In the remote, New Mexican backwoods there lays a community named Little Heaven. It is a religious haven but, soon, something evil arrives in Little Heaven and nothing will ever be the same….
Little Heaven, by Nick Cutter (the pseudonym for Canadian writer, Craig Davidson.) follows a group of mercenaries who are hired by a woman (Ellen) to look into the whereabouts of her nephew. Last she knew, his father had taken him to live in a remote New Mexican settlement called Little Heaven, a religious cult. Once they arrive, strange things begin to happen and, soon, they are sucked into a nightmare. Told in two sections, as the events are happening and fifteen years later, the novel left me with chills.
Not only did this novel have a rave review from Stephen King, but also from one of my favourite authors, Paul Tremblay. This novel did not disappoint. It takes a lot for me to be genuinely scared while I am reading; this novel scared me with ease. I found myself gasping out loud and looking wildly around the room to share terrifying moments with (I, instead, looked crazy #bookworkmproblems).
At the beginning of the novel, set in the 1980s, we meet each of the mercenaries and learn a little bit about their backstory. There is the bounty hunter, Minerva, an English mercenary named Ebenezer and a family man with a shady past named Micah. Each of the characters is damaged and after failed attempts to assassinate each other, they join forces to hunt down and rescue this young boy from the compound, Little Heaven. Each of these characters is truly an “anti-hero”. They don’t give much of a reason to like them, but, somehow, Cutter makes them relatable and endearing.
I can understand why this novel is getting some negative reviews. The beginning is slow and I mean SLOWWWW. The first 20% or so of the book, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I liked it. But I was confused. Then, the book went from slow to confusing to horrifying really quickly and left me on edge until the last page. My favourite parts were the ones set in the past when the mercenaries are living in the compound working through how they will rescue the boy. This supernatural Jonestown-esque religious cult experience had me terrified.
Another interesting thing about this novel was the comic illustrations. The novel was littered with them to help identify key moments in the plot. This was a really interesting feature, especially because there was no real rhyme or reason to when an illustration would be inserted. It reminded me of the graphics in one of those Quentin Tarantino/Matt Wagner collaboration.
Overall, I really loved Little Heaven. If you want something that will give you a legitimate scare- then make sure to mark your calendars for January 10, 2017. I’d consider this one a must read.
I voluntarily received a copy of this book from Netgalley, Gallery Books and Nick Cutter; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.