I’ll spare you the comparisons between Joe Hill & his pops, Stephen King. Sure, they’re there, but let’s not discuss it. Genetics. Moving on.
I read Horns before this one, his first novel. I LOVED it. So I wondered what this story would be like; maybe it wouldn’t be as layered. I was pleasantly wrong. Long story short, this is a great rock and roll ghost story with excellent character development, legit fright, and even some laughs. A satisfying ending too, I might add. I will say that all the infected hand wounds throughout Jude & Georgia’s journey bothered me a bit. Whenever something intense was going on, like a crash or scuffle, I kept imagining the blood and pus flying everywhere, since they had to be using their hands during the action. I’m sure this was intended by Joe, but for some reason, that was giving me more heebie jeebies than murderous ghosts at times. I mean, EW.
I saw Stephen King do a talk at George Mason University back in 2011, and got the surprise of a lifetime (for a King fan, anyway) – he read a snippet of his sequel to The Shining! And now I’ve FINALLY read the whole thing. I loved his return to the world of the Torrance family. How in the hell would Danny be dealing with his experience at the Overlook as an adult? Would he still be seeing “pictures in a book”? Oh yes, and then some. The themes of friendship, family, the mentor and the student, alcoholism, and using powers for good are covered brilliantly. Life is a circle, King says, and everything comes back around. Of course there is the scary stuff too. Uncle Stevie knows how to bring it. The group known as the True Knot, vampire like beings that feed on the “steam” of gifted children – extremely creepy and formidable. I’ll never look at recreational vehicles the same way. King’s writing is so familiar to me. Reading this novel was comforting, in some weird way. Tears were shed at the end, not gonna lie.
I surprisingly enjoyed this novel, despite it being yet another witch book. The twist on the Beauchamp family’s origins was interesting, and for some reason, the story kept me hooked. The chapters were short and to the point. Definitely not the greatest thing I’ve ever processed with my eyeballs, but yeah, I liked it. I give it bonus points for the surprise appearance of one of my favorite Norse gods! At some point, I’ll seek out the next chapter in the series, when I’m in the mood for some mindless fun entertainment. I give it three stars.
I should add that this was one of my book club’s selections. I’m always grateful when one of the books surprise me. I can get cynical (no way, really, Meri?) and not want to read a pick when it seems like something I’m not going to like. Which is pretty dumb. THAT IS WHAT A BOOK CLUB IS FOR.
Anyway, check out the FBI book club. We rock.