My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Terrifying. Grotesque. It's been a long time since I read a horror novel, but The Troop reminded me why I have such a love-hate relationship with this genre. I love that a good horror novel can create such a strong emotional reaction, but at the same time I have to wonder why I'm putting myself through this torture voluntarily. I was sincerely afraid I'd have nightmares from reading this book!
Let me start with a trigger warning: if you have vermiphobia, do not read this book. However, if you don't know what vermiphobia is, then you're probably safe (or as safe as anyone who voluntarily reads horror novels can feel), so go ahead and turn the page.
Imagine a horror-infused Lord of the Flies with a little bit of modern science thrown in, and you'll have this book's essence in a nutshell.
The setup: a scoutmaster and his five Eagle Scouts have been dropped off on a small island in Canada for a 3-day wilderness excursion
The plot twist: a very ill man arrives on the island . . . and his infection spreads
The horror: (don’t worry, this is revealed extremely early on in the book, so not a spoiler) genetically modified tapeworms
What I love most about this book is the way the boys’ characters are all so distinct and their interactions play out so realistically, despite the impossibilities of the story itself. In fact, the most horrific part of the book might not actually be the tapeworms, as grotesque and scary as they were; the most horrific part of the book was the horrific things humans are able to each other in the name of science and survival.
View all my reviews