Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Book Review: Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

A trio of mismatched mercenaries are hired by Ellen Bellhaven to check in on her nephew, who has been whisked away to join a backwoods settlement in New Mexico called Little Heaven. Ellen joins the mercenaries, Micah, Minerva and Eb, as they venture out on their mission. However, as they get close to the settlement, things start to turn a little.... ominous. Full of downtrodden inhabitants, who appear unhealthy and emaciated, and children who are demonstrating pretty cruel behaviour, Little Heaven tells the story of a settlement that might actually be a little closer to Hell than Heaven...

"The black rock stood within itself, brooding and implacable. It waited as it always had. For that wheel to come round again."

I finally broke my Nick Cutter virginity and it was everything I thought it would be! My two major takeaways from this book:

1). Nick Cutter is insanely good at character development - almost King-like, one could say.
2). He is very skilled at presenting lots of horror and gore without it becoming gratuitous.

Combine these two skills together and you've got an insanely good horror book where you actually care about the fate of the characters. The perfect page-turner. If you're not a fan of gore or if you're particularly squeamish, then sorry, Little Heaven might not be the book for you. And if you are... what are you waiting for?!

I was looking at other reviews online and I had seen a lot of comparison to Stephen King's IT. Apart from the story being told over two time periods, I honestly don't see much of a comparison. Sure, there's supernatural forces at work, and a lair in which the monster resides, but I didn't feel like the similarities were overpowering. Cutter is obviously inspired by King - but what horror author these days isn't inspired by the Master? I also felt like Cutter was influenced by Lovecraft - another Master of Horror - in the form of the monsters he creates in this novel. The illustrations throughout this book were a really nice way of helping to visualise how messed-up these creatures were. They were INSANE. Scary shit. And there's a lot of creepy crawlies too. Be prepared to feel your skin crawl as you read this!

I really liked ALL of the main characters in this book. Eb's sense of humour, Minerva's attitude and Micah's humanity were all contributing factors to this. I just felt like they were all very likeable, even though they were bounty hunters and murderers. Little Heaven is run by one of the most vile characters - Amos Flesher - even thinking about him turns my stomach. The religious cult out in the middle of nowhere gave me serious Jonestown vibes and I was glad to read that Cutter actually drew inspiration from this. The combination of the religious cult aspect with the supernatural forces at work made for a compelling tale.

You can tell how much I loved (or hated) a book by how much I have to say about it. I could go on and on about why I enjoyed this book, but also want to limit what I give away to potential readers. I'll conclude by saying that Cutter really impressed me with this book, and this is usually his least popular novel amongst his readers, so that really heightens my excitement for both The Deep and The Troop. Go get your Nick Cutter fix!! 5 stars out of 5 from me!


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