Author: Nick Cutter
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: January 10th, 2017
A trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops—the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers…and it wants them all.
Nick Cutter is a Canadian author known for his previous horror novels, The Troop and The Deep. Even though I haven’t read his previous works, I’ve heard very good things about his books, which is why I was so interested in picking up Little Heaven. Additionally, the synopsis for this book was very intriguing, mostly because it involves a lot of my favourite tropes in a novel – three mercenaries, a religious cult, and something dark and mysterious. I was expecting to be really impressed by this book, and while I was in no way let down, it still didn’t live up to my expectations.
It was really hard to get invested in this book. It’s really difficult to understand what’s going on at the beginning. I understand why there’s such a build up and that we need to understand the three main characters a little better, but it’s really hard to want to read a book with such a strange introduction to the world. It took a long time for me to fully understand what was going on and what the story was going to be about.
The story flips back and forth in time, which is an interesting way of telling the story, but it seemed a little unnecessary and took a lot of the suspense out of the novel since we knew what was going to happen to the main characters. Understandably, the book isn’t about the suspense, but about the stomach churning, horrific things that happen at Little Heaven. While this is classified as a horror novel, it’s an old-school type of horror – more Lovecraft than anything else. I’m sure that a lot of people would really enjoy a book like that, but I just didn’t find it scary at all. The writing was incredibly detailed and there was some extremely graphic scenes and a lot of vivid, disturbing imagery, but it was really gory. I prefer slow burning horror books instead of gory ones so it wasn’t very entertaining for me.
There are some great things about this book though. My favourite part of the novel was the chemistry between the three main characters. I loved all three of them deeply and even though they started off together in a really strange way, it was rewarding to see how they ended up trusting each other and looking out for each other.
I don’t think this was the best way for me to be introduced to Nick Cutter’s works, but I’m still interested in his previous novels. While I didn’t love this book, I still think it’s a solid horror novel that has an audience out there. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant for me.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has affected my review in no way.