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sarahf1984

Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

The Troop by Nick Cutter

The Troop - Nick Cutter

29/4 - I was really pleased and excited for the author to see this at my local library. This is the second book from Netgalley that I haven't gotten around to reading before it expired which has then gone on to end up at my library (Christopher Rice's Heavens Rising was the first, hopefully this is better than that). I always feel happy for an author when I see that they've managed to get their book published in print form, no matter the quality of the book (which is usually a mystery to me unless there's been a GR uproar prior to me picking it up - I impulse borrow at the library more than once a week and come home with all kinds of surprise borrows).

So far I'm really enjoying this. It has zombies, so it gets stars before I even start reading, it's just up to Cutter and the story to stop it from losing stars due to all the myriad problems I've encountered in my reading adventures. As of page 55, I haven't noticed any grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors - so that's a plus. So far there's not much to like about the five teenage boys - four of them are average teenage boys who like to pick on the weakest member of the pack, and the fifth is the weakest member of the pack and he allows the other boys to pick on him because that's the status quo of their group, their scout troop. The scout master, also the only doctor on his side of Prince Edward Island, is more empathetic as he's trying to protect his charges from this obviously diseased stranger. I like the way each chapter is begun with a news article which gives us another clue to the puzzle of what the disease is, how it started, and how to stop it. To be continued...

 

5/5 - Everyone else was thinking

zombies to start with

(show spoiler)

, right?  I mean looking like death warmed over, insatiable hunger leading to the eating of pond slime and hacking up goop that appears to be infecting Scoutmaster Tim already - what other explanation could there be?  What about

a tapeworm type parasite

(show spoiler)

?  Did anyone see that one coming?  Wasn't there an X Files episode about

mutant tapeworms?  And they escaped into the sewers and were eating people whole

(show spoiler)

?  So, that's a new and different (well, not counting the X Files) reason for insatiable hunger and wasting away of the body.  The only problem with this is all the phallic imagery (or do I just have a dirty mind?).  What with passages like this: "The tube propelled itself out of the man's side in a series of fierce pulsations..." or this "It came with a sly, squishing noise, like very wet clay being squeezed in a tightened fist." or this "The loop became a pale, ribbed tube, roughly seven inches long.  Thicker than a garden hose, slightly tapered at the tip."  or this evocative literary blunder "Pearlescent beads clung to its surface." who wouldn't be thinking about specific parts of the male anatomy?  Especially after the fine specimens of male anatomy popping up all over my GR feed today (not that I'm complaining or anything).  I mean come on!  It sounds like Cutter took lessons in descriptive prose from E.L. James.  To be continued...

 

Later - p99 - Why on earth would scientists be interested in giving humans (or guinea pigs, for that matter)

tapeworms that virtually turn them into self-cannibalising zombies

(show spoiler)

?  What is the point of that experiment?  Usually they want to create better, stronger soldiers - I don't see that happening here.  Maybe they think it's a fast way of disabling the enemy army?  Nope, not gonna work.  It's too uncontrollable and impossible to focus on just their army, and not yours (they'll attack anyone within

biting

(show spoiler)

distance).  It just seems pointless to go to all the effort of creating the thing when it seems to be more trouble than it's worth.  To be continued...

 

BEWARE OF MAJOR SPOILERS FOR REST OF REVIEW, TOO MANY FOR SPOILER TAGS

7/5 - Mutant tape worms and a serial killer in the making on the same uninhabited island.  How likely is that?  This normally uninhabited-by-humans island is currently home to two dead adult males, two 14-year-old boys who currently appear to be healthy (although hungry), a further two 14-year-old boys of indeterminate aliveness, and a 14-year-old serial killer in the making (the only 'making' left to do is for him to actually kill a human, he's already passed every other landmark on his journey to becoming a serial killer).  I think Cutter would have been better off just focusing on his original idea, instead of trying to mix the two together with the outcome being a flawed hybrid (it remains to be seen just how flawed).

The deaths of the kitty and the sea turtle were harrowing reading, especially the sea turtle because after the pain and extended cruelty of the sea turtle's death the boys decided they were no longer hungry enough to eat it.  That made me really ANGRY!  I have no problem with killing for food, but to kill in the way Max did is just dreadful, and then to waste the food, it really made my blood boil.  I'm looking forward to discovering, not so much who lives (because I think that's reasonably obvious, although you never know I might be overconfident and wrong), but how they manage to live and whether they're ever allowed to leave the island, I just hope there's no further animal cruelty.  To be continued...

 

8/5 - So I was wrong, and a bit disappointed in that wrongness, in my prediction of who would survive the mutant tapeworms and the coincidental appearance of a teenage serial killer who initially used the tapeworms to his psychotic benefit.  I suppose I was also a little naïve to think that anyone with any possibility of infection might be allowed off the island, of course the military is going to behave how the military always behaves in this kind of situation - shoot first, ask questions later, or as the case may be quarantine first, worry about the questions at the inevitable enquiry after the fact.  Really, my only problem with The Troop is the divided focus between mutant tapeworms and teenage serial killers-in-training.  In my opinion, those two ideas should be two different, and very interesting books; not two plots in the one book both clamouring for the reader's attention.  Still recommend this as a good, exciting read.