Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Troop by Nick Cutter

Published: February 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 368
Copy Provided by: NetGalley
Summary: Goodreads

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.


I absolutely love scary YA novels and this was by far the scariest book I have read in 2014 so far.  Nick Cutter did a fantastic job of intermingling his plotline with "News articles" and interviews sprinkled throughout the novel giving the story a very realistic this could actually be happening in real life (God I hope not).  In some sick twisted way, there is a bit of humor mixed in this terrible scenario as well.  For instance, as one of the characters becomes ravenous with hunger, his mind cycles through food jingles.  

Each character reacts to this sickness in a different way. I loved how Mr. Cutter defined each character by their internal thoughts and reactions.  For instance, Shelley is like a puppeteer for the other members of the troop. He fades into the shadows and subtly shifts the balance of power amongst the boys.  It is eerily scary how he manipulates the other boys because he seems void of emotions.  He has no loyalties and secretly watches as the troop falls apart.

The Troop is a darker title for older teens.  Subject matter at some times became gruesome and disturbing and there was language in the book.  It could be turned into a great ISU discussion though!   I think the scariest part about this title is that it made sense.  It was something that could happen in real life.
This would be a great title to add to your pre-Halloween creeptastic reads for October as well!

The Troop reminded me of an updated version of Lord of the Flies written from Stephen King perspective.  (Coincidentally the author makes mention of Stephen King in his author's comments at the end of the book).  You know what makes this a fantastic read?  It is frighteningly plausible and brilliant!

Nick Cutter (aka Craig Davidson) is a part of The Dark Side Mystery tour across Canada.  See the website for details!!

1 comment:

  1. I find it difficult to get scared reading a book. So I'm glad to hear this one has potential! I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks for the great review.