Title: The Troop
Author: Nick Cutter
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Thriller; Adult
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Lord of the Flies meets The Ruins in this frightening novel written in the bestselling traditions of Stephen King and Scott Smith.
Boy Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared.” However, nothing can prepare this group of young boys and their scoutmaster for what they encounter on a small, deserted island, as they settle down for a weekend of campfires, merit badges, and survival lessons.
Everything changes when a haggard stranger in tattered clothing appears out of nowhere and collapses on the campers’ doorstep. Before the night is through, this stranger will end up infecting one of the troop’s own with a bioengineered horror that’s straight out of their worst nightmares. Now stranded on the island with no communication to the outside world, the troop learns to battle much more than the elements, as they are pitted against something nature never intended…and eventually each other.
“Lean and crisp and over-the-top….Disquieting, disturbing,” says Scott Smith, author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan, The Troop is a visceral burn of a read that combines boldly drawn characters with a fantastically rendered narrative—a terrifying story you’ll never forget
WOW! I received this book as a winner of Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I didn’t think I would enjoy the book at all, and just started reading it because it seemed spooky (and so perfect for October!) and also because I wanted to be able to write a review of it for goodreads and for my blog. I am so happy I read it.
Make sure you have plenty of time set aside when you pick up this book- you will not want to put it down. With every page turn I kept wondering “what on earth can possibly happen next?”. You think the story is going in one direction and then realize a few chapters in that it definitely is not headed down that road. The book was twisted, and weird, and disturbing and just “WHAT THE HECK?!”. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down- all of my thoughts kept returning to the book. I’d be sitting somewhere and a bug would squiggle by and my thoughts would immediately jump to the book.
Nick Cutter does an amazing job making sure that you get to know the boys and their lives and what they have to deal with. There are multiple stories about them which allows you to really see them as people rather than just characters in a book. You feel like you could be friends with these boys. I’m sure everyone can read these pages and say “I know someone exactly like that”. You get so emotionally invested with these characters that as you read your heart breaks a little. It also helped that the story that was occurring on the island was supplemented with newspaper clippings, interviews, and magazine profiles to ensure that the reader knew what was going on. These give you the background necessary to fully understand the entire story.
It was an absolutely great read. My “Special Advance Reader’s Edition” has a quote from Stephen King on the front which reads “The Troop scared the hell out of me…” and so I thought it would be a really gruesome horror that was intended to scare the living crap out of you (I don’t do those kinds of books or movies, just not my thing). This book is definitely not like that- it’s creepy, don’t get me wrong, and it really makes you think and wonder, but it is not a “HOLY SHIT I’M GOING TO HAVE NIGHTMARES FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR” scary. This is a definite must read! You will say “WTF” and “EW” multiple times throughout the book… but it is definitely worth a read!