Heavens Rise.’

Christopher Rice’s new book “The Heavens Rise” is creepy from the get-go.

The author has created a monster and—unlike Mary Shelley’s golem, pieced together from cast-off body parts—Rice’s creature is all too human, which makes him all the more terrifying.

The book begins with an excerpt from a Niquette Delongpre’s journal, a passage that ends ominously, setting the tone for what’s to come after she and her parents disappear from the face of the Earth the night before a housewarming at their Arcadian home deep in the bayous of Louisiana on the fringe of New Orleans.

The young Niquette had brought a male classmate to the place called Elysium recently to show him the home and its swimming pool filled from a tainted artesian well beneath the muddy expanse that surrounds the house. But what she might have thought would be an innocent romp with Marshall Ferriot turns into a nightmare that will haunt her and everyone she loves for years to come. By then, readers know Marshall is a monster, but continue to discover how unimaginably sadistic he can be as the pages turn.

Christopher Rice

Christopher Rice

This is Rice’s best book to date, with evocative language, recurring themes and rich storytelling that will raise the hairs on the back of the neck. It rivals the best of Stephen King at times and sets a standard for psychological horror as Marshall emerges from a vegetative state, using paranormal powers to savagely exact revenge on the girl who rejected him and everyone around her.

The novel takes a sci-fi turn in the second half and monsters become more

Christopher Rice

Christopher Rice

hallucinatory and Frankensteinian as Niquette—afflicted with the same “gift” of mind control as Marshall due to an unexpected plunge into her pool—experiments with her power with different results; the novel then trespasses into H.G. Wells and Dr. Moreau territory.

With one or two implausible plot elements, Rice has created an original novel with characters that are smart, diverse, authentic and sympathetic—with the exception of the vindictive villain, who practices his own brand of voodoo.

The author uses the New Orleans setting to full effect, resurrecting the horror of Hurricane Katrina; commenting on a racial divide within the Crescent City; indicting oil companies for imperiling the environment; and creating a sense of foreboding and terror from the moss-draped morass that surrounds the murky waters of Lake Pontchartrain and the Great Mississippi delta.

Within the pages of “The Heavens Rise,” readers will find that pure evil lurks, and they can only hope that goodness will triumph over it.

First published by the Louisville Courier-Journal