The Troop by Nick Cutter

January 31st, 2014 Kimberly Review 72 Comments

31st Jan
The Troop by Nick Cutter
The Troop
by Nick Cutter
Genres: Horror
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.


Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

72 Responses to “The Troop by Nick Cutter”

  1. Kristin

    I read this one last fall. It was good but I found myself bored a lot. Seems like you enjoyed it a bit more than me.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hehe..i was too busy trying to keep my lunch down to be bored..LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      ooh this may be to far out of the box..try Parasite instead.

  2. 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”) 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      ha yes Lord of the Flies was much tamer so no not for you Ginny!

  3. 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

    Because Reading is better than real life

  4. Jeann

    Like Parasite you say? Insta-add to the TBR. I absolutely LOVED Parasite and piecing that story together. I’ve never heard of this one before but it sounds fantastic! Thanks for the review, Kimba.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      fair warning Parasite was like kindergarten in the freak-creep factor

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. Braine Talk Supe

    I love creepy reads but not this kind of creeptastic. I know you love SKing so I’m not surprised you loved this.

    Enjoy the weekend, if you’re watching the Superbowl I hope your team wins. I’m in it for the Bruno Mars half time LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  7. Michelle

    I was excited for this one until I found out what the horror part actually was…and then I just couldn’t take it. BLAH, even thinking about it is making me grossed out. All the kudos to you for being able to stomach this one, lol.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh it was gross and yet I could not stop reading even as I squirmed!!!

  8. 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!

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  9. Christa

    I just heard about this a few weeks ago and immediately had to go and request it from NetGalley. So happy to hear you enjoyed it. It sounds fabulous

  10. 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.

    • 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 no you need light and fluffy and funny..

  11. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I’m not sure if this one is for me. I have surprised myself by finding out I can handle horror better in written form better than a movie. Still, I’m not a fan of gore and I have a vivid imagination. Perhaps when I’m in a more adventurous mood and have a strong stomach. 😛 LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      See I promised you a few reviews that wouldn’t inflate your tbr pile 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think I read like three romances after to wash the icky off me..LOL

  12. Lauren

    I love the sound of Lord of the Flies + The Ruins + Stephen King + breakfast club style characters, this sounds awesome! It sounds like I shouldn’t read it anywhere close to mealtimes though. 🙂 Thanks for putting it on my radar with your fab review!

  13. Bella's Shelf

    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 know..lolz..

  14. Lily B

    Looking at the cover I did not realize this was horror but I am bad at reading some blurbs… I have to say this sounds scary. Maybe if I ever put my big girl panties on I might read it!

  15. 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!

  16. ShootingStarsMag

    This sounds like a book I’d really enjoy nowadays. I still need to read Parasite too. I love the premise, and I’m curious to see what happens.

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  17. 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.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I do know what you mean, and I enjoyed this, even as it creeped me out 🙂

  18. sherry fundin

    I have seen this book around. The cover caught my attention first. I love it. Your review makes me want to read it now. ^_^ Have a great weekend.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was a simplistic plot enriched with lots of deets..icky deets 🙂

  21. Debbie Haupt

    Kimba, wow what a visual you gave me without delving into the creepages of the novel. Yikes!! I am a fan of horror but I don’t enjoy having the gore pushed down my throat I’d rather make up my own images. 🙂
    But this one sounds too good to pass up so on my list it goes.
    Thanks for the GREAT review and chat about this novel.

  22. kindlemom1

    I am such a chicken I don’t know if I would be able to read this one but oh my heck I love that synopsis and cover!

  23. 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!!!

  24. 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! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hahaha..Franny you crack me up..this is seriously squeamish an suspenseful.

      • Franny

        Well, I trust your judgement, so I’ll definitely check it out! 🙂

  25. 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.