Quick Book Review – NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

My last book club selection (that I read anyway – yeah, I’ve been a bad member lately) was Doctor Sleep, by my favorite author of all time, Stephen King. I had had NOS4A2 on my to-read list for a while, so when it ended up on our book club future list, I skipped ahead and read it. Why? Well, firstly, Joe Hill happens to be Stephen’s son, and I’ve really enjoyed his last two novels, Heart Shaped Box and Horns. Secondly, there were connections to Doctor Sleep. I was intrigued. 

Victoria McQueen is special. She can create a psychic path, or inscape, in her head to help her find lost things. She hops on her bike and will always find a covered bridge that takes her where she needs to go. She’s not the only one with this talent that shows up in different ways. There’s Maggie, who can discover stuff with her bag of Scrabble tiles. And then there’s the monster known as Charlie Manx. He can stay young by kidnapping kids and transporting them to the terrifying Christmasland in his spooky Rolls Royce Wraith. These three come together in an intensely creepy journey. Holy crap, Christmasland is creepy. Oh, look, there’s a cute snowman! Why does it have an axe? AAAAGGGHHHH!!!! Thanks, Joe, for creating this wild saga. Vic was such a wonderfully flawed hero, as was her dude Lou. And Manx? Ewwwwwww.

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Quick Book Review – Heart Shaped Box By Joe Hill

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.

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