Red Lace Reviews's Reviews > The Troop

The Troop by Nick Cutter
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really liked it
bookshelves: received-for-review, nick-cutter, horror-monster-creature, thriller-dark
Recommended for: horror fans

Something unexpected is about to happen on Falstaff Island. When a mysterious, very ghastly looking man arrives ashore, he will gruesomely change the lives of the group of young scouts and their scoutmaster whom just wanted a weekend of of campfires, merit badges, and survival lessons.

(I received this book from NetGalley/Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books in exchange for an honest review. Please be aware that this review DOES contain spoilers before reading further.)

I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this, which quickly gripped and held my interest until I felt hungry for more. I've never read anything quite like it and I don't think a book has ever disturbed me quite so much. I don't even consider myself a particularly squeamish person, but at one point I actually felt sick, which is more than a little rare. Every detail was excellently written and extremely thorough, until I almost found my skin crawling in revulsion. I've always had a fear and fascination with parasites, which is an odd mix, but endoparasites especially, those hidden that live inside the host, well, they could give me nightmares whilst I still have a certain disgusted interest. If you think about it, we can get worms so easily and not even be aware of it. If one thing is clear, it's that nature is twisted and scary.

But these worms weren't natural. They were altered, becoming something ten times more terrifying. What they did to the body was shocking and Nick Cutter certainly didn't hold back on the ugliness. I also appreciated the little tidbits of information given in the forms of newspaper clippings, interviews and magazine profiles as they really added to the book overall, letting the reader know just why the hydatids were experimented on in the first place and what their purpose was meant to be. The recordings about the chimpanzee test subject will stay with me for a long time, I think that bothered me the most.

The style of writing reminded me a lot of Stephen Kings earlier works, which by personal preference, I'm not overly fond of, however saying that, the descriptions were genuinely some of the best I've had the pleasure of reading, everything from the atmosphere to the feelings of the boys. The characters themselves, well, were a bit cliche. You had;

The jock.
The overweight nerd.
The cruel outsider.
The angry little energetic one.
The relatively normal one.

I liked Newton and Max the best, whilst Shelley and his animal torturing weren't exactly nice to read about. The flashbacks to specific events in their lives, I enjoyed as I felt I got to know them more. Newton's in particular brought up some interesting subjects, like how people care more about the outside appearance rather than the inside personality and how attractive people are more socially acceptable, but everyone knows that. I found myself thinking about the other things that were brought up as well, like how children and adults experience fear differently and how their levels of tolerance may differ. The pace of the plot was satisfactory enough, even with all the back-story. I won't deny it, it wasn't an original story and it often was predictable, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Notable Quotes & Scenes:

How could you hide from a murderer who lived under your skin?


They'd made a pact to be friends forever, but forever could be so, so brief.


Shelley had been killing things for a while by then - although he didn't think of it as killing per se. Other creatures, even people, were empty vessels. Of course, not physically empty: all livings things were packed full of guts and bones and blood that leapt giddily into the air when it was released from a vein. But none of them had an essential... well, essence. They were just ambulatory sacks of skin. That was really it. Shelley honestly felt no remorse tearing another living thing apart than he would ripping the limbs off a wooden marionette.


Suddenly Max understood those awful stories he'd seen on the national news, the ones where a reporter grimly intoned some poor person had been stabbed forty times or whatever. Maybe the stabber would have stopped after a single stab if that was all it took. But most living things don't want to die. It took a lot to kill them. Events take on a vicious momentum. All of a sudden you're stabbing as a matter of necessity. You're hoping that if you just put enough holes into a body, the life will drain out and death will rapidely flow in...

© Red Lace 2014
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Reading Progress

August 26, 2014 – Started Reading
August 26, 2014 – Shelved
August 26, 2014 – Shelved as: received-for-review
August 27, 2014 –
August 28, 2014 –
August 29, 2014 –
August 30, 2014 – Shelved as: nick-cutter
August 30, 2014 – Finished Reading
January 13, 2015 – Shelved as: horror-monster-creature
November 29, 2017 – Shelved as: thriller-dark

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