Cover Image: Decimate

Decimate

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Member Reviews

Really enjoyed this story from Christopher Rice. He never disappoints. Great characters, and a very interesting plot/story. Pacing was great also. Can wait for more from Christopher Rice. #Decimate #NetGalley
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What a great book about the line between life and death! I wasn't sure I'd like it, It reminded me a little of Stephen King in the style of writing and I enjoyed it! 
The premise of the book centers around Poe and his sister who have a telepathic connection to each other, even when Poe passes away. What unfolds is a walk between life and death examining near death experiences and the "could be" of it all. Great read! Thankful for the ARC!
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I love a good paranormal thriller and this checked all the boxes. Creepy woods, possible alien abduction and a mind bending mysetery. Perfect for fans of horror and sci-fi alike.
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Decimate is Christopher Rice at his best. It's a mash up of genres, including Science Fiction and Paranormal Horror, while also exploring themes of the afterlife, grief, and dysfunctional family dynamics due to trauma and addiction. To say this book is epic would limit the grand scale of storytelling, but I'm not sure a word exists that can do this novel justice, so I'll just say that if you enjoy books that make you think, give this one a try. Chris is the epitome of creating a fictional, supernatural story that has you wondering if it just could come true.
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This book was so good! I want to see more from this author in the future!! I couldn't put this book down. What a page turner!!!
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Estranged from her family and suffering debilitating anxiety attacks, Claire decides meeting with her brother is the best place to begin healing. But Poe’s plane crashes in the Colorado mountains with no survivors and Claire begins to have visions -or hallucinations?- of Poe. Could their father’s obsession with the paranormal be valid?
I enjoyed Christopher Rice’s new twist on an old story. The characters are well written and leave you wanting more of their lives. The story reminded me of a 1980’s Dean Koontz book.. I would definitely recommend this book for a fast paced, exciting read.
I received my copy of Decimate as an advanced reader copy from NetGalley, but this perfect summer read is available to you anywhere you purchase books on May 10, 2022.
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Strange but compelling

Christopher Rice does write some strange fiction. I kept thinking I was going to put this book down and not finish it but surprise to me...I finished it and, while I can't really explain it, I liked it. I know. That doesn't make much sense but oh well.

Claire and Poe were out camping with their father when they were younger. Well, they were camping and he was drinking. Poe wandered off, Claire followed and the unexplainable happened. Their father insisted it was aliens. Claire and Poe couldn't remember.

There are addiction issues, a plane crash, a hidden ranch, mysteries of life and death, and more. This was a strange but compelling read. 

I received this book from Thomas and Mercer through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.
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I'm not sure exactly how to categorize this book, as it seemed to have a little of everything. It had the potential to go off the rails but never did. I always enjoy Christopher Rice's novels. They are so very unique and strange, in the very best of ways. Almost as if he's putting his dreams into words. I didn't think anything could top the Burning Girl series for me, but I was very wrong. Decimate was thrilling, sad, thought provoking and overall a beautiful story about death, family and love.
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Great read that had me guessing what would happen all the way to the end. Interesting take on the time between life and death, mixed in with possible alien abduction, and characters and family dynamics with an interesting story arc keeps you thinking about what happened after you've read the book. Recommended.
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Disclaimer- I have been a Christopher Rice fan since his first book came out. I’ve read every full book ( need to catch up on short stories and novellas) he’s put out. Christopher Rice writes in a variety of genres, and even ones that aren’t usually my cup of tea I find intruding. But this book, I don’t know I tried so hard I really did. I’ve got several problems with it. 

One the pacing. It’s just too slow. 

Two- the amount of things going on, there’s just too much and it gets lost because…

Three- it is too long, over 400 pages

Four- (spoilers) it deals with life after death, which is an interesting subject and maybe it triggers me because while I would love to see it be a reality it is not, and grief and loss are horrible. Rice himself recently lost his mother, although this was written before she passed, it came out after her passing. 

If I wasn’t reviewing I would take longer with this book, and maybe that would help some of my problems with it, to be fair,
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Claire Huntley and her brother, Poe, were on a midnight hike in Montana when the woods went wild. A blinding, devouring light and a rumbling pulse that blasted them off their feet left both kids with little memory of what happened. Their father insisted it was a violent extraterrestrial abduction; his wild obsession would tear their family apart in the wake of the trauma.
Fourteen years later, Claire, who’s battled anxiety attacks since that fateful hike, wants to heal her relationship with her brother, which has been damaged by his years of addiction. But only hours before their reunion, Poe’s crowded passenger plane plunges into the Colorado mountains. No one survives the fiery crash. In the midst of her grief, Claire accepts her estranged father’s request to join him in Montana, where he continues to investigate the paranormal force he believes altered his children down to their bones.
As they reunite, Claire’s anxiety attacks take on a new dimension. Is she experiencing hallucinations or visions? Is her brother’s presence in them a symptom of grief, or is she receiving messages from beyond life? The answers Claire and her father seek will take them on a breakneck journey deep into the Montana wilderness and the shadows of history, where they will unearth a secret force with terrifying implications for their family—and the world. 

This is a brilliant  twisty read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and found myself second guessing every thought I had continuously.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I was provided an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.  This is my own hone\st voluntary review.
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Decimate, by Christopher Rice, is a touching family based science fiction, suspense with just a touch of romance.  Definitely not my usual genre but the story kept me hooked.  I thought that the characters were well fleshed out and found the storyline easy to follow & interesting.
Claire and her brother, Poe, were on a camping trip when an all powerful, pulsing flash threw them up into the air.  After they crashed back down neither of them could remember exactly what happened.  Their Dad became obsessed with convincing everyone that it was some sort of alien abduction, leading to the destruction of their family. 
Now an adult, Claire's hoping to repair the relationship with her brother.  But on his way to see her, Poe’s flight plunges down into the mountains.  There are no survivors.  Claire, grieving, decides to go visit her estranged father which causes her anxiety attacks to become a lifeforce of their own.  
Now Claire and her father are seeking answers in the Montana mountains where they'll discover an unfamiliar force.
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This is my first read by this author. Told in third person from multiple points of view, this story follows the breakup of a family after a near tragedy occurs while a brother and sister are camping with their father in Glacier National Park and their attempts to reconnect as adults. While the father tries to gain the attention of the media by complaining loudly about alien abductions, the story explores concepts of the afterlife and includes several side characters that have had near death experiences. When I discovered the truth behind their experience in Glacier, I was both horrified and intrigued. I found some of these ideas, especially the memory vaults, fascinating but I did wish that it was a little more atmospheric. Recommended to SciFi lovers interested in the connections between siblings and conceptual theories on the spaces between life and death.

Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for the free copy provided for an honest review.
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Poe and Claire had a life-changing experience in the woods when they were kids that sent them to the hospital. Not knowing what had happened destroyed their family and as adults they're still trying to live with the scars. But then one of them decides to take back the reins of their life and try to discover the truth behind the incident, a decision that will have many unexpected repercussions.

I found the premise intriguing and the story original and interesting, even if longer and less fast-paced and action-packed than I had initially expected.

The mystery made me want to keep reading but the focus on character interactions made me less inclined to pick the book, perhaps due to the quantity of characters introduced and how the story kept jumping from one to another, not making it easy for me to get really invested on what was happening to them.

The parts I enjoyed the most were those about Poe, which I found much more developed as a character than his sister, who I felt I didn't get to know at all.

I enjoyed how the story would sometimes jump to the past, letting me see how something had come to happen or why a character had ended being a certain way, because it would provide the historical info needed to put the plot in perspective without anyone having to stand in front of a white board and explain everything, but I would have loved suspense and a sense of danger for the characters in the main timeline as well. Also, I was left with the conviction they kept getting all the info they were after too easily!

I'll definitely be reading more books by the author.
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The interaction between life and death…

An intense blinding light and a forceful sonic pulse that left no memories in two children also irrevocably altered their family. The childhood trauma suffered, the result of said unexplained phenomena, fourteen years later still haunts the brother and sister affected that day in the Montana wilderness. There were no concrete answers at the time just conspiracy theories yet a plane crash in the present begins the search for the truth all over again. Claire and Poe Huntley, estranged siblings separated by distance planned to meet but it is news of her brother’s plane crash that Claire receives after she writes his words of goodbye down on a blackboard in her classroom. 

How is Claire to cope with Poe’s death when she feels an overwhelmingly strong connection to him or when she sees the child he once was in mirrors and channels words and drawings that are not her own? Are these the hallucinations of someone losing their mind from inconsolable grief or is there something more at play here? At the request of her father to join him Claire returns to where it all began, setting them forth on a journey of discovery that will upend belief systems and shock the world. 

This intriguing, gripping story contains deep themes: unexplained phenomena, near-death experiences, it looks at the ultimate mystery of what truly is death, and how nefarious science played a part in the event's genesis, spiritual connections, the bonds of relationships familial and otherwise, how one random event can destroy a family and that family finally gets the answers they deserve. 

Historical secrets come to light as the guardians of those secrets lose control of the containment of an experiment gone horribly wrong. It is the children who must atone for the sins of the fathers or in this case perpetuate concealment. The topics broached challenge preconceptions and this reader found the ideas posited thought-provoking. There are topics beyond human comprehension but it is in the thinking about those topics that enable growth and opens the door to possibilities whether real or imagined. Even if you’ve pondered the idea before or not, after reading this, you will give some thought to whether death is an ending or a beginning. This author has quite an intricate imagination. 

This book is fast-paced paranormal action and suspense, the characters were well-developed; relatable to the situations they found themselves in. Knowing the depths of what they went through in the years after the event that changed their lives defined how they handled events in the present. This was the first time reading this author, though this reader has enjoyed his mother’s works for years.

An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley.
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Decimate by Christopher Rice is a book that fits in different genres - science fiction, horror and general fiction. 

"Claire and her brother, Poe, were on a camping trip with their father in the deep Montana woods when they were caught up in a great explosion of light. Was it aliens? Or a government project gone wrong?
Years later a plane crash gives a strange power to a young man with revenge on his mind. A group wants to stop him hoping that Claire's connection to Poe can help before it's too late.!"

Rice tells an original story about "near death experiences" and the connection between people after death. You have to pay attention because he's throwing things like "bloom" and "memory deck" at you. 

This story is filled with characters wanting a second chance. Characters who are grieving for lost relationshipu. Characters who want to do the right thing no matter the personal cost. 

Rice is great at thinking up wild scenarios and making the reader think "That might be possible" Fans of the Burning Girl trilogy should enjoy this one. Crazy story from Rice.
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A camping trip turns into an extraordinary event that sends Claire and Poe to the hospital. Their father thinks it was aliens. Unfortunately a divorce divides the family, Claire goes with her mother and Poe with his father. Life goes on, the kids grow up. Another extraordinary event happens to Poe involving a plane crash. Then it gets weird. Really weird. This novel goes places you don’t expect it to. A thought provoking novel, Decimate by Christopher Rice, about near-death experiences. Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC.
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Mind-Bending Scifi Action. This is one of those trippy books that has enough mystery up front to draw you in, a lot of exposition in the middle to make you understand what is coming, and a balls to the wall back third to show off all that you now know within the context of the original setup. At 440 ish pages, it may read a tad long to some, but I felt the length was pretty solid for all that it was doing here. And the ideas it discusses are intriguing in a vein similar to Marcus Sakey's Afterlife, where death... may only be the beginning. The backstory here was perhaps a well tapped a bit too often in the genre, particularly for anything of this form, and yet was still done well and was truly horrifying (though fortunately not too much of it actually "onscreen"). Overall the tale here was interesting and well told. Very much recommended.
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Decimate was interesting - but not in a bad way, I actually really liked the book.  It was interesting in a way that made me think about what happens after death or during a near death experience. This story told an intriguing idea of a possibility.  I have enjoyed the books that I have read by Christopher Rice and this wasn't an exception.  At times it was hard to put it down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next or wanted to know more about the characters or the story.  Thank you NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for a digital arc of this book.
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Decimate is a very thoughtful imagination of death and what comes afterwards. It made me think about the ideas we have about death, aside from any religion based ones and I found the theory that drove the book quite interesting in the end. But yes, I am talking about a novel here! Purely fiction...

Clair and Poe Huntley take a camping trip in the mountains of Montana when they're kids. While their father is fast asleep in his tent, they go walk about trying to find a way to the "nearby" lake where they've been told they can see down to the depths of the planet because it's so clear. Claire is about to call it quits and drag her little brother Poe back to camp, when the ground shakes, an incredibly bright light blinds her, and the loud boom and sudden severity of the quaking ground toss both the kids around like tiny bean bags. She awakens in the hospital, her brother in another room. She can remember nothing of their ordeal. Nor can her brother. Her father's claims of ALIENS(!!) are met with  disbelief and scorn as he had been drinking and was asleep when the calamity hit. No one else was witness to what happened. But what did really happen? Years and years later, Poe is coming to visit his sister for the first time since he got clean from drugs and alcohol. Claire is eager to welcome her little brother back, hopeful that this time it will all be okay and then... .another calamity. One that will change humanity.

After the opening chapters I was eager myself, to keep reading and find out the answers to what actually has happened! Decimate started at a good pace. Unfortunately for many people, it lost steam somewhere over the Rockies. The exposition of the Great Theory began. And kept going. Sadly, it wasn't until 60% of the book was done (according to my eReader) that the story launched back into action again. That is approximately 45% of a book to read where you're going to lose those who are not fully committed fans or reviewers determined to stick the landing so to speak. The last 40% of the book was action packed and moved at a nice clip, but it seemed, at that point, almost anticlimactic. Like I was just so glad the explanations were over that I would've welcomed a sudden sideways step into an old-fashioned Victorian tea party complete with ridiculous hats.  The characters, apart from the kids' father and Claire herself, felt almost like sketches. Not fully fleshed out. There was some development, but not enough to keep me from thinking, "Who the heck do you think you are to do this, no matter what is going on?!" I think it might have worked better as a novella or essay contemplating death than an adventure/thriller type of novel about death and the hereafter.  

Once I'd taken the time to parse my way through all the ideas of the book, I was glad I'd read it, and intrigued by the theory of the book. But I fear many won't take the time with it that it needs. It's not your typical horror, thriller or mystery at all.. Rice has put an awful lot of thought into his book. It deserves to have time taken with it. But I feel like it will not be given the time by any but his most ardent fans. I admit, I went into it as a first time reader of his work. And also as one who was looking for a fun ride. That is not what I got exactly. But in the end, it's a book worth reading. Just be ready for the explanations. I would love to say 'shorten them". But I am not sure that would be possible as what Rice describes is something that doesn't easily slide into the spaces created in our minds by early religious training (for many) or simply by cultural leanings. I'm glad I read the book. But I'm still not sure I liked it enough to buy it.  I thought the ideas were good, but I'm not sure they work in a thriller type of tale (or a book being marketed as one).. Therefore, I'm forced to give it a 3 out of 5 rating. If, however, you do like Rice, and/or are willing to sit and think on what a book is talking about, and aren't in for just a quick thrilling read, by all means, get this book and read it! It is worth the reading and time taken on it. I do think it's not fully representative of the category of "thriller". I'd put it more in a literary fiction model myself, even though the thriller elements are present.

I do thank NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the Digital Review Copy of Decimate.
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