Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cover image and synopsis 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.
I was really excited to read Little Heaven! I like horror novels, and I quite enjoyed the other Nick Cutter book I’ve read (The Troop).
I still don’t quite know what to make of this book. I really enjoyed the opening few chapters, introducing the various characters. Once the story had thrown everyone together and sent them to Little Heaven – when things really started to get strange – is where I struggled a little with the book. I found the characters and the story really interesting, but I had a very difficult time grasping what was going on with the horror element of the story [Spoiler – highlight to read: Just like the characters when faced with the evil that is out there at Little Heaven/in the woods, who’s minds could not grasp what they were seeing, I couldn’t really picture what the author was describing.] Because of that, and the nature of the horror, I didn’t find this book outright scary. There were definitely some wonderfully creepy moments, but it didn’t frighten me. However, the book was just as violent and gory as I expected! I don’t think Nick Cutter’s books are for the squeamish!
Compared to The Troop, which I liked, I found the plot, the structure (the way the timeline moved back and forth), and the characters of Little Heaven more interesting. And despite its size (my ARC was nearly 500 pages), I read it fairly quickly. Once I got going, I didn’t want to put the book down!
For horror fans, Little Heaven is definitely a recommended read!