ISBN #: 978-1476716084
Page Count: 336
Copyright: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books; First Edition
(Taken from dustjacket flaps)
It's been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished near Bayou Rabineaux, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, the survivor who ran away from the mangled stretch of guardrail on Highway 22 where the impossible occurred ... and kept on running. Who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction ... and who alone knows the source of her very bizarre - and very deadly - abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.
An accomplished surgeon, Niquette's father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium: "the final resting place for the heroic and virtuous." Then, ten years ago, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred something that had been there for centuries - a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body.
Niquette is living proof that things done can't be undone. Nothing will put her family back together again. And nothing can save her. But as Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. And unlike her, this man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge.
Well, boys and girls, if this wasn't one of the biggest mind-f@&!$ of all-time, I don't know what is ... and I loved it.
First, let me start by clarifying something for you. The book summary implies that Ben and Anthem knew about Nicquette's surviving the crash through the guardrail. They did not. They lived for eight years or so thinking that she and her family had died in the crash. They were heartbroken. Ben eventually begins to uncover the truth, but doesn't fully realize it until he comes face-to-face with her father.
Marshall (WE ARE ... MARSH-ALL! Sorry, I thought of that every time I saw his name) is a good-looking, well-to-do young man, but he has a violent streak in him that makes him cray-cray. His exposure to the parasite at Elysium enhances the craziness within him. Marshall uses his powers to seek revenge on Nicquette, her family and friends, and those who looked over his trust fund.
Eventually, good does win over evil, but at a cost that was never foreseen.
As I mentioned above, I loved this book. I loved the mental trip it took me on. I loved the imagination and ingenuity of the author. Christopher Rice is certainly someone whose books I will be reading more of ... as should you.
*A hardcopy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.