Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Review | The Troop by Nick Cutter


The Troop is a new horror novel by Nick Cutter (Craig Davidson).

Book Description

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 bonfre. Te boys are a tight-knit crew. Tere’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.

Why did I read The Troop?

First, Stephen King said it scared the hell out of him. Then there were comparisons to Scott Smith's The Ruins. Those two reasons alone were enough for me.

The Strengths

The Troop is a scary read. Although the characters in The Troop are not very realistic, the horror at the heart of The Troop is plausible. Part of the fun in reading The Troop for me was wondering what was causing the horror and then believing it could actually happen. Science related horror, for the win.

The comparisons to Scott Smith are true. The Troop was very similar in tone to The Ruins which is a great thing. There was a lot of tension so I was a nervous, happy reader.

The Troop is a stand out book. It's not just your next horror story. It's well developed and memorable.

The Weaknesses

The kids. I never thought there could be too much back story on characters, but the amount of development on the boys in The Troop made them feel unrealistic to me. Each boy fit a role and it was too convenient for each one to have such a huge (usually disturbing) back story that they had never shared with each other before.

I much preferred the biological horrors of The Troop over the psychological/human horrors.

Would I recommend The Troop to others?

Absolutely. If you are a fan of horror or thrillers and you don't mind being disturbed or even grossed out, The Troop needs to be on your list of things to read this year. I do not, however, recommend it to the squeamish.

8/10: Great Read


Review copy provided by publisher

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Review | Snowblind by Christopher Golden


Snowblind is a stand alone horror novel from Christopher Golden.

Book Description

The small New England town of Coventry had weathered a thousand blizzards...but never one like this. Icy figures danced in the wind and gazed through children's windows with soul-chilling eyes. People wandered into the whiteout and were never seen again. Families were torn apart, and the town would never be the same.

Now, as a new storm approaches twelve years later, the folks of Coventry are haunted by the memories of that dreadful blizzard and those who were lost in the snow. Photographer Jake Schapiro mourns his little brother, Isaac, even as---tonight---another little boy is missing. Mechanic and part-time thief Doug Manning's life has been forever scarred by the mysterious death of his wife, Cherie, and now he’s starting over with another woman and more ambitious crimes. Police detective Joe Keenan has never been the same since that night, when he failed to save the life of a young boy . . . and the boy’s father vanished in the storm only feet away. And all the way on the other side of the country, Miri Ristani receives a phone call . . . from a man who died twelve years ago.

As old ghosts trickle back, this new storm will prove to be even more terrifying than the last.

I was highly anticipating reading Snowblind this year. I've been a fan of Christopher Golden for a long time, and it has been a while since he's released a new horror book. When I heard Snowblind was going to be released, I immediately placed it on my must read list.

I absolutely loved the ominous build up in the beginning of Snowblind. A blizzard is blowing in to a small town in New England, and something is waiting out in the snow. It reminded me of Stephen King's The Mist. You know some bad shit is happening, but you don't know exactly what is out there.

Once all of the foreboding came to a head and we started seeing the horrors of the blizzard, the timeline jumped ahead 12 years. The real story of Snowblind lies in what happened 12 years after the original events, but the jump in time forced the middle to lag for me. I spent most of Snowblind longing for the awesome that got left behind.

Even though the end of Snowblind didn't live up to the promise of the beginning, it was still a good snow thriller. If you are looking for a book to give you the snow creeps, Snowblind will definitely fit that bill. I'm glad I read it on one of the only almost snowy days we had here this winter. If I ever find myself out in real snow, this book is certain to be on my mind.

6/10: Good Read

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts {5}

It has been far too long since I've sat down to do a bookish thoughts post! Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts is a random posting of what's on my mind bookish and otherwise. Sometimes 10 things, sometimes less, always hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.
  1. This year has been fantastic for reading so far. I started last year in such a slump. I went over 6 months without a single five star read. I'm so happy to be in an upswing this year!

  2. The problem with being in an upswing is my increased lack of reviewing. I don't want to stop to analyze, I want to read, read more. Also, pointing out the flaws is a much easier task than putting into words why I love something. It's not always tangible.

  3. The final Divergent trailer was released this week. I mentioned my lack of excitement in my previous bookish thoughts post. I didn't have an emotional reaction to the previews the same way I did with The Hunger Games trailer. THAT HAS CHANGED. This final trailer was definitely different from the rest and now I'M ON BOARD.



  4. I still have no intention of reading the rest of the Divergent series.

  5. Expect lots and lots of gushing from me over the Paradox Trilogy in the near future, though. My God. I just finished Honor's Knight, but I was coming off of 2 days with no sleep so I'm going to go back and reread at least the last half. It's way too good to leave it this blurry in my head.


  6. I still can't let go of J.K. Rowling's regrets. Fuckin' J.K., I swear.


  7. It's Women in Horror month! If I may make some suggestions:



  8. I'm going to continue the awesomeness that is re-reading this month. The gang over at The Midnight Garden is having a read-along of The Golden Compass. If you've never read the His Dark Materials trilogy and would like to have ALL THE FEELS and your heart shattered along with me, please join! It's an amazing series.


Let me hear your thoughts this week! Do you have any feels over the new Divergent trailer? Will you be participating in Women in Horror Month? Feel free to let out all of your J.K. Rowling rage. I AM HERE TO LISTEN. I know some of you Harry/Hermione shippers are over the moon, and that's OK, too. Are you in an upswing so far this year? What book are you currently pushing?

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Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3 | Currently Reading

Happy February everyone. Was January good to you? I didn't write many reviews in January, but I did get a lot of reading done. I finally finished my big Harry Potter reread which was amazing and soul crushing. I finished just in time to be further crushed by J.K. Rowling's regrets.

Did you guys watch the super bowl last night? Lame. Honestly, I tune in for the commercials, but those were lame, too. I did get to do some awesome eating and drinking so there is that.

Last week I reviewed The Twelve-Fingered Boy by John Hornor Jacobs

I also finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, Scowler by Daniel Kraus, and Snowblind by Christopher Golden.


This week I'm currently reading Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto and Honor's Knight by Rachel Bach.


I'd love to hear what you guys are reading this week. Be sure to let me know in the comments or leave me a link!


This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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