Review: Ararat: A Novel

Ararat: A Novel

Christopher Golden 

Find it here on Amazon




An avalanche uncovers what may be Noah’s Ark atop Mount Ararat and it would absolutely be the story of a lifetime-if it’s true. A score of people are sent up the Mount for answers, but they end up being more a collection of potential casualties than a pack of stalwart explorers. The avalanche revealed far more than the millennia-old timbers they were expecting.

Trigger Warnings:

Suicide, Drug Use (Prescription), Violence, Murder, Bastardization of Mythology, Off Screen Sex, Infidelity

Body Count:

17+, unclear exactly how many characters died

Overall review:

Fast paced, over all, and quite unexpected as a whole. I didn’t think being stuck up a mountain would be as spooky and supernatural as the author so made it. I was genuinely engaged and enjoyed the writing style.

Notes on story:

  • It was a bit formulaic but enjoyable. Golden’s writing style is engaging and smart, with dialogue avoiding that wooden feeling. The body count of characters is delightfully high.
  • It took four deaths and 48% of the book for the word “murder” to be mentioned.
  • No smut, but several instances of off-screen sex/infidelity.
  • The last chapter. Literally, did not expect it at all. It was striking.

Was it Engaging Y/N?


Favorite Character

Calliope Shaw

Characters to Know:

  • Adam Holzer-one of the main characters, Jewish. Engaged to Meryam and part of the team excavating the ark. Loves Meryam and hates that he believes in things that go bump in the night. Views much of his life through the lense of his video recorder.
  • Meryam Karga-one of the main characters, Muslim. Engaged to Adam and head of the team excavating the ark. Has terrible communication skills and almost as much moxie.
  • Ben Walker- government funded spook dude with vaguely troubled past. Kind of a sock puppet of a Deus ex machina.
  • Kim Seong- the UN sponsored Velma of the group. The first to get truly wigged out.
  • Father Cornelius Hughes – 0ld priest, a bit odd but not creepy.
  • Dr. Armando Oliviaeri – mildly irritating but smart. Vaguely creepy.
  • Calliope Shaw- filmmaker summoned up the mountain to document the discovery and the creature found in the ark.
  • Feyiz Cevern – local guide. Pretty awesome dude. May or may not have a massive crush on Meryam.
  • So many grad students, miscellaneous people murdered.
  • Shamdon- murdery creature thing.

The Technical Specs:


-Horror; Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense:

-Theo: Horror; Spooky Murder

Page count:

320 pages, paperback


Multiple Perspective 3rd, lots of character jumps.

Publication information:

  • Paperback page count: 320 page
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; Reprint ed. 21 August, 2018
  • Language:  English
  • ISBN-10: 1250181348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250181343

Other Fun Stuff:

To Read or Not To Read (Again):

Bedside Bookshelf Donated Furniture Support

Rating out of five:

4.0 out of 5

Representation and Sexism Tests: PASS!

Bechdel–Wallace Test: do two female characters talk about something other than a male character? YES

DuVernay Test: PASS!

Are there fully actualized characters of color? YES

Ellen Willis Test: PASS!

Would two related characters still work to carry the story if their genders were reversed? YES

Mako Mori Test: Unsure

  1. Is there a female character? YES
  2. Does she get her own arc? KIND OF.
  3. Does it do anything but support a man’s story? KIND OF.

Sexy Lamp Test:

Would the plot fall apart if the female character was replaced by a sexy looking lamp?YES.

Vito Russo Test: FAIL

  1. Is there a character on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum? YES. Inferred, but not directly stated.
  2. Are they a character beyond their orientation? YES.
  3. Do they affect the plot? NO. They just die.

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