Book Review: The Troop

THE TROOP | Nick Cutter
02.25.2014 | Gallery Books
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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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 bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. A horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival with no escape from the elements, the infected…or one another.

THE TROOP is a modern spin on a LORD OF THE FLIES style scenario filled with examinations into how the mind works and the depths of which people are willing to go to survive. The Scout troop features boys of every personality and background, which in turn makes all of their reactions unique to themselves. Their behavior ranges from intense to emotional to downright insane. 

I fell in love with the environment that Cutter built. The sense of isolation is incredibly strong throughout the story and adds to tension, plot, and ultimately the decisions of our troop. This book gets a lot of discussion around the gross factor that Cutter brings to the table and while I thought certain things were definitely stomach-turning, I didn’t find anything too crazy. The animal violence was a bit of a turn off for me, but I just skipped those parts to avoid reading what I didn’t enjoy. 

One of my favorite features in this book are the interview and journal snippets that Cutter added at the ends of various chapters. These gave the reader an entirely new perspective about what led up to the events, how they were handled, and the aftermath. I felt that they were the perfect way to give the reader a full picture of our troop’s experience.

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