After a massive avalanche forces Adam Holzer and Meryam Karga, a couple climbing Mount Ararat, to seek shelter in one of the mountain’s caves, they accidentally stumble upon what they believe to be Noah’s Ark. Excited by their discovery, the newly-engaged couple dreams of turning their luck into a top-selling biography.
Later, a team of archaeologists and filmmakers travel to Turkey to inspect the couple’s findings, hoping to authenticate the ark’s existence and to examine its remains. However, things don’t quite go according to plan.
Inside the ark is a large coffin-like object that quickly becomes of prime interest to the group. Wondering who might be inside–with theories ranging from Noah himself to other biblical characters–the crew, after a brief argument, makes the decision to break open the coffin. But instead of finding Noah, an ugly, evil-looking, horned cadaver lays inside.
With most of the crew in agreement that the body before them is indeed a demon, fear spreads through the cave in a hurry. That fear intensifies when another avalanche traps everyone in the cave, and again when members start turning up missing.
Good vs. evil certainly isn’t a new theme, but Christopher Golden puts his own spin on it when he traps both together in a cave high up on Mount Ararat. Rather than relying on cheap scares and jumpy scenes, Golden turns the heat up early and allows it to build steadily as the plot moves briskly from intriguing to terrifying.
The crew investigating the Ark is diverse, adding depth to the many points of view. Those in favor of opening the coffin believe the presence of evil proves God is real, while others search for a more logical explanation. There’s even a plot line about an undercover National Science Foundation member who has actually been sent by the Department of Defense to report back what’s found.
Golden strikes early by sucking readers in with his stunning visuals, as he manages to capture the allure that draws people up high on snow-covered mountains. Even those who tend to enjoy warm weather over the cold will find themselves drawn to the snowy setting. That, of course, goes out the window when evilness is accidentally released inside the cave.
After a few crew members go missing, others begin to act possessed, while the rest of the gang desperately search for a way out–or a way to stop the demonic forces upon them.
While it’s billed as a supernatural thriller, Ararat is far more of a horror novel. It’s nerve-wracking, scary, and bloody–which means it’s not necessarily for everyone. The dialogue isn’t the best at some points, and Golden’s plot does require readers to suspend their disbelief, but it’ll get your heart pumping, that is for darn sure. If Stephen King and James Rollins were to ever write a book together, it would likely look a lot like Ararat.
With a chilling plot that moves quickly, throwing one curveball after another, Ararat is a hauntingly good story that will creep readers out and have them glued to their reading chairs.
Author: Christopher Golden
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: April 18, 2017 (Order Now!)