Monday, September 9, 2013

Mini book review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

So, the first thing I did after finishing NOS4A2 is delete all the Christmas songs off my iTunes.  This latest dark fantasy/horror novel by Joe Hill is terrific, creepy fun.  We first meet Victoria McQueen as a pre-teen.  She has a gift: if she really, really, really needs to find something that has been lost, she can summon a magical covered bridge that takes her where she needs to go.  We first meet Charlie Manx as a comatose patient in the medical ward of a Supermax prison.  For decades he has been abducting children in his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith (a car which should be parked alongside Christine in Hell's garage) and spiriting them away to Christmasland, a magical amusement park where he feeds off them like a vampire.  One day, young Vic goes looking for trouble on her bridge and she meets Charlie.  She manages to get away from him, but he vows revenge.

I really like Joe Hill's work.  He definitely calls his father (Stephen King) to mind - and even has a specific shout-out to King's IT - but his novels are tauter, faster-paced.  NOS4A2 is tense, scary and also funny, with vivid characters you root for, and Charlie Manx is a truly original, horrifying villain.  Seriously - way to ruin Christmas for everyone, Joe.

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