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The Troop

The Troop

Scris de Nick Cutter

Povestit de Corey Brill


The Troop

Scris de Nick Cutter

Povestit de Corey Brill

evaluări:
4/5 (433 evaluări)
Lungime:
11 hours
Lansat:
Feb 25, 2014
ISBN:
9781442369580
Format:
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Descriere

WINNER OF THE JAMES HERBERT AWARD FOR HORROR WRITING
"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

Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. The boys are a tight-knit crew. There's Kent, one of the most popular kids in school; Ephraim and Max, also well liked and easygoing; then there's Newt the nerd and Shelley the odd duck. For the most part, they all get along and are happy to be there—which makes Scoutmaster Tim's job a little easier. But for some reason, he can't shake the feeling that something strange is in the air this year. Something waiting in the darkness. Something wicked…

It comes to them in the night. An unexpected intruder, stumbling upon their campsite like a wild animal. He is shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—a man in unspeakable torment who exposes Tim and the boys to something far more frightening than any ghost story. Within his body is a bioengineered nightmare, a horror that spreads faster than fear. One by one, the boys will do things no person could ever imagine.

And so it begins. An agonizing weekend in the wilderness. A harrowing struggle for survival. No possible escape from the elements, the infected…or one another.

Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later—and all-consuming—this tightly written, edge-of-your-seat thriller takes you deep into the heart of darkness, where fear feeds on sanity…and terror hungers for more.
Lansat:
Feb 25, 2014
ISBN:
9781442369580
Format:
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Despre autor

Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for an acclaimed author of novels and short stories. He lives in Toronto, Canada.


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  • (4/5)
    Stephen King says: "THE TROOP scared the hell out of me, and I couldn't put it down. This is old-school horror at its best. Not for the faint-hearted, but for the rest of us sick puppies, it's a perfect gift for a winter night." This was one sick book. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but it made me cringe in multiple spots. I even had to put it down when reading before bed as I didn't want those images in my dreams. This is a book for horror lovers but not for those that don't enjoy gore and terror
  • (3/5)
    Scoutmaster Tim Riggs has taken his troop to Falstaff Island for their annual wilderness camping trip. The five boys all trust and respect their Scoutmaster and are hoping to have a grand time. A gentleman comes onto the island and he is paper-thin and starving, always hungry. Tim gets the boys to keep to the cabin and attempts to take care of the man. That is when the danger starts. The man is full of worms that have taken over his whole body. The worms attach themselves to Tim and the contagion begins. This novel was well written and snags your attention. The boys are pure boys and you feel their distress as they watch each other become people that they didn't know. The book is a bit gory in parts, but I think it was essential for feeling the devastation that the boys were experiencing.
  • (4/5)
    Loved this gory, creepy book. My favorite Nick Cutter book. Full of interesting characters, I was really rooting for Newton, and Shelley’s thoughts were fascinating. Loved it.
  • (4/5)
    If you like really well written frightening gore then this is the book for you. I didn't finish it because I don't enjoy reading about cruelty to animals or people. This book had a lot of both. That being said, it is very well written. It's visceral and creative and so vivid I was 'feeling' a lot of symptoms myself by the end of the book.
  • (4/5)
    A boy scout troop sets up camp on an island off the coast of Prince Edward Island. A planned retreat away from everyday life, the boys and their scout leader envision a quiet weekend where they can gain valuable survival experience while earning merit badges. Unfortunately for everyone involved, there’s nothing in the boy scouts handbook in regards to surviving a scenario seemingly plucked from a classic Stephen King novel.

    I received a free copy through Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.

    A few years ago, my friends and I would get together once or twice a week and hit up the local Blockbuster Video. We’d head straight to the new release wall and try and find the most horrific looking horror movies on the shelf, grab some snacks and head to my place for an evening of entertainment. We never took the movies seriously, in fact, we often spent the entire evening making fun of them, trying to spot errors in production or ridicule the terrible acting. It was a blast and I honestly miss those nights more than I could ever tell you.

    While most of them were of the “b-movie quality”, we did manage to grab a few of the major releases. Many of them often succumbed to the same tropes of the horror genre but had access to a bigger budget. Rather than using those resources to craft a better story, they’d often just use better post-production CGI or on set special effects. However, on two occasions, we managed to get two films that really bothered me – 28 Days Later and Cabin Fever.

    I’ve never really been all that OK with horror movies that feature a kind of infection or disease as their central element. As a plot, it’s fine – it’s just that there’s something about that kind of story that chills me to the bones. While Cabin Fever certainly had its elements of comedy, the story revolved around a highly contagious flesh eating disease. The same goes for 28 Days Later with a blood borne infection that turned its victims into sort of zombies (but still not zombies). It’s that losing control aspect that disturbed me, that you just had to sit and wait for the infection to take its course and turn you into something you’re not.

    Nick Cutter’s The Troop managed more of a reaction out of me than both of those movies – and that’s saying something.

    The Troop takes all the over-the-top gore you’d see in any of those flicks and injects it into a well written, thrilling novel. While there are certainly moments that turned my stomach (i.e. the initial discovery of the source of the sickness) as well as a scene in particular that caused me to put the book down and walk away for a few minutes (a flashback involving one of the boys and a kitten), it’s both the writing and the pace employed by Cutter that kept me coming back.

    The doomed boy scouts that Cutter crafted made the horror elements that much more effective. Sure, you could write a novel where it’s nothing but a slaughter-fest from beginning to end but you’re probably not going to make a lasting impression on the reader, the true talent lies in creating characters that enhance those brutal elements to a sometimes unbearable level. Each boy scout had his own personality which meant everyone reacted differently in the face of this unknown threat. What made the novel work so well was watching the way each boy dealt with what he was facing while attempting to ensure his survival. Cutter did a great job featuring flashbacks to flesh out the characters and give the reader a reason to care about them, root for them or cheer for their demise.

    It’s weird recommending a book that I had such a challenging time getting through but the journey is worth it. Nick Cutter is a pseudonym but I have no idea why you wouldn’t want your real name on a book of this caliber.

    Check out my interview with Nick.
  • (4/5)
    A troop of scouts on their annual hike to Falstaff Island, off Prince Edward Island, encounter the Hungry Man. After that, it all goes horribly wrong for the young boys and their scoutmaster.

    This is hardcore horror--a roller coaster ride through a nightmare that doesn't let up. It's tightly plotted, with a spare style suited to its grisly subject. As an added treat, the author convincingly evokes the peculiar culture of prepubescent boys.

    The Troop isn't for the squeamish or the feint of heart, but for a particular breed of sick puppy.

    Me? I devoured it in a matter of days.
  • (4/5)
    This is basically old-school Stephen King. It is awesome.
  • (4/5)
    There are not many books that can make me feel truly, deeply disgusted in one chapter and almost teary in the next. Cutter's work is a step above most horror novels, and although I wouldn't liken him to King as most have, he's in a genre of his own. Perhaps closer to Lindqvist in tone and form. This book is remarkable for the stamp it's left on me. I cannot say enjoyable because as other reviewers have noted, the gritty, no-holds-barred description and realism made me squirm and feel rather ill. But I look forward to Mr. Cutter's next work.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely Frightening!!
  • (5/5)
    I devoured the book in a couple days. ( no pun intended ) It was gruesome, intriguing, shocking, and at times made me feel like leaving the lights on for the night. Other times, it brought tears to my eyes. One scene in particular was very heart-wrenching. Without spoiling it, let me just say that as the story progresses the boys will have to go to unbelievable lengths to try and obtain food. Try is the keyword here, since their attempts will fail miserably, and as a result an innocent creature dies in unimaginable pain. Other scenes were so full of gruesome details, I had to skim through the paragraphs, in order to keep my stomach from revolting. The experiments conducted by the scientists on the gorilla stand out to me as being the most disturbing, probably due to the fact they were documented in such a cold, unmoved voice. Overall, I thought the story line and characters were well developed, and I'm hoping the book will be made into a movie some day. Quick warning though : Do not read this book when you're out camping.
  • (4/5)
    We're talking a very, very high four-star read here. What keeps it from being a 4.5 or 5 is the simple fact that I will never, ever, everevereverever read this fucking book again. I like being scared, love the thrill of it. I even love being disturbed, but this one tested all my boundaries. Naw, that's not good enough. It nuked my boundaries. Blew the doors right off my threshold for nasty, and then proceeded to fornication with my emotions.

    What makes this book so disturbing isn't only the subject matter but the people who suffer through said subject matter. Through various flashbacks and interactions with the boys during their fight to survive an unspeakable horror, we're given plenty of reasons to either love or hate each of them. So, when the bad shit starts going down, we're invested in the characters.

    I truly connected with Newton, the chubby nerd of the group, and the chapter wherein he reflects on creating a fake Facebook account to garner friends broke my heart. To compound matters, there's a Facebook message within the final pages of the book that pretty much sums up the tragedy of that boy's fate.

    In summation: This is one of the best horror novels I've read since NOS4A2, yet not quite as good as James Newman's ANIMOSITY. That's not totally fair though, as THE TROOP is a far different type of horror novel than the two I just mentioned. I'd give it a five, but I reserve that for books I believe I can read over and over, and I'm not putting myself through this again. Highly recommended for fans of gross out horror with amazing characters you can become emotionally connected to. Keep in mind though, this is a tragedy. A dark and unsettling tragedy.
  • (4/5)
    If you want to openly gasp and cringe in front of strangers, read this book on the subway. I had been looking for contemporary, traditional horror that didn't feel like it verged on the side of cartoonish, and I'm glad that I found this. The Troop is a creeping, disturbing book about a boy scout troop that goes to do boy scout things on an uninhabited island. What could go wrong, right? Well, let me tell you. Someone else shows up. Someone who is very, very hungry. Are you interested yet?

    This visitor shakes up the previously solid dynamic between Scoutmaster Tim and the five young teen boys in the troop. Something is wrong with the intruder, and nobody is sure what to do about it. Even the adult. And that's where the problem lies for the boys. Tim accidentally exposes them to the bioengineered monstrosity inside of the starving stranger, putting all of them in grave danger. Each of the characters are trying desperately to survive when they realize they're not getting off of the island any time soon, and some are driven to horrifying extremes.

    The book switches back and forth between what's happening on the island and various articles/reports/interviews before and after about the thing that has made it to the island. I thought the latter was intriguing, but could have been fleshed out a little more. I most enjoyed the Lord of the Flies-esque tensions between the young boys when they were out on the island on their own, because all of the characters were thought out pretty well and interesting to learn about. Though a few of them (the jock, the nerd) had more stereotypical stories, their personalities still felt fresh and it was fun to see them interact with each other. When and how certain characters cracked kept me from putting this book down. There is some incredibly devious manipulation that goes down that had me nearly covering my eyes and squeaking (making it much harder to read).

    The bioengineered worm (as they soon find out) takes its victims fully, sucking all of the life out of them, eating voraciously for them, as well as infecting the brain and telling them how to think. The hunger that consumes the infected characters lead them to eat anything and everything, while they waste away as the host. And it is very easy to get infected. The worm overtaking various characters was gruesome and monstrous, but it never felt like it was being gory just for the sake of being gory. The descriptions left me squirming and feeling sort of...itchy. And maybe a little...hungry.

    This is a horrifying story of survival that kept me reading to see who was going to make it out alive, and at what cost.
  • (3/5)
    I think this book had tons of potential; I especially enjoyed the back-and-forth between events on the island and the newspaper articles/trial proceedings/etc after the fact.However, maybe I am just iron-stomached, but this did not scare me or gross me out. I can see where it would do that to some people, but this is no Stephen King. Cutter does an admirable job, however, of creating remarkable personas.The most disturbing and disgusting thing about this book were the vivid descriptions of animal abuse. That was way worse than the worms by a million!
  • (4/5)
    Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:*eARC Received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewThe Troop was a deeply disturbing psychological thriller, pairing the absolute terror of biological weaponry with the deviancy of human nature.I'm a horror fan, and I didn't love The Ruins, I'll be honest. While The Troop is touted as being similar, it is, only in the sense that something MORE than natural in nature becomes the evil that our characters must face. With that said, where The Ruins let me down, The Troop most certainly did not; it's as frightful, ghastly, disturbing and macabre as I had hoped it would be.The brilliance of the tale was its storyline simplicity - an older Boy Scout troop on a retreat get stranded on their deserted island when patient 0 from a biological research project escapes from his laboratory confines and ends up on shore. The tight box that it was all confined in allowed Cutter to focus the reader's mind on the true meat of the story - the basest instinct of human nature when faced with something so awful that most everything you've been taught flies out the window, and the psychology behind the choices we would make when forced with such a decision. Oh yes, in-your-face death and destruction (in horrific fashion) is rampant throughout the tale, and the basis of the evil is enough to give you the willies even without the added element of necrosis, but the more disturbing parts of the story were actually the subtleties that Cutter used, and the seamless and gradual devolution and ultimate breakdown of each of the characters as the epidemic progressed.So, from a horror junkies perspective, I have to say that I was impressed by Cutter's debut novel. It's been awhile since I read a horror that evoked a truly visceral reaction, weirded me out, and yet kept me utterly enthralled. My only complaint was that it was a bit slow. With everything that I just said above you'd think it was an epic page-turner that was over much too fast. Unfortunately it wasn't. It was timidly paced, but written well enough, and with enough induction of anticipation, that you never think to give up. I would definitely recommend it for true horror fans who like both the revolting horror and the disturbing psychology of macabre thrillers.
  • (4/5)
    Scary, tense, and sometimes a bit grizzly! The blurb on the back cover is right - it is part "Lord of the Flies" and part "28 Days Later"! At first I was grumpy that I had read that, but as the story unfolded, it didn't matter! A scoutmaster and five scouts go out to camp on a Canadian island and their adventure is disturbed by a sick looking man who is hungry, very, very hungry! When they discover why, the horror begins! Toward the end, I was super enthralled, and super grossed out, so yeah, I really liked it!
  • (4/5)
    Creepy, twisted with just enough humor to lighten things up. Horror fans put this on your to read list now!
  • (4/5)
    The Troop has been likened to a blend of The Ruins and The Lord of the Flies. The Ruins is perhaps one of the better contemporary horror stories, and The Lord of the Flies will always be considered one of the best pieces of allegorical literature to be written. The Troop may try to be both, but. ...The basic story, about a group of scouts on a camping trip on an unpopulated island who are confronted by exposure to a deadly contagion, is promising. The author, Nick Cutter, provides us with character sketches of the five boys, interspersing the story with flash-forwards of media discussions of the events that took place and their aftermath.As a horror/suspense story the book shows promise. It may start off a bit slow, but as the reader progresses, the story becomes quite interesting. As an allegory, however, the book doesn't quite make it, as contrivances get in the way of making a coherent whole of various threads that are woven through the story. The Lord of the Flies this isn't.All in all, however, this is an interesting tale, and one that could make for a very good movie.
  • (4/5)
    The Troop by Nick Cutter (pseudonym) is a true horror novel full of enough graphic, gory, disgusting scenes to make anyone's stomach heave. If you are a fan of terror novels it's highly recommended.

    In The Troop something is very hungry. When the emaciated man shows up in Prince County diner on Prince Edward Island, and can't get enough to eat, it raises suspicions. It is the beginning of a nightmare for a boy scout troop camping out on Falstaff Island, PEI, when the hungry man steals a boat. Looking like death itself he ends up on Falstaff island, and comes to the scout's cabin looking for food.

    The boy scouts are led by Dr. Tim Riggs. The five boys - Kent, Ephraim, Max, Shelly, and Newton - are all Venture Scouts and around 14 years old. They have known each other their whole lives. This camping trip is probably their last trip together before they all begin to go their separate ways. When Tim hears the boat approaching the island he knows two things. It is a boat and that he and the boys had no weapons other than knives and a flare gun.

    When the skeletal wreck of a man shows up, Tim knows instinctively that this man is sick in some unnatural way that he has never encountered. It sends a spike of pure dread down his spine and he knows that this man is unclean. What the scouts don't know is that the military has been tracking the sick man. They know about the bioengineered nightmare the man's body contains, the threat it poses, and they cordoned off the area, establishing a no-fly, no-watercraft zone. It means the scouts are left to face the unknown terror on their own.

    Cutter uses excerpts of newspaper clippings, interviews, journal entries, and magazine profiles interspersed in the story to provide background information or give extra insight into Dr. Clive Edgerton's scientific experiment gone terribly wrong. This works quite well in the story. We're privy to information the scouts don't have but we also gain extra insight into the scouts themselves.

    Clearly, the scouts themselves are all obvious stereotypes of various types of teens. This is blatant enough that it does seem formulaic and you know that in reality these kids would not still be in scouts together. This didn't bother me because the point of the novel is the gruesome story and the terror it induces as you read.

    The Troop is not for the faint-hearted or anyone with a sensitive stomach. There is some pure terror along with blood and guts and gore. Cutter is graphic in descriptions of scientific experiments on and abuse of animals. Most importantly, if you have any squeamishness over worms, skip this one.

    Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Gallery Books via Edelweiss for review purposes.

  • (4/5)
    This story is stomach turning but really hard to put down. It involves a group of five 14 year old Scouts with their Troop Master, who are dropped off on an island offshore Prince Edward Island. It is October and they are there for a weekend of hiking and honing their survival skills under Tim Riggs, who also happens to be the town's family doctor. The five boys range from the nerdy Newton to the jock Kent, best friends, Ephraim and Max and the solitary, creepy Shelley. Very early into the story the "hungry man" shows up in a boat and the fun begins. There are some passages that I could not read because they were skin crawling, but overall this is a very compelling story. I especially liked the technique of interspersing the story with news accounts or post investigation transcripts. Highly recommended. Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for Craig Davidson.
  • (4/5)
    A short read - but that doesn't take away from the work's ability to make you squirm. A more brutal version of Lord of the Flies, Cutter (pseudonym?) uses a mixture of live action and 'news clips' to tell the story of a Scouting trip gone horribly, horribly wrong.

    Others argued that this book was relatively simplistic. In short, it is that - very male-centric, with no change of pace beyond terror, gore, and the occasional element of camaraderie that breaks up scenes that will make your stomach turn. For lovers of horror and science fiction, this shouldn't stop you from giving The Troop a go. For a book like this, sometimes simple is all you need for entertainment. Just make sure you aren't eating anything while reading.
  • (5/5)
    When I first read the author blurbs for The Troop, I wasn't convinced that this book was as twisted and disgusting as everyone made it out to be.Boy, was I wrong.The reviews are legitimate. This is a horrifically disturbing, gruesome, shocking novel. If you're on the squeamish side, I do not suggest reading this book. If you think you can handle it, but aren't entirely sure...you might end up putting the book down a few chapters in. It's like a death-defying roller coaster, the type of coaster you will only ride if someone dares you to.There's not much to discuss in terms of plot, since the initial premise gives you a good idea of what's about to transpire. A small group of fourteen-year-old scouts on an isolated weekend retreat. A man harboring a fatally destructive tapeworm inside his intestines. The man stumbles upon the group during their weekend outing. I think you can figure out where the story goes from there...What amazed me about this book was how it rose above the stereotypical gross-out horror novel. In a gross-out novel, everything feels wooden and/or gratuitous, and after a while even the most die-hard reader can start to feel numbed and jaded towards the disgusting murder scenes. The Troop, however, combines complex characters with precise, evocative language and a shockingly realistic premise. Think Cabin Fever meets Lord of the Flies, remove the campy humor, and increase the intensity tenfold.It's the literary equivalent of watching a horrible car accident unfold. You know nothing good will come of this. You are exposed to every gory, gruesome detail you can possibly imagine. You know even more horrible tragedy is waiting at the end of the line. And yet you can't bring yourself to look away.Not a novel for horror newbies, and not a novel for readers who aren't sure if they can handle that level of freak-out. But if you're a seasoned horror fan, this one is NOT to be missed! It's Grade-A terror at its finest, and I'm putting this one very high on my list of all time horror favorites.Readalikes:The Ruins - Scott Smith. The classic survival thriller takes a gruesome turn when a group of college students are stranded amongst ancient ruins in Central America and discover a viciously invasive species of plants living amongst the rubble.Parasite - Mira Grant. Whoever thought genetically-engineered tapeworms were a good idea?? This novel has more of a science-fiction angle to it, but there's still plenty of horror and gore to appeal to readers with strong stomachs.Infected - Scott Sigler. Another terrifying blend of body-invasion horror and science fiction that will shock even the most hardened genre readers.
  • (4/5)
    Simple premise. A boy scout troop on an isolated island off Prince Edward Island. A contagion spreads rampant across the island.I'd initially wondered whether this was going to turn out to be a story for pre-teens. Uh, no. While it was mainly about kids, it was vulgar and violent at times, and definitely not geared toward kids.My final word: Creepy and gross with a Dean Koontz-esque kind of feel, I really enjoyed this story. It's a quick read, fun and will make your skin crawl! It's rare that you find a horror novel that not only has a good plot, but is so well executed and written.
  • (2/5)
    I like to start my review while I am still reading, or trying to read a book. I think the vote by everyone that this book is disturbing. I can not say that for me it is great disturbing, as I am finding it boring disturbing. The boys are off on their own and I really do not care if they fall off a cliff. This e-book was provided by NetGalley for a honest review, so I hope I do not burn any bridges, as I am new. Let me get back to it...
  • (5/5)
    I don't usually read the horror genre, and now I remember why. This book is just creepy! But it was awesome at the same time. I found myself reading late into the night because I couldn't put it down in spite of myself. It's the story of a scout troop that goes on their annual camping trip only to be attacked by a worm. Sounds crazy, but this was no ordinary worm! It was a genetically engineered species of tapeworm that ate it's victims from the inside out. That's all the plot I will share. If you are fans of horror, this is the book for you!
  • (4/5)
    This is probably one of the creepiest books I've read in my entire life. I could not put it down, even as it was scaring the wits out of me. A scout troop on a weekend outing to a remote island. Great fun, right? When a gaunt, ill appearing and ravenously hungry stranger appears at the door of their cabin, things go from unsettling to weird to downright horrifying. It's Lord of the Flies, The Ruins and Alien rolled into one with a chaser of Dexter for dessert. I have already recommended it to my horror group. Stephen King is right- this IS old school horror at its best.
  • (3/5)
    When I started The Troop, I wasn't entirely sure what kind of a horror story it would be. There was mention in the blurb that it was a bit Stephen King-ish (which I must admit is what drew me to it as I'm a huge fan of his). However, what kind of horrendous event could occur to a Boy Scouts troop on an island cut off from the mainland? O_O Let me first say that this is NOT a book for children...unless you want them to have nightmares for the foreseeable future (and you're okay with adult content like coarse language and mild sexual themes). I can't get into a lot of detail about what kind of bioengineered sickness the infectious man who happens on the island has but let me just say that it isn't one I would have ever dreamed up and it was plenty scary. I've been talking about this book all week and every time I mentioned the newest development I got varying degrees of shock and disgust. I LOVED THIS BOOK. If you like horror of the gory kind with a mix of the psychological thriller then you'll enjoy this one.
  • (4/5)
    Well what can I say - this book is not for the squeamish! The story line is about a group of boy scouts on a deserted island for a couple of days, doing the Scout thing. Things go really wrong when an unknown man arrives on the island - infected with a hybrid worm that eats you from the inside out. This gore is really heavily descriptive, and will have your skin crawling (or is that the worms beneath your skin???).The characters are very real and all interesting in their own right from the Scout leader who is the towns doctor to each of the boys and those held accountable for the ensuing disaster. Disaster? No horror! The boys are so real, and the story is told from their perspective mostly. Shelley's sociopathic side, Ephraim's insanity, the braggart Kent, Max and Newton the weakest links. You don't know who will survive until the dying moments of the book. This book is well written, suspense driven, and addictive. You just have to keep reading. I love how the Court Case and the News articles are interwoven through the story, adding depth and intrigue. I felt incredibly sad when reading the final pages telling of the aftermath. I was given an advance copy of this book to provide my honest opinion - I loved it.
  • (5/5)
    I think if you like Stephen King's books, you will like The Troop. This book has some very dark threads running through it that are very reminiscent of Stephen King and the way he writes. Not to mention the thrills and chills factor to the book. Very creepy at times, but also I couldn't stop turning the pages! I can speak from personal experience when I recommend not reading this book while eating, though. It will make you lose your appetite for just about anything! I am really big on characters being believable, and in this book, Mr. Cutter perfectly captured a group of 15-year-old boys. That awkward age between young and trying to be grown up. And he have them each such varied and distinct personalities. One I despised, and the others I liked more, to varying degrees. The ones I liked, I cheered for the whole time, of course. The story itself also came across as believable, though freaky. But not so freaky that I wouldn't believe it's not possible for real, either. Books like this always make me wonder what is really going on out there in the world of science that we don't have a clue about. I definitely think this is an author to watch! This is quite a book, and it definitely lived up to my expectations, which were high for this one. Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I am never compensated for my reviews.
  • (2/5)
    My overall feelings about this book can be described in one word: "meh."Granted, I am awful when it comes to reading horror. I mean, I was four years old and watching Freddy Krueger without any fear, so it takes a heck of a lot to make me feel anything at all when it comes to the horror genre. And I like reading horror, so although I am always on the lookout for a book that makes me even get a shiver of the creeps, I almost never can find one.The Troop sounded good on paper, but it just didn't do much for me. I didn't care about any of the characters, and I felt more than a little dislike for most of the boys. The "horror" didn't scare me. The writing was okay, but I am seriously getting sick of the editors out there who don't know that switching perspectives in mid-chapter without a clear delineating mark is a no and a total deal breaker for me.
  • (5/5)
    A lot of things have already been said about this book, especially comparisons to the work of Stephen King. As a King fan, I recognized several similarities in composition and style, which can be considered two ways: either criticize the author for 'borrowing' or relish the use of those ingredients that make a good story. For me, I decided to do the latter, and therefore I had a hell of a good time reading 'The Troop'. The group of teenagers reminded me strongly of several titles by not only, but mainly King, where the leading characters are also young people. I like stories like that, where a certain factor of familiarity, yet at the same time unpredictable behavior and special cruelty is involved that misses that gets lots with growing age.While the graphic description of the infection's symptoms and development were gross (not that I want to complain) the chapter with the highest factor of creepiness was the protocol of the chimpanzee experiment. As it came relatively early in the book, nothing after that could shock me anymore. Thus, it was relatively easy to concentrate on the character building, which is the strongest skill of the author.The bully (who gets what he deserves), the nerdy guy, the strange one with secrets - though there are stereotypes, the boys of the troop are still unique in their own way, and they all felt uncannily close. While my own personal hero did not survive, I understand that he would have been a too obvious choice, therefore I was satisfied with the actual ending.Highly recommended.