Little Heaven by Nick Cutter: Review And Giveaway

Horrors,  both man-made and supernatural, sure to give you nightmares for days.

Little Heaven
by Nick Cutter

It was easily discernible right from the start that I will be out of my element. Nick Cutter has a way with words that only masters of horrors can craft. I supposed if I were a Stephen King reader, I would find the same kind of writing chops that makes him the “king” of this genre. Nick’s brand of writing, however, is a new thing for me. It was disarming and in turns, astounding. The violence and the gore were even more viscerally shocking – especially for a newbie such as I.

Little Heaven is not an easy read – which I supposed, is a good indication of a horror novel. And because it tells the story in two timelines, the book was of considerable heft. But Little Heaven pulled me in right away; ripe with an ominous atmosphere and messed up characters that you wouldn’t want to encounter in a dark alley, it’s a whole another experience altogether. Right off the bat, you’re introduced to monsters of different breeds: the supernatural kind and the human kind. In 1965, three guns-for-hire mercenaries fought to death then somehow found themselves forming a truce of sorts after the dust settled. I love reading unlikely alliances between characters that can barely trust each other’s own shadows. It makes for an even more suspenseful read and admittedly, a favorite trope of mine.

This is where the story takes off. It was during their tenure as a threesome trouble that they were hired to investigate a suspected kidnapping of a client’s nephew. They’ll discover a cult whose membership consisted of the exploited and the enslaved but fanatics all the same. It was in here that they’d find the horrors of Little Heaven. Practically everyone in this commune is the stuff of nightmares – children and adults alike. Coupled that with a monster that lurks in the woods and in the commune itself, these band of mercenaries would find Little Heaven was actually Little Hell on Earth.

Then the timeline moves into the future (1980) where the three would once again find themselves in Black Mountain Wilderness after Shug found her daughter missing from her bed in the middle of the night. Older, beaten by time, and much changed from what they once were, the three knew that there remains an outstanding debt to be paid. This time, the horrors were more or less the kind of things that haunt them in their waking and sleeping hours.

I don’t have much to say about Nick Cutter’s writing other than it’s brilliant. If horror is your thing, Mr. Cutter gives Stephen King a run for his money. His characters were haunted by their miserable and troubled pasts which he’d seamlessly interwoven into his narrative. He was able to reach the emphatic reader. He showed me that even though these characters are bad to the bone, there are some good about them that I will still love. And most of the time, I found myself doing that very thing. I rooted for these characters because I know there is a much more evil monster lurking within the pages of the book.

Little Heaven will scare you and at times, will make your stomach churn. Nick Cutter is a brand new author to me, but I have a feeling I’ll be looking for his books more now that I’ve discovered him. If you’re a fan of supernatural horrors, this book is a must read. An old school horror-fest, indeed!

Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for the review copy of Little Heaven and for sponsoring this giveaway. Join in the fun and enter for a chance to win!

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  • man, I really wish horror was my thing. I kind of feel like I am missing out on some great writers. But I guess I am a bit of a chicken poop >.<

  • Ahh, I am now curious about this one 😀 Awesome review Joy. <3 I do enjoy horror. But unsure since it is adult, lol. But I am curious even so 😀 glad you liked it so much sweetie; despite how awful it was 🙂

    FINAL POST TO COMMENT ON 😀 EEE! I'm all caught up. <3 On your blog, that is, haha. Still have tons more to comment on.. ugh. Some other day. <3

  • Karen

    I haven’t read any horror for a very long time. I’m getting varied with my reading genres again now so I’ll be adding this to my list.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • I’ve been reading more horror (if you knew what a wimp I am, you’d be surprised! LOL) but I’m not sure if this one is the best fit for me. I think it is the gore that would get to me too much. I can handle more than some but I have my limit. Still, I do think I know many people this book would be perfect! Brilly review.

  • Oh bloody hell, this sounds horrific in the most wonderful way Joy. I’ve read a few Stephen King’s in my day, but found his writing never felt completely absorbing. I haven’t heard of Nick Cutter before it seems like he’s a modern day King but possibly more relevant and edgier. I’ll probably pee myself with this one but excited and nervous to grab a copy. Brilliant review Joy and so glad you enjoyed it <3

    • Thanks, hun! I hope you’ll give this book a chance (and the genre, for that matter) some day. 🙂

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    Oh, I can’t do horror. Not movies and not books either. I am such a scaredy cat and I know I won’t sleep for weeks if I pick up a book like this. I am so impressed you could read this, Joy, and wonderful review!

    • Hahaha! I’m the same, Keertana. It takes me forever and a day to read one, but Little Heaven was such a page-turner!

  • I haven’t read horror in many years, but your review of this one definitely piques my interest! Sounds like it does just what horror should!

    • Oh, definitely. If you’re in the mood for horror, this one is the perfect book. 🙂

  • Fantastic review Joy! I hadn’t heard of this one before but since I don’t usually read horror I think it sounds like an interesting book to read that’s outside my comfort zone.

    • I don’t usually read horror as well but this one sounded too good to pass up. 🙂

  • I love horror, but I don’t read enough of it.. after your awesome review, I think I will try this one for sure!

    • I hope you’ll enjoy it (as much as one enjoys a horror

  • I saw this one on another blog yesterday with a great review as well. I’ll have to try

  • Well that cover sure shows the genre, nice

  • Sounds like something I might enjoy, Joy! I love horror movies but I rarely read them. I’ll have to check and see if there’s an audio version. Wonderful review! 🙂

    • I think I do better reading horrors than watching it in film. Lol. I hope you’ll enjoy, Rachel!

  • I am such a wuss when it comes to horror, haha. It does sound intriguing, though!

  • I dislike SKing because his endings piss me off. At least the ones I read. Is this the same?

    • More of the same. I’ve trained myself to expect the unexpected endings in books from this genre (and from Adult Fiction, for that matter). Lol.

  • sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books

    This is a new one for me! It’s been ages since I read a horror novel.

    • This just came out yesterday. Certainly lacking in press, but it’s a goon ‘un.

  • I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about this one from my reading friends. I’ll likely have to find myself a copy on audio.

    • I can only imagine how many hours that audio will be. This one’s hefty!

  • As usual, wonderful review even if I am too chicken to try this book out myself. Ha!

    • Thanks, hun. You and me both. Hahaha! But sometimes, you just got to hike up your skirts and dive in.

  • Jazmen

    I think I’ll save this one for the fall, when I’ll be more to open to being scared out of my mind. Lol. Thanks for this review 🙂

    • That’s weird, isn’t it? I feel the same way about the season.

  • I’ve really been getting into horror more lately. I read a lot of Stephen King when I was a preteen, but I kinda got out of horror and into paranormal thanks to Anne Rice. I just started reading horror again last year. I’ve read King and Joe Hill, but not much else. This sounds really interesting. I’m going to add to my TBR list. Thanks

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • I hope you’ll enjoy this one, Melanie. This one reads like a Rob Zombie film!

      • My library just confirmed that they will get the audiobook for me. 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    This is an author I have been meaning to try as well. He sounds fabulous and perfect for fall. I’ll have to add him to my wishlist!

    • I just found out that Nick Cutter is the pen name of Craig Davidson – not that I’ve read any books from him before – still, a good tidbit of info to know. 🙂

  • I am so happy to see that you enjoyed this one. I hope to get to it in the next week or so. I have seen some mixed reviews so I have been a bit worried. Like you, I haven’t read a whole lot of horror but I have love the few books that I have read. Great review!

    • Chills and stomach-churning! I hope you’ll enjoy this, nonetheless. 🙂

  • RO

    There was a time that I binged on all things Stephen King. In fact, I have almost all his books, but reading a horror story these days, is not my thing. heck, I can’t even watch one on tv. (lol) I love the fact that there is someone out there who has mastered the horror genre who’s good enough to be compared to the very great Stephen King, and I hope he is super successful. Awesome review! Hugs…

    • I read IT. This one sort of reminds me of that book.