Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Acolyte by Nick Cutter

4 Stars

Dear tiny 8 pound 6 ounce Baby Jesus (don’t even know a word), WTF did I just read?

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I fell hard and fast for Nick Cutter when I read his debut The Troop . When he followed that up with The Deep, I knew I had found someone special. But this? Holy crap. Whole ‘notha level of storytelling.

I logged on to Goodreads in order to see how people were shelving this. What did I find? NO ONE has read it. 38 ratings and a measly 14 reviews? What the hell is wrong with you people?!?!?!?!?! With numbers that small, shelving doesn’t really help too much. However, I did see that “Horror” took first place. I’m making up a new shelf – “Realistic Dystopian Fiction”. I’ve read my fair share of dystopian books. Everything from zombies to superflus to post-nuclear holocaust, etc. and I’m telling you The Acolyte could be classified as a “horror” simply because it seems so horrifyingly possible.

The Acolyte takes place in the not-so-distant future where religion rules. The divine leader? One known as The Prophet . . .

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who brings the message of God to the masses via his superchurch. All other religions? Illegal. Oh, you can work if you’re a Jew – you just have to make sure you’re back behind the concertina wire of the ghetto before curfew. Muslims, on the other hand, are a whole different story. That’s where our MC comes in to play. Jonah Murtaugh . . .

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(You really can’t name a character anything resembling Murtaugh without me picturing that)

is an Acolyte. It’s his job to keep the city safe from religious heretics who refuse to follow the one true faith. However, when bombings start happening everywhere across the city (including fanatic neighborhoods), it’s a race against time for Jonah to find the culprit before all of New Bethlehem is eradicated.

This being the third book of Cutter’s that I absolutely flipped my shit over, it’s fairly safe to say I’m a fangirl. Talk about an author who is just WILLING. TO. GO. THERE. Nothing is off limits when it comes to a Cutter book. Religion is a pretty sticky subject to want to tackle in the first place, but tackle all of the crazy zealots in one book????

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Balls of steel, my friend. Balls of steel.

Fair warning: This being a Nick Cutter novel, there are gruesome scenes. While I’m not someone who is bothered by gore and understand the point of some of the nasty . . .

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There was one scene toward the end that was just . . . .

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I wasn’t “disturbed” by it (I live with Mitchell – I don’t get disturbed by much) and I have a strong stomach, so I wasn’t even disgusted. I just found it to be . . . unnecessary. It was like Cutter realized he had made it 90% through the book without making the reader dry-heave and just had to throw something completely over-the-top in to the mix. He didn’t need to and this book loses a Star because of it. That minor complaint noted, I still highly recommend The Acolyte.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to take another jab at Preacher Olsteen . . .

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ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
Thank you, NetGalley!

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