Published 25 February 2014 by Headline
Number of pages: 358
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ I liked it
"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."
Nick Cutter's The Troop will make you uncomfortable. Then it will disturb you more and more deeply with its vivid and clinical imagery of multifaceted horror.
You will be transported onto the island and you will be made to savour it through the narrator's creative, complex and at times arcane simile and metaphors - which can take a while to get accustomed to.
The present plight of the young scouts is interwoven with flashbacks into their lives back on the mainland, and with flash-forwards into the aftermath providing the reader with a complete and chilling bird's eye view of the events as they unfold.
Although the initial setting of the story is immediately reminiscent of Golding's "Lord of the Flies", this is where the similarities end.
Different audiences will be able to pick up and appreciate different aspects of the story.
Be warned: this book contains graphic cruelty to animals.