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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Troop: A Novel of Terror

Yeah, so... The subtitle of this book does not lie. {Please hold while I shiver in rememberance.} Caveat reader. This is Nick Cutter's The Troop.

Troop 52 scouts head on their annual camp out--no phones, electronics, or communication with the outside world. It's amazing that in this day and age there are a few teenage boys who want to get away from it all. Their first night, however, a stranger shows up on the shore, starving and emaciated but eating everything in sight. As the minutes tick by, a horror beyond anyone's imagination takes over the camp and changes life as everyone knows it.

So, I just closed the book this morning and have not stopped feeling skeezed out since. (Note: If you've been following the blog for a while, you know things like this are the ultimate compliment. The worst thing you can say about a book that you didn't feel anything.) Since this book came recommended by Stephen King, I had no doubt that it was going to be superbly fascinating and ultimately terrifying. It's exceeded on all counts.

I was really fascinated by the character arcs that took place over the course of the book. One thing that became clear is that we never really know one another regardless of how long we have been friends or how close we are. How we deal with situations when our defenses drop and we have to make spur of the moment decisions defines who we really are. These boys' true colors showed--for better or for worse.

It is nearly impossible for me to discuss details about this book, as I would be giving away some major spoilers that occur as early as a quarter of the way to the book. You all know I'm not even remotely interested in that. You have to read it for yourself to get the full effect of the horror these boys go through at the hands of an unseen, destructively evil force. It's one part astounding, one part fascinating three parts creepy. A recipe for success. I couldn't put this book down--and neither will you.

Kindle version on left, hard copy on right.

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