Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: January 10th, 2016
Synopsis: 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.
I really enjoyed both The Troop and The Deep by Nick Cutter, so I was excited when I was approved for an eARC of Little Heaven. While I still think Nick Cutter is a gifted writer, I don’t think his latest is the best example of his talents. The first issue I had was with the main characters. Except for one secondary character, who was a child, I either disliked them or was completely ambivalent toward them. Most of the plot devices used have become ubiquitous in the horror writing genre, and added nothing new. There’s a lot of blood and gore, and while I expect this in a Cutter novel, in this case it seemed like the bloodiest scenes were added in simply for shock value. The book itself is much too long to support the actual storyline, and I found myself skimming through several chapters. Because of this, when the end finally came I was left with more questions than I had in the beginning. I know what I’ve written so far makes it seem like I hated the book, but there were some good parts which I appreciated. The descriptive world-building is excellently done, and while the story goes back and forth between the mid 1960s, and 1980 it was done so seamlessly, and I felt as though I were in the old West at times. It’s been described as a cross between Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King, and while I agree with those comparisons, there’s also some Lovecraftian elements in this. I was really expecting to love Little Heaven, but I have to be honest and admit I’m disappointed. That said, I still recommend Nick Cutter as an author to try if you’re looking for something in the same vein as Stephen King. I just recommend trying his previous books before you tackle this one.