Posted 20 hours ago

Little Heaven

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The reader is taken into the past, where we see how our team of bounty hunters comes together and where they first encounter the Big Bad. Micah’s daughter Petty has been abducted in the dark of night and Micah is seeking the assistance of Ebenezer and Minerva to rescue her. The story and characters were compelling, but I especially liked the seemingly idiosyncratic details Cutter sometimes adds to make things a little stranger. Cutter tends to be repetitive here – there are only so many times we can describe the same scene – and worse, he has a tendency to repeat the same scene while not explaining the scene. As an aside: I don't get the reviewers who are saying New Mexico isn't accurately depicted in the novel -- we do have forests in New Mexico!

I was tempted, but then I saw a reviewer say that it was more of the same creepy themes that “The Troop” touched on, and therefore I continued my NOOOOOPE because parasites + the deep deep ocean is just not my idea of fun. I have previously read The Deep and the The Troop and this book didn't have the same or even similar narration style or pace at all. Something that I found really interesting about this book was that it felt almost like a Western as well as a horror novel, and not just because it took place in the New Mexican desert. So I have to give “Little Heaven” a lot of credit for freaking me out and making me unable to read it at night. Three bounty hunters meet up in the 60's, (and again some years later), and agree to help a woman check on her nephew, who had been taken by her brother-in-law to an isolated spot in the mountains.The horror of the story, such as it is, was a balancing act that turned out a lot better than I’d expected. Didn't bother this girl none, I enjoyed the weirdness of each character - but I was a tad bit confused from the horror prologue to what almost seemingly had a supernatural western feel for a bit.

But there is something else lurking in the woods surrounding the camp, and the residents live in fear. Four old university friends reunite for a hiking trip in the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle.The ending itself was to-be-expected for a novel in the horror genre, but it was overall satisfying and bittersweet. If you're not a fan of gore or if you're particularly squeamish, then sorry, Little Heaven might not be the book for you. Eb's sense of humour, Minerva's attitude and Micah's humanity were all contributing factors to this. I've seen mixed reviews of "Little Heaven" and not having read Cutter's other works, I can't honestly tell you if this is where to start with him.

I could go on and on about why I enjoyed this book, but also want to limit what I give away to potential readers. But in the case of “Little Heaven”, so much of the pain that was heaped upon some of these characters felt undeserved, and while there were some bits of joy, overall I just felt kind of bad once it was all said and done. In fact, I think some of the scenes with the leader, (read: insane cult leader), the baby, (oh, that baby: SHUDDER), and the "Long Walker" (you'll see), would have made Stephen King himself jealous. Even early on, though, Cutter shows that he’s doing something different with the story, hinting that our characters didn’t just gain nightmares and trauma from that 1960’s encounter; they’ve gained something awful, some Faustian deal that’s hurt them more than helped. The aphid left the cactus roots, through the loose packed sand where it encountered a honey ant which fed on the honeydew that aphids produce and whatever had got inside the aphid now slipped silently into the ant.

And as a former New Mexican, I really appreciated how the environment and small towns played a role. The actual plot described in the synopsis really doesn't even start until 25-30% into the book with the beginning of the story being sort of a mashed up type of character building that I kept struggling to make sense of.

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