Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Review: The Troop by Nick Cutter

The Troop
By Nick Cutter
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: Jan. 7, 2014
ISBN: 9781476717715

Amazon Synopsis:

"The Troop scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. This is old-school horror at its best."Stephen King

It begins like a campfire story: Five boys and a grownup went into the woods...

It ends in madness and murder. And worse...

Once a year, scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a three-day camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story and a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. An inexplicable horror that spreads faster than fear. A 

harrowing struggle for survival that will pit the troop against the elements, the infected…and one another.

Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later—and all-consuming—this tightly written, edge-of-your-seat thriller will take readers deep into the heart of darkness and close to the edge of sanity.

Book Links
Amazon  *  B&N   *  Goodreads

My Thoughts:

This was truly a scary book! It’s definitely science fiction/fantasy, thriller and probably could easily be placed in horror, too. Warning: you might not want to read this late at night before you go to sleep. I don’t often read books of this type, but this was a good one. Stephen King said it scared him, so that should tell you something.

Five fourteen-year-old boy scouts go off on a camping trip with their scout leader on a deserted island not too far away from home for the weekend – something they do every year. Only this year is different. A stranger wanders into their camp, extremely gaunt, and hungry, VERY hungry.

Nick Cutter delves into the psyche of each of the five campers as they experience the terror of the weekend experience. For some of the boys, their “darker” side comes out and for others, their stronger, more courageous emerges.

The sickness that the stranger has brought is so contagious that merely touching him can pass on the infection. But this is an infection like no other. Bio-engineered in a laboratory, this contagion is not a virus, but something supposedly created as a weight-loss aid. In reality it is much more sinister than that, and incredibly deadly.

This novel was very gripping. I had to keep reading to find out what happened to each of the boys. It is a rather dark novel, so it isn’t one for those who like a happily-ever-after ending. There is a fair amount of coarse language in it which I didn’t think necessarily added anything to the book, so you’ll have to skip over those words if you don’t like reading that kind of thing. I thought the book was fascinating and worth reading enough to do that.

I did like the style that Mr. Cutter used to provide the reader information that the main protagonists don’t have (newspaper reports, reports from investigations after the incident etc.). I also liked the way the author wrapped things up at the end of the book after the return to the mainland (I won’t say more than that for fear of spoiling things for those who haven’t read the book).

This was a horrifyingly fascinating novel. I gave it four out of five stars.  Thriller and horror readers will love it.

Thank you to the publisher, Gallery Books, via NetGalley who provided an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

I've written a few other books under another name (the one my parents gave me). A few story collections, a few novels. One of them even got turned into a movie. I've written for magazines and newspapers, too. I cobble together a living with my pen, is what I'm trying to say—by hook or by crook. It's a lean living sometimes, but it's by and large an enjoyable one.

I live in Toronto with my fiancee and our baby boy, Nick ... so, yeah, the pen name is a little bit of an honorific for my son, too; we'll see, in time, if he thinks that was such a hot idea!

Connect with Nick Cutter

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