The Troop - Nick Cutter

We're talking a very, very high four-star read here. What keeps it from being a 4.5 or 5 is the simple fact that I will never, ever, everevereverever read this fucking book again. I like being scared, love the thrill of it. I even love being disturbed, but this one tested all my boundaries. Naw, that's not good enough. It nuked my boundaries. Blew the doors right off my threshold for nasty, and then proceeded to fornication with my emotions. 


What makes this book so disturbing isn't only the subject matter but the people who suffer through said subject matter. Through various flashbacks and interactions with the boys during their fight to survive an unspeakable horror, we're given plenty of reasons to either love or hate each of them. So, when the bad shit starts going down, we're invested in the characters. 


I truly connected with Newton, the chubby nerd of the group, and the chapter wherein he reflects on creating a fake Facebook account to garner friends broke my heart. To compound matters, there's a Facebook message within the final pages of the book that pretty much sums up the tragedy of that boy's fate. 


In summation: This is one of the best horror novels I've read since NOS4A2, yet not quite as good as James Newman's ANIMOSITY. That's not totally fair though, as THE TROOP is a far different type of horror novel than the two I just mentioned. I'd give it a five, but I reserve that for books I believe I can read over and over, and I'm not putting myself through this again. Highly recommended for fans of gross out horror with amazing characters you can become emotionally connected to. Keep in mind though, this is a tragedy. A dark and unsettling tragedy.