Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Troop by Nick Cutter [ 5 stars ]

From the book description:

“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.

The Troop is one of the best books I've read in a long time. The characters are well written and easy to care about. There were times that I genuinely wanted to smack Kent, and if Newt had been a girl he could have been me growing up. The story was actually scary in a way most horror books don't manage, and it will stick with me for a long time. At one point I was eating lunch while reading and had to put the food away because it was so disturbing ( when you read about the monkey you'll know what I mean ). I can't wait to read more by Nick Cutter, he's a writer to watch for. Do yourself a favor and get this book, you'll thank me later. A great 5 star read.