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The Troop


Nick Cutter

The Troop
average rating is 4 out of 5

Horror, Extreme, Disturbing

R. Alex Jenkins

The Troop is entertaining in droves: Concept and execution are strung together well, including memorable characters and interesting backgrounds for a satisfying and cohesive experience. I read it quickly, so top marks for value and entertainment.

If you’ve read Lord of The Flies and enjoyed it, you’re gonna absolutely love this! If you like horror, bumbling hopelessness and dystopian doom and gloom, this is definitely for you.

But, as always, it’s easier to find negatives rather than rave about positives, so here goes…

The Troop is predictable and even clichê in places, with overstated prose that repeats unnecessary amounts of information for added effect, often making the narrative bloated. There is a bit too much shock value and the plot is quite obvious and could be more dynamic.

The use of parallel newspaper articles and court interrogations work well and add tension to the plot disclosure process while also enhancing the story, but this narrative also reveals an unnecessary and inexplicable part of the story for some reason, and there's also a gaping plot hole, which had me going nah!

But for all my criticisms, this is an entertaining read that pumps along admirably, as well as being quite gritty and well researched, although no authoritative regime simply abandons other human beings to their fate with no attempt at rescue or aid. It’s too unrealistic. There’s also a lot of child and animal cruelty that will trigger many people into DNFing.

The Troop feels like nightmares on wheels as the boy characters keep on unnecessarily fumbling like naive fools - which they are - into advancing their demise, whereas a more experienced foot off the gas would have been much better. When the metaphoric bullets and bombs start going off, people lose their minds, running headlong into the enemy shouting kill me please, instead of actually being harried and pursued by the enemy into submission. People self-implode, go into extreme shock, panic and seek their own destruction, like lemmings jumping off a cliff.

Too much self-implosion, rather exaggerated and sometimes unbelievable events, but four stars for courage, ideas and top entertainment.

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