Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tag Team Review - Little Heaven


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

17 comments:

  1. Oh no! I'm sorry this wasn't as good as you'd hoped... though this might actually be perfect for me, non-horror fan that I am!

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    1. Yeah, I hate it when you want to love a book so much and it just falls short. However, lots of people have really liked this one so it must just be not for me.

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  2. As much as we talked about it and how hard it was to read I am surprised you didn't quit like me. :) Your are tough and nice with the rating. :)

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    1. Like I said, I hate that Goodreads doesn't allow for 1/2 star ratings. I prefer to keep my ratings on my blog and on Goodreads the same or this would have been a 2 1/2 for sure.

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  3. I was so curious about your review of this book! such promise right? I'm no ta big fan of Stephen King so I'm not sure I would enjoy a looong sample of that LOL Thanks for the review Barb!

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    1. Lots of people have loved this and I think it may have read easier if it wasn't a 500 page book. I don't mind long books, but sometimes they just aren't necessary.

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  4. Hmmmm, I think I'll try it on audio because I know I'll probably DNF it in paper. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more :( I haven't read Cutter yet but probably wont' be starting here.

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    1. May be a good idea. From what I heard, his other two books have been better received.

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  5. I did that same done dance. I feel you completely with this one. It wasn't for me either. :( Don't count him out, though. Pick up The Troop if you get the chance.

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    1. I've seen a lot of good reviews for this one so I'm glad to hear some of the people I follow regularly had similar feelings. Assures me I'm not crazy.

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  6. I feel a bit better about rating this book a 2 now. I loved The Troop, but this one didn't appeal to me at all. I couldn't get into the characters or click with the "old school" feel of the story, but I can see how that might work for others. But it just wasn't for me.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. I plan to still read The Troop and The Deep so this one hasn't made me give up on him yet. Plus, as I mentioned, he has one heck of an imagination.

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  7. I have this book but kind of passed over it in my reading schedule based on what I have been hearing from others. I am on a good reading streak and I just don't want to get bogged down with a book right now. I am sorry that this one didn't live up to your expectations. Great review!

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    1. Yea! for good reading streaks. Hope to hit one again soon. It's always harder to write a review when you didn't really like the book in my opinion.

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  8. I enjoyed The Troop and really liked it. I'll probably still read this. What doesn't work some.....I've come across some books that did this. So hyped and let me down. You never know. Great review, Barb.

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    1. Some people love it so don't let my review hold you back. I own The Troop and it will probably be the next Cutter book I read.

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  9. I totally get what you mean about being reminiscent of SK. I got that vibe too on some things. Also, you were so right, we did end up feeling VERY similar about this book. Having said that, I really do think you may like The Troop and The Deep a lot better. I really loved those. Especially The Troop. I just wish this one had been better (Especially for you with it being your first Cutter book!) and not so slow in the beginning.

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