Stormi and I did our first Tag Team Review together in September and joined in on another with the orginal creators, Laura from FUONLYKNEW and Sherry at Fundinmental in October, but this is the first one we have managed to accomplish since then. This month Stormi and I buddy read "Little Heaven" by Nick Cutter. I'd like to say stay tuned for our glorious praises of the book, but well....just read on. And don't forget to check out Stormi's thoughts over at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!
TITLE: Little Heaven
AUTHOR: Nick Cutter
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books
PUBLISHING DATE: January 10, 2017
FROM GOODREADS: An all-new epic tale of terror and redemption set in the hinterlands of midcentury New Mexico from the acclaimed author of The Troop—which Stephen King raved “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down...old-school horror at its best.”
From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It, in which 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.
MY THOUGHTS: I did a small happy dance when I finished this book (who am I kidding, I was thrilled) but not for the obvious reasons. I did the dance basically because I was done. This book had such promise. I own "The Troop" and "The Deep" and after hearing such good things about them, I probably should have started my Cutter experience there. "Little Heaven" reminded me of a lot of things. It was slightly reminiscent of Stephen King (in character development and in that the setting of the book was almost a character of its own), and caused flashbacks of The Twilight Zone. Let me explain. In the beginning, when it's talking about the formation of the Long Walker (A.K.A. the Big Bad - my name, not Cutter's) I kept thinking of my favorite Twilight Zone episode, "It's a Good Life," where little Anthony Fremont, a 6-year-old, wishes anything he doesn't like into a cornfield, even the horrible creatures he makes to play with (like a three-headed gopher). The Big Bad needed wished into that cornfield and the book could have been about 100 pages shorter. I don't mind long books, in fact, I love them, but not THIS long book.
"Little Heaven" has dual timelines. The reader is taken into the past, where we see how our team of bounty hunters comes together and where they first encounter the Big Bad. Then we are treated to Micah's current life where he wakes up one morning to find his daughter Petty has been kidnapped by a Long Walker and only he and his gang of misfit bounty hunters know what must be done to save her. For some reason, I had some trouble with the back and forth - perhaps because it took so long for things to develop. I spent the first hundred pages or so utterly confused.
There were some things I liked about "Little Heaven." I liked the team of bounty hunters, with Ebenezer being my favorite character. An African American British man, who in my opinion brought some much needed "snark" to the book at times. I also thought the end was pretty terrifying and if I hadn't been so thrilled to get to it and be done, I probably could have really enjoyed it. I also must admit that Cutter's mind scares me and it's a place I'd hate to visit alone. Now I think that's a good quality for a horror writer to possess and I'm sure I'll pick up both future and past works to see what else he creates.
I've seen mixed reviews of "Little Heaven" and not having read Cutter's other works, I can't honestly tell you if this is where to start with him. If you aren't turned off by horror novels, "Little Heaven" might be a good choice for you. I think I set myself up for failure with this book because I wanted to love it and I just didn't. Oh, and I almost forgot, there are some truly awesome illustrations in the novel so because Goodreads won't allow 1/2 stars, and because of the Cutter's imagination, and given the great pictures, I'm giving "Little Heaven" a weak 3/5.
I received this copy from Netgalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
RATING: 3 PAWS
READING CHALLENGES: Goodreads 2017, New Release Challenge, Horror Reading Challenge, 2016/2017 Winter COYER