Book Review – Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

Little Heaven

Little Heaven is the fourth and latest novel by horror author Nick Cutter. In the backwoods of New Mexico in the mid-1960s a religious commune has built themselves a community to get away from the sinful world, guided by their charismatic leader Reverend Amos Flesher. Only one rough road and some trails lead back to civilization. They are surrounded by woods and ever in the shadow of a monolithic black rock that looms over the landscape. They have dubbed their community Little Heaven, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many months after Little Heaven is settled a young woman named Ellen hires a trio of mercenaries to take her there. Her goal is to find her nephew, ensure he is safe, and if he isn’t, get him out of there. Finding the place is easy enough, but getting out becomes another matter entirely.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – November 6, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Dreams of Terror and DeathI’m making my way through Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft now, the last holdout of my Halloween reads. I barely started it before the holiday, but I’m committed enough to read through it nonetheless. I’m enjoying the stories well enough so far, though his writing style occasionally requires me to re-read a passage to make sure I understood what I read. He’s heavy on description, yet vague on the details, if that makes sense. The last story I finished was “The Nameless City” and while I got fairly swept away by the concept, I’m not really sure how it ended. Apparently, I’m not the only one either, as searching online has revealed other people unsure as well, who have an array of interpretations. Oh, Lovecraft.


Recently Finished

Little HeavenOver the weekend I finally finished Little Heaven by Nick Cutter, which I really enjoyed. It’s honestly a fantastic horror novel, I only wish I hadn’t been so slow getting through it. I won’t belabor the point anymore, but I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately. I should have a review up soon, at any rate. What helped cinch my esteem for the book was the way it ended. I enjoyed the way the story developed, but was wary of where everything was headed; the influence behind the nightmarish creatures, misery, and madness. Ancient, unknowable evil is well-tread ground in horror, after all (see above), so I was worried at how that would end up playing out. Simply put, I loved it. Not wholly original, but well executed all the same.

Immortal Hulk Hulk in HellI also read volumes two and three of The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing et al. These books are a wonderfully thoughtful exploration of the Hulk as a character, thanks especially to the persona the Hulk inhabits in this story. The history of Banner/Hulk’s mental state is long and complicated, and despite the uncanny intelligence of the Hulk in this book it is surprisingly faithful to this history. I also really enjoy just how subtle this series has managed to be about the cosmic horror elements at play. So many cosmic forces are given a face and identity in superhero comics in a way that brings them down to Earth—even the diabolical ones—yet the presence in this series has been surprisingly obscure, despite the characters finding themselves face-to-face with it.


Reading Next

False KneesI’ve discussed my Star Wars related reading plans for the near future already, but as a nice light read to shine onto the dreary Lovecraft I’ll be absorbing for the next little bit I’ve decided to start reading my copy of False Knees: An Illustrated Guide to Animal Behavior by Joshua Barkman. I’ve followed the online comic strips for a while now and when I heard he had a book coming out I jumped on a pre-order. I picked it up in mid-October and it’s high time I read through it as a nice little detour.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – October 30, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Little HeavenDisappointingly, I still have not finished reading Little Heaven by Nick Cutter. Despite my laid-out plans, I’m coming up short on the reading front for October. I have made considerable progress since last week though, and I am enjoying the book quite a bit. I had misgivings about it jumping back and forth between time periods, but there is enough left nebulous between the two times that it’s not taking much away from the experience. Developments have been genuinely skin-crawly too, with some wonderful illustrations accompanying certain scenes to really hammer things home. I have especially like how the Piper, aka the Long Walker, is described. At once, details about it are very specific yet it’s overall appearance is difficult to imagine.

Dreams of Terror and DeathI’ve also started reading Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft. I’m only 24 pages in, so I’ve barely scratched the surface, but as it turns out these pages have included five pieces of short fiction. I’m happy to report that my fears about his writing style have not been a problem so far. I’m not finding it especially dense or difficult to get through. There’s no way I can get it done before Halloween, but if I can find the motivation I should have it done sooner than later. The stories so far seem more like primers for what is to come in the collection, gradually building up the idea of realities found in dreaming and the effects it has on human beings. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go.


Recently Finished

Immortal Hulk Or is He BothI finally started reading the Immortal Hulk series by Al Ewing et al, starting with Or Is He Both?, the first volume. The premise is a little different than what I had thought going it, though it turns out I’m happier with the reality of it. So Dr. Banner can die, but since the Hulk cannot he always comes back from death. It really has been a wonderfully thoughtful story so far, though a little lighter on the horror than I’d thought. There are hints at the otherworldly that I’m excited to see unveiled as it goes on. It’s dwelling a lot on the character’s history in a way that I really like too. At once it is referencing the greater continuity outside of this title, yet it maintains the accessibility of the text. I don’t need to have read those stories to understand the point it is driving at.


Reading Next

ThrawnI suppose it stands to reason the next volume of Immortal Hulk is in my near future, but I’ve also started to look a little further than that toward what I want to be reading once all my Halloween backlog is finished up with. My scrappy to-read list has the first two of the new Star Wars: Thrawn books on it, so I need to get to those this year. That being the case, it’s possible I will be starting Thrawn by Timothy Zahn soon. There are others books I’m eye-balling, so I may change my mind, but this one seems likely regardless. Episode IX is coming out soon and I could use some more Star Wars to tide me over.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – October 23, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Little HeavenProgress has been a little slow on Little Heaven by Nick Cutter, unfortunately. For reasons I don’t completely understand myself, I’ve been a little put out as far as reading in general goes. My attention between books was also a little split too, with this having suffered less attention. I’m still enjoying the book, at any rate, though unfortunately I feel a bit iffy on the prologue chapters the further along I go. Much is still left vague, which is good, but I feel that certain developments that happen as the group of hired guns is making their way to Little Heaven would have been more impactful if I did not have prior knowledge of what they were dealing with. Things have been effectively creepy in the little town all the same, so I’m not complaining too much.


Recently Finished

Hellboy Odder JobsI finished reading Hellboy: Odder Jobs this morning, and it was all I could muster to finish that. I’m not usually so exhausted after a night shift, but lately I’ve just had trouble getting these out in the morning. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed this collection well enough, though none of it has wowed me the way Odd Jobs did. A stand-out aspect of this collection for me is that a few of them have focused on other characters as well. Abe Sapien gets a couple of stories about him, and there is another about Roger the homunculus. I love Hellboy, but it’s good to have the spotlight shone on these other characters too. I should have a review up within the next week.


Reading Next

Immortal Hulk Or is He BothI still very much intend to start reading Dreams of Terror and Death by H.P. Lovecraft, but there is something else I’ve neglected from my list for Frighteningly Good Reads: The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing et al. I’ve got three volumes to get through with only eight days to do it, though I must say I’m much less worried about whether I’ll get three graphic novels done than I am the books on my plate. I must get to them soon, at any rate, so here’s me letting you know it’s coming. If I do things right, I’ll likely have a lot finishing next week.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – October 16, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Hellboy Odder JobsI’m about 30% of the way through Hellboy: Odder Jobs, having read a couple more stories since last week. The stories have continued to maintain a more somber tone, one of them dealing with despair from the afterlife leaking into the living world and the other exploring some of Abe Sapien’s feelings about his place in the world while searching for the source bizarre floods that often result in missing people. I like the idea of the former story a lot, though I found points of it a little confusing too. Hellboy has banter with a character, who I believe is unique to that story, that I found oddly jarring . I think he was supposed to be giving Hellboy some playful grief as an old friend, but I was honestly just thrown off by it.

Little HeavenI’m only a little over 25% of the way through Little Heaven by Nick Cutter. I was able to get through The Troop a lot faster last year, so I’m a little disappointed with my progress thus far. The story is jumping around through time a lot, establishing the characters after the incident in Little Heaven as well as before. I’ve just started the portion of the story where our trio of hired guns are making their way to the settlement and I’m hoping the jumping between time periods will now stop. It’s just a matter of preference. I really like how well developed each character is so far. Each of them is equally distinct from the other and I look forward to learning what messed each of them up so much in Little Heaven all those years ago.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, and here come the excuses. I guess they’re good reasons, but I give myself a hard time anyway. Firstly, it was my birthday last Wednesday, but I had one night left to work. With two days off after I just wanted to relax more. Saturday and Sunday I meant to grind out a lot of reading time, but I was stupidly exhausted. I couldn’t keep my eyes open, but I also couldn’t nap. Then I visited family for Thanksgiving, which I got back from late last night. All of this, I guess to say, I’m getting a little nervous about finishing all of my Frighteningly Good Reads on time.


Reading Next

Dreams of Terror and DeathWith everything having been laid out already, I will highlight here the Frighteningly Good Read I’m worried about completing: Dreams of Terror and Death by H.P. Lovecraft. It’s the one I’ve yet to start and I suspect it will take the longest to get through thanks to his more dated writing style. I’m pretty committed to reading it though—it is on my scrappy to-read list, after all—so if I don’t meet my deadline I’ll probably be reading this in early November too. Such is reading life, I suppose.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – October 9, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Hellboy Odder JobsOn Saturday I started reading Hellboy: Odder Jobs, the second anthology of Hellboy short stories. I’ve only read the introduction and the first story so far, but already I’m enjoying it. The first tale was a poignant ghost story about gunfighters from the Old West and one spirit who stubbornly hasn’t passed on. I really do wish the films captured Hellboy as a character as faithfully as he’s represented in the comic books and prose. He’s typically depicted as a lug and a bruiser, which is accurate to an extent, but there’s also a dry, subdued quality to him to that the movies haven’t touched. This story especially highlights how he doesn’t just solve problems by smashing them with his fist. There’s a grace to what he does sometimes too.

Little HeavenI also started reading Little Heaven by Nick Cutter, which has thus far been a lot different from what I was expecting. The opening chapter describes something malevolent rising from the earth and possessing living things, starting with the lowliest aphid. Moving up the food chain it becomes an amalgam of animals, morphing into a many-limbed, haunting thing of indistinct shape. I’m slowly being introduced to characters that somehow have a connection to this thing and whatever malignant force controls it, so I have no idea where this story is going now. It seems much different than what the summary suggested, though I’m not complaining.


Recently Finished

Last week I finally finished Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, my first Frighteningly Good Read for 2019. You can check out my full review here. I’ve not got much more to say about it, except that I left it a little disappointed. I loved the characters, but the villains never got scary for me.

Black DossierI also just finished The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. I’m going to be honest, I literally just finished this book before writing this post. I work nights, as I’ve mentioned before, and wanted to get it finished before posting today, but I didn’t manage to do so last night. Add some general fatigue after I got home and everything is coming up in the afternoon today. The book has been a trip, in any case. One section of prose I read last night was only comprehensible read aloud, while the last several pages of the story required 3D glasses, which the book provided a pair of. I understand now why this is considered a bridge between volumes, and I look forward to continuing now that I’m further caught up.


Reading Next

I am very tired, so for this week I shall just refer to my post outlining my Frighteningly Good Reads for the month. I have no intention of deviating from this plan.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – September 25, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Doctor SleepI’m still in the middle of Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, which I’ve decided will be my first official Frighteningly Good Read for the 2019 Halloween season. Check out the link to learn more. According to Goodreads I’m about 44% of the way through the novel, which isn’t bad considering how slow my progress can be sometimes, but I do wish I was further along all the same. The last couple of days my reading has waned a little. I’m enjoying it a lot, nevertheless, and I’m looking forward to when things really come to a head. It’s been a slow burn so far, building up character and laying the groundwork for the conflict ahead. It’s only been a few years since I read The Shining, and despite the greater gap in time between the publication dates it really does read like a sequel.

Black DossierI also started The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill last night. It’s a little jarring to find Mina and Allan so far removed from where we left off, though still interesting. It’s 1958 and the government of the novel 1984 had had a decade or so controlling Britain, their regime now over and the country still reeling from it. The duo had a run-in with James Bond in what I’ve read so far (going by Jimmy), who is represented about as unflattering as I’d expected considering Moore typically brings to the forefront the worst about these characters. This read is really going to be an undertaking, as the titular Black Dossier is a document we read as the characters do, with sizable sections of prose being the most daunting.


Recently Finished

Nothing this week, I’m afraid. Doctor Sleep is long.


Reading Next

Hellboy Odder JobsI still plan to read Little Heaven by Nick Cutter next. Hopefully that will be within the next week or so. It all depends on how much reading I manage to get done. In the meantime I’ve also been thinking about Odder Jobs, the second anthology of Hellboy short stories. It’s another book on my scrappy to-read list this year and I’m sure it will qualify as a Halloween read too. It could make for a great supplemental book, though I think I will need to finish The Black Dossier first. It’s more than filling that position itself already.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – September 18, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Doctor SleepLast night I started reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the sequel to The Shining. I’m only about 40 pages in, which is a drop in the bucket for how long the book is, but I’m liking it so far. The first chapter dealt with the more direct aftermath of what took place at The Overlook and how Danny learns to deal with the ghosts that continue to haunt him. The following chapter introduced the antagonists of the story, who seem interestingly eccentric so far, though not particularly menacing yet. The book has been a little heavy handed with the abuses we hear about characters having suffered, though I haven’t found anything to be too egregious. I just hope this isn’t indicating a trend in the novel, unless of course it has something to say on the matter I haven’t caught on to yet.


Recently Finished

Late last week I finished reading Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, which you can check out my review for here. I’m quite happy with the way this story wrapped up. It’s an excellent novel and I’m pleased with how much it surprised me.

CoralineI’m pleased to report that, as I planned, I started and finished Coraline by Neil Gaiman over the weekend. I’ve seen the film before, so it didn’t have much to surprise me with, but it was nonetheless an excellent book for children and adults alike. I’ve got a special place in my heart for stories suitable for younger audiences that are nonetheless creepy as all get-out and this book is a quintessential example of such a book. There was such whimsy and fun mixed with very troubling situations and even darker implications. I especially liked how much of a firmer a grasp of Coraline’s perspective this gave over the film. I felt much more in the character’s head.


Reading Next

Little HeavenWith October creeping ever closer I have to keep pushing for spooky reads. Consulting my scrappy to-read list I think I will read Little Heaven by Nick Cutter as my next novel. I really enjoyed The Troop last year, so I’ve got a good feeling about this one. Plus, it’s Canadian! Goodness knows if I’ll actually be starting it soon though, since Doctor Sleep is by no means a short novel. I’ve got a collection of Lovecraft stories on my list as well, which is probably going to be quite the undertaking too. I’ve certainly got my work cut out for me.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.