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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Audio Clip and Review: In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

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In case you didn’t know, October is Queer Romance Month. It’s to celebrate queer fiction in all its glory. I, for one, am a huge fan of books starring LGBT couples. When Judith of Binge on Books contacted me to participate, I didn’t hesitate to join in the fun. Today, I have a sample audio from Roan Parrish’s novel, In the Middle of Somewhere. I hope you’ll give it a whirl, and much love to Judith and Roan for the review copy of this book! READ MY REVIEW BELOW!

25687508 GOODREADS SUMMARY
Published: July 10th, 2015
Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars


DANIEL MULLIGAN is tough, snarky, and tattooed, hiding his self-consciousness behind sarcasm. Daniel has never fit in—not at home with his auto mechanic father and brothers, and not at school where his Ivy League classmates look down on him. Now, Daniel’s relieved to have a job at a small college in Northern Michigan, but, a city boy through and through, when Daniel arrives in Holiday, Michigan, it’s clear that this small town is one more place he just won’t fit in.

REX VALE clings to routine to keep loneliness at bay: honing his large, muscular body until it can handle anything, perfecting his recipes, and making custom furniture. Rex has lived in Holiday for years, but his shyness and imposing size have kept him from connecting with people. Though he loves the quiet and solitude of his little cabin in the woods, Rex can’t help but want someone to share it with.

When Daniel arrives in Holiday, they are smitten with each other, but though the sex is intense and explosive, Rex fears that Daniel will be one more in a long line of people to leave him, and Daniel has learned that letting anyone in could be a fatal weakness. Just as they begin to break down the walls that have been keeping them apart, Daniel is called home to Philadelphia where a secret is revealed that changes the way he understands everything.


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This book was all romance, you guys! I never thought I could be just satisfied with a languid tale of two guys trying to make it work as a couple, but man, it is only because I feel in love with them that I was able to fully enjoy a book with very little to no tension. And you know me, I’m always looking for  action – so to speak, but Rex and Daniel gave me plenty to be excited about.

Sometimes, character-driven plots are the best ones to read if you’re looking for a real, honest-to-goodness relaxing read. So what could be more enjoyable than reading the story of a couple of people who met, connected, and eventually fell in love? I love seeing them evolved from two people full of doubts about themselves and each other, to a couple who will come to understand that accepting their individual frailties and strengths could give them their best odds at making it work.

This is my first Roan Parrish book, but I’m thinking it’s the start of many more to come. I tend to succumb to boredom if a book is character-driven, but Roan Parrish sure gave me a run for my money. I couldn’t read fast enough – couldn’t get enough. I wasn’t held in suspense by a plot conflict or twist. Instead, I was completely immersed in the couple’s story.


 

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Roan Parrish grew up in Michigan and lives in Philadelphia, but is always a few minutes away from deciding to move. A former academic, she’s used to writing things that no one reads. She still loves to geek out about books, movies, TV, and music—now, though, she’s excited to be writing the kind of romantic, angsty stories that she loves to escape into.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, wandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and cheese. But mostly cheese.

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