Author: Nick Cutter
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Lord of the Flies meets The Ruins in this frightening novel written in the bestselling traditions of Stephen King and Scott Smith.
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.
“Lean and crisp and over-the-top....Disquieting, disturbing,” says Scott Smith, author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan, The Troop is a visceral burn of a read that combines boldly drawn characters with a fantastically rendered narrative—a terrifying story you’ll never forget.
A copy was provided through NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
This book was so beyond disgusting/disturbing *shudders*. I'm about to graduate from Bacteriology (It's like Microbiology pretty much) so reading about the hydatids wasn't anything new, but the way Cutter described everything made me queasy at times, and that's saying something cause usually things like that don't faze me.
While the very vivid imagery was a definite plus, what fascinated me the most was how well Cutter captured the reactions of the kids. We start off simple enough by getting to know all 5 14 year-old kids, Ephraim, Max, Newton, Kent and Shelley, they were a very eclectic group.
"None of this would've happened if Tim had come," Kent sulked. "It's his job, isn't it?" "Oh, bullshit." Ephraim vented a harsh, barking laugh. "You wanted to play King Shit, Kent. Well, you played it. Now wear your crown of turds."
Kent is the self appointed leader of the group, Max is the levelheaded one, Ephraim has anger issues, Newt is the nerd and Shelley....Shelley is the psychopath of the bunch, and I'm not throwing that word around lightly, Shelley really is a budding psychopath, and to be stuck on an island in such horrible circumstances with a psychopath just added that whole other level of creepiness to it.
"Shelley idly wondered if the spider felt any confusion or terror - did insects even feel emotions? He sort of hoped so, but there was no way to be sure."
*"That meant he could play his games. And if he played them patiently enough, carefully enough, he might be the only one left to greet a boat when - if? - it did show up."
But they were still teenagers stuck in a horrible situation and their interactions and insight really brought it home for me. I loved how well Cutter captured the thought process of these kids and how when the shit hit the fan, some unraveled, others flourished and others were just swept away. That is what made this book for me because unfortunately the pacing was lacking.
That was my big problem with this book. You would think with everything that was going on and how vomit inducing the descriptions are I would have been thoroughly entertained the whole time. I wasn't. I got bored at times, way too frequently especially in the first half. During the second half it got a bit better and flowed more smoothly, but that first half was almost a chore to get through, and I just don't even get why that would be the case. It's not like nothing was happening. They had already gotten stranded in the island and met the sick guy that was going to be their downfall, but even with all that the book dragged at times, but I still really liked it overall.
If reading about worms bursting out of stomachs and swimming up 'pissholes' makes you a bit queasy, this probably isn't the book for you, but if you don't mind then you should totally read it. It's worth it.