Little Heaven

Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

Nick Cutter’s new novel follows the path of three mercenaries – Micah, Ebenezer and Minerva – an unlikely trio that started off as enemies, but fast became co-workers, so to speak.  Micah is approached by an old friend, Ellen, to check in on her nephew whom she believes to be brainwashed by his fanatical father.  Ellen believes he is staying in a religious settlement on the outskirts of New Mexico known as Little Heaven.  Upon their arrival, the threesome are confronted by an evil unlike anything this world has ever seen – a vicious beast that has been terrifying the community for some time.  Can the trifecta track down Ellen’s estranged nephew or will they fall victim to the menacing monstrosity?

Simon and Schuster sent me a copy of this a while back and although I was initially excited to get my hands on it, it sat on my shelf for months.  It wasn’t that I was avoiding it – you’re unlikely to find a bigger Nick Cutter fan around – but I kept grabbing other books that suited my mood at the time and with the exception of King’s IT, I haven’t found myself salivating over horror novels lately.

There’s a lot to like about Little Heaven.  Cutter’s knack for grossing out his readers with intensely descriptive violence is on full display and the cast that makes up the story are interesting and believable in their actions.  The storytelling technique of jumping from the past to the future that King used in IT is used to great effect in Little Heaven.  I find I enjoy this style of narrative more and more – certainly a great deal more than I used to.  It helps to increase the tension in two specific timelines – almost like you’re reading two stories simultaneously.

Along with the story, Cutter included some great artwork from illustrator Adam Gorhan.  Not that Cutter needs any help when it comes to painting scenes in his readers’ heads, but Gorhan’s work is an undeniably great addition to the story.

There are a lot of glowing reviews out there that compare Little Heaven to classics written by King, McCammon and other 80s heavyweights.  In an excellent interview (I’m going to insert a link here), Cutter says that while he’s happy with the comparisons, it’s a high bar to clear, let alone approach.  He hopes that fans will draw their own conclusions rather than compare and contrast to the work of horror masters.  I’m confident in saying that genre fans of Lovecraftian-style horror will likely swoon over Cutters latest creation.
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