The Troop by Nick Cutter

January 31st, 2014 kimbacaffeinate Review 72 Comments

31st Jan
The Troop by Nick Cutter
The Troop
by Nick Cutter
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Genres: Horror
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

The Troop by Nick Cutter is a horror fans dream come true with its unique characters and spine-tingling, belly-flopping, eye-covering tale. Compared to Lord of the Flies and the Ruins and proclaimed to be in the style of Stephen King, Cutter’s tale lived up to the praise. I was compelled to keep reading even as part of me longed to forget. Mini review: Creep-tastic realistic horror with a “breakfast club” of characters. I could not set this down even when I wanted to.

A group of Boy Scouts along with their troop leader Dr. Tim Riggs set up camp on a remote Island of the coast of Prince Edward Island. The boat that dropped them off on this uninhabited island is set to return Sunday morning. When the kids are in their bunks, the doctor is sitting on the front porch enjoying a little nip, when a stranger appears on the island. He is haggard and obliviously ill as he collapses on the cabin doorstep. By morning, he will have infected one of them and unleashed a bio-engineered horror. The tale that unfolds is terrifying and not for the squeamish or faint of heart.

Told from multiple perspectives we are fist hand witnesses to the catastrophic, terrifying events that unfold. The troop is made up of a complex if not cliche group of young men. Cutter did an excellent job of fleshing them out and giving us insight into their personalities. While the characters were a tad cliché the multiple povs helped flesh them out beyond their typical stereotypes. The boys are all fourteen, and this is perhaps the last year for camping and boy scouts. Kent, the leader, is all alpha male. He is both the jock, and antagonist of the group. Newton is the nerd; he is overweight, intelligent and has a mother who smothers him with good intentions. Max is kind, even tempered and looks to help others. Ephraim is quick to anger and has difficulty both intellectually and socially. Shelley is the boy who upon closer inspection, you know is off. He makes you uncomfortable, but he avoids that by blending into the background and appearing to fit in.

The Troop has some similarity to Mira Grant’s Parasite but brings us up close and personal with the results of man’s interference with nature. The flow of the tale kept me engaged, as we rode piggy-back and watched from inside each boy’s head as the terror unfolded. Cutter unleashes his imagination from his odd metaphors to the grizzly details. I love horror, not a movie fan, but I love reading it and while I wasn’t terrified in the sense that I had to keep the lights on, it did give me pause when eating or watching infomercials. This is not for the squeamish. There is oozing, puss, and icky moments that have you feeling your lunch as it edges up your throat. Like Parasite, Cutter delivers information at the beginning of each chapter. We get firsthand accounts from the residence, parents, research notes, recordings and are witness to the federal investigation that occurred in the aftermath. All of these elements were riveting and helped us understand what was happening and terrified us at its implications. As we returned back to the island and another perspective these mind-blowing revelations were always at the forefront of our thoughts.

Fans of the horror genre, and stomach churning gore will want to check out The Troop. This tale sticks with you long after you close the book. I found myself thinking of it and squirming at the images that came to mind.

Four cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

About Nick Cutter

Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for Craig Davidson. He lives in Toronto, Ontario and has several published works, one of which was turned into a movie. He also published under the name Patrick Lestewka.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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72 Responses to “The Troop by Nick Cutter”

  1. Christy

    I should love this book! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into. BUT, I don’t blame it on the book. I got on a contemporary kick and wanted rainbows and freaking butterflies, so my copy expired. I’m putting on my Fall reading list though, closer to Halloween.
    Christy recently posted…Into the Still Blue by Veronica RossiMy Profile

  2. Franny

    I think I read Lord of the Flies when I was a kid, so I don’t remember much. However, this intrigues me and scares me at the same time quite a bit!
    I’ve read some Stephen King, and I have to admit that I’m quite the chicken when it comes to horror, so I’m sure I’d feel squeamish too. However, I survived a zombie-bugs apocalypse, so I think I’d be able to endure this read! 🙂
    Franny recently posted…Franny’s Ramblings – The BeginningMy Profile

  3. Kristin

    I’m with Jennifer – I get terribly stressed out by Stephen King-esque books so I avoid them. But this REALLY sounds great and one I would recommend to my mom based on your review – she eats these types of books up.

    As soon as you said those cliched characters, I thought of Stand By Me, too!

    I can’t wait to tell my mom about this one… Thanks!!!

  4. Jenny

    “This is not for the squeamish.”

    Well, that is most definitely me Kim, so I will be passing on this book for sure! Horror is just not the genre for me, I’m all for suspense, but anything that’s a tad too descriptive with icky things won’t work for me. I am a chicken and those types of scenes will haunt me forever!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah Jenny I love horror and even gore..but ooh my his detail will make you sweat!

  5. Mary

    That’s a pretty serious list of comps to live up to — how awesome that it does just that! I have the feeling I’ll be literally sitting on the edge of my seat while reading it. Pacing may also be involved.

  6. Pamela D

    Your review is making me want to take a second look at this book. Initially, the Lord of the Flies reference made me want to avoid this book. I appreciate Lord of the Flies as a book, but I didn’t enjoy reading it, although that really is the point of Lord of the Flies. You know what I mean? Anyway, I do love books about viruses. After watching Outbreak years ago, I really want to be an epidemiologist.
    Pamela D recently posted…Sense & Sensibility Links & ReminderMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks sweetie..and yes you need to read Parasite although that was low on the creep and gore.

  7. Silvia

    “Creep-tastic realistic horror with a “breakfast club” of characters”? I wanna read it, now!! I’m kinda worried for my stomach but still, you got me very intrigued Kimberly, good job!
    Silvia recently posted…Inspired Fridays (#29)My Profile

  8. Bella's Shelf

    This.Book.Sounds.AWESOME.
    I am sooo happy its a true scary/horror tale and NOT YA related (unless I missed that part of the review somehow) . Don’t get me wrong, I am an YA GAL through and through, but I am jonesin for a scare my pants off, turn on the lights, jump at loud noises, story.
    It sounds as this this is a good candidate.
    Love that you reviewed this for me. Well, not for me personally..you know..lolz..
    Bella’s Shelf recently posted…Newtown: An American TragedyMy Profile

  9. Heidi

    I almost requested this but I held back because I read a couple not so great reviews and I detest Lord of the Flies. Not wanting to read a bunch of gore either. I am with Christy, I need more rainbow as and butterflies right now.
    Heidi recently posted…Friday Forecast February 2nd-8thMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah, I remember you said you suffer from that depression that occurs during the winter months..and yes this was dark, and creepy and icky..so no you need light and fluffy and funny..

  10. A Belle's Tales

    Wonderful review, Kimba! You reeled me in immediately with your mini-review, but by the end you had me hook, line, and sinker! Mckenzie says this reminds her of Lost Girls by Ann Kelley. I think I’ll definitely need to give this one a read. And I can’t “watch” horror, either… but I love to read it 😉 Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Have a beautiful weekend!
    A Belle’s Tales recently posted…Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Don’t say I didn’t warn you..lol Have a wonderful weekend my friend and stay warm!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sadly our team is not playing but we will probably have it on in the background 🙂

  11. Jess

    Based on your description- this is a book that I will definitely be reading. I love the cover and the story sounds creepily fascinating. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  12. Michelle

    I have seen mixed reviews on this and I have it on my kindle. I am avoiding it because as much as I love the horror genre I am squimish about the gore. I am still on the fence lol If I feel brave enough I will give it a go but I might skip it.
    (i’m very confused)

    Great review

    Michelle
    Because Reading is better than real life

  13. Ginny

    nope…not for me but super happy you got your creep on with it. I read Lord of the Flies in school and still can bring up vivid memories of ick so I will skip this one. (runs away chanting “I live in a world of butterflies and rainbows”) 🙂

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