This book is okay. As most people have mentioned, this book is very reminiscent of Stephen King’s style. Although it is not badly written, I found the story itself lacking. I should probably mention that I am an avid horror fan, so my standards for gore are pretty high. This is probably why I was not pulled in by this book. I expected it to scare me, but this book failed to deliver on that. However, I will say that the premise is interesting, and I did feel grossed out at certain points of the story. It just isn’t the kind of grossed out that lingers for days.
Story: As I said, The Troop is quite predictable. I also would have liked for it to have paid more attention to the survival aspect of the story. This is a book about a group of boy scouts being stuck on an island with a deadly parasite, so I expected a lot more survival struggles. At times this book felt drawn out, and it was one of those books where I felt as if I’d been reading so much only to find out I’ve barely made a dent in the book. It just didn’t captivate me.
Characters: The characters felt very clichéd. The dialogue felt juvenile and too boyish for me. I suppose it just wasn’t my cup of tea, but I’m sure it would appeal more to a younger and male audience. I did like the relationships between the boys though. I found myself rooting for them wholeheartedly.
The Gore: The gore was okay. I’ve seen worse. It certainly didn’t make me want to throw up my lunch. However, I’d attribute that to the fact that I rarely am ever affected by gore to the point where it would make my stomach churn. That’s just me though, but I’m sure a lot of other people would find this book terrifying, so I would definitely recommend this to horror and gore fans. I do have to warn readers that there is a substantial amount of animal abuse in this story, so if you are offended by that sort of thing, I would avoid this book. That was probably the most terrifying aspect of this book for me. In fact, I skipped those parts.
The Writing: The writing is not bad. I thought quite a few of the descriptions were very well done. It made me feel icky, so kudos to the writer for that. As I said before, I had a problem with the dialogue as it felt too juvenile and boyish for me, but that’s just a matter of personal preference.
Overall: This book is a good debut, and I’d be happy to read more from the author. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s a good start. I would definitely recommend this to a younger, male audience as well as horror and gore fans.