By Nick Cutter
(Gallery Books, Hardcover, 9781476717715, January 2014, 368pp.)
The Short of It:
Fast-paced and intense.
The Rest of It:
What happens to a group of boy scouts when a strange man shows up at their camp site with an insatiable hunger?
This is one of those reads that you tear through, cringing the entire time. Without giving anything away, what is supposed to be a pleasant weekend of camping on Falstaff Island quickly becomes something out of a horror movie. Things happen. Their scout master does his best to assess the situation and deal with what is happening but it’s a force that is much larger than him and he finds himself in a very bad situation.
A lot of people say this is a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Ruins. I agree with that, somewhat. It’s more biological than psychological but since we are dealing with young kids and how they deal with the situation at hand, I can see the LOTF’s comparison. This was a tense read and if you are at all squeamish, you won’t want to read this one at lunch but the story held my attention. My only issue with it is that it seemed abbreviated to me. The entire story plays out in just a few days so although the pace was great, the author couldn’t go all that deep within each character but he did an admirable job trying.
While reading a book like this, you want the payoff to be big, but once I knew what was going on, I wasn’t too happy to be spending any more time on the island. So, I have mixed feelings about this one. As a thriller or a suspense read, I was very pleased but I think I needed the story to go in a slightly different direction in order for me to love it. It reminded me a lot of Bait by J. Kent Messum in that the writing was great, but I didn’t care for the way that story played out.
This is a one-sitting read, fast-paced and tense but definitely not for the squeamish.
Source: Sent to me by the publisher.
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