Thursday, 3 January 2019

Book Review: NOS4R2 by Joe Hill

Vic McQueen has a special gift for finding lost things. All she has to do is jump on her bike and the Shorter Way Bridge will guide her to whatever she is looking for. Until one day she finds trouble in the form of Charlie Manx - a vampiric old man who feeds on the souls of children.

“Gold don’t come off. What’s good stays good no matter how much of a beating it takes.”

I have this terrible habit where if I don’t read Joe Hill for a prolonged period of time I forget how amazing Joe Hill is and then when I read some of his work I’m thinking to myself “omg Joe Hill, you are literally ranked just under your father in my faves list, I love you” well... this is a habit I need to BREAK.

My initial review for NOS4A2 when I first read it back in July 2016 just HEAPS praise on Hill and how original and inventive and unlike anything else this book was. I was worried a reread would change my opinion. But no... if anything I love this book even more! This book is 700+ pages but it doesn’t feel like it, and that to me, is the sign of a fantastic read where you simply can’t stop yourself from turning the pages. It's difficult not to make comparisons with Stephen King, and although I can see some similarities, make no mistake about it, Joe Hill has his own unique voice and with some pretty amazing unique ideas. This book was like no other book I've read before, very original and it captivated me from the very first page. It was thrilling, fascinating, touching, scary, gruesome...the list goes on.

Our heroine, Vic McQueen, isn’t all that likeable when we first meet her as an adult, but she grows on you and Hill fully develops her into a character that you really root for. And sweet sweet Lou - he deserves the world. Charlie Manx is one of the BEST villains I’ve ever had the pleasure of coming across. He’s absolutely hilarious whilst being incredibly fucking terrifying at the same time. But even more horrifying than Manx is his little helper, Bing. Bing is the lowest of the low... he’s sick and twisted and much more of a human monster than the supernatural Manx. He gives me the heebie jeebies!

NOS4A2 simply doesn’t fit into one genre box, it ticks a lot of them - horror, fantasy, suspense, humour, a little bit of romance... it has everything! And those Stephen King Easter eggs fill me with such joy.

This book is firmly in my top 5 books of ALL TIME! Christmasland is one of my favourite fictional places and I’ve no doubt I’ll be paying another visit. It really holds up on a reread. 5 stars!


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