I am not sure really, what made me pick up another Nick Cutter book, considering how he scared the ---- out of me with The Troop. Possibly, it has something to do with my husband book-shaming me, as in, “You CANNOT read this book, it will scare the ---- out of you!!!” So yes, if you read my review of Cutter’s last book, you are familiar with this lovely husband-wife banter, and how I am not really a fan of scary anything. But The Troop gave me a glimpse of possibilities, and I realized that if a book is written well enough, I can pretty much survive reading it. Oh, and, yes, I can also close the book and run away from it if I really have to.
I am feeling braver today writing this, having just seen The Revenant. I am thinking, in hindsight, that Cutter’s story is not really so scary, or as gross. But perhaps that is because I am writing the review a little after I finished it, and remembering it almost fondly. To be fair, I watched most of the movie today through my scarf, because it was really cold in the theater, I swear. Cutter’s world, miles under the sea, is horrifying in its vivid description, and real enough to make me repeatedly check behind my back as I go down the narrow stairs to my laundry room in the half-dark. His concept of a heinous disease that ravages humanity is counter-balanced by an impossible to harness cure found deep within the ocean. Down there, it seems, everyone loses their minds, no matter how brilliant they were when they arrived.
For some reason, this book did not affect me in the same way as The Troop. It was every bit as disgusting, imaginative and freaky, but I did not care as much about the characters. I think it is because each of them, for different reasons, seemed aloof, and probably not as vulnerable as those scouts on the island alone. The story seemed to lag toward the middle, in what I knew was intended as suspenseful pauses, but honestly, I just wanted to get the hell out of there and back to the surface, where I could worry about the plague, which, as the story progressed, really seemed to be the least of their problems.
I was not disappointed by this book, I just didn’t love it as much as The Troop. To be fair, that was a tough act to follow. Keep ‘em coming though, I’m wearing my big girl pants now.