Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden

Do you remember a long time ago when the movie Alien was first released and the impact it had on you, as the horror unfolded, and how gradually Ripley and her crew were destroyed by a creeping evil. The tension and fear was created by the not knowing...not knowing who or what had entered the good ship Nostromo or where it would strike next...and when it did strike (which it surely would) there was nowhere to go...Ararat has had a similar impact on me, having absorbed the 300+ pages in two sittings resulting in a very restless night of sleep where I to encountered my own demon (I kid you not!)

 

Meryam Karga and Adam Holzer are two high risk documentary makers and with the support of the Turkish government, have agreed to investigate a strange large cave newly revealed following a  recent avalanche at Mount Ararat in Turkey. So setting off with a diverse crew of adventurers and guides "who knew the secrets of the mountain better than the curves of their wives' flesh" they make swift progress and soon enter the exposed cave where a discovery is made....a  strange inverted wooden ship. This ancient relic is believed by many to be the last hiding place for Noah and his motley bunch of travellers when God decided enough was enough and he destroyed the world by flood...."He'd only been in the ark for hours and already felt the tension of the place. It wasn't just the mountain or the creaking of the timber as the weather shifted." A bitumen covered casket is exposed containing a cadaver..."The fingers were inhumanly long, curved into hooks, by the millennia it had spent dead in the box. The skin stretched tight over its chest had a purplish-gray hue. It had withered and there were spots in which the flesh had caved in. Bone showed through in various places on its skull and one cheek had crumbled to dust. The eyes had sunken to dried berries in its head. The horns were pale, dusty white, like ivory elephant tusks...."

 

"The thing's got horns. It's not human"..In the story of Noah a demon or beast found residence in the hull of the ship and killed two of Noah's sons and a granddaughter. Is the same fate now destined to befall this expedition? If a demon has been released how will it manifest itself? So with bad weather closing trapping the explorers, and seemingly blocking any chance of escape the Karga/Holzer expedition has little choice but to withstand the unpleasantness that the beast will surely unleash....To say much more about the course of the action would spoil a rattling good story. There are shades of "The Exorcist" here and just like the adventurers the reader is frightened and alarmed as no one can tell what the demon will do next or how he plans to spread his evil once released. As the weather improves those "remaining" realize the only hope for survival is to escape the torture that is Mount Ararat and so a bid for freedom must be made. Will they survive? will they destroy the demon? The last part of this adventure is unsurpassed in its excitement and the final revelation is truly brilliant...possibly leaving the way open for a sequel? This story has greatly disturbed me and has truly made me understand and appreciate the value of the written word. I do not often have sleepless nights following my reading adventures but this book has been an inspiration and it is a joy to know that there are some damn good horror/supernatural thriller writers out there! Many thanks to the good people at netgalley for supplying me with this gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.