Review: NOS4R2, Joe Hill

NOS4R2 Joe Hill cover
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.
Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

Joseph Hillstrom King (born 1972) is an American writer of fiction, writing under the pen name of Joe Hill. He is the author of various short stories, 4 novels and various comics and won several awards for his work. He lives in New England with his wife and children.

When NOS4R2 was released I immediately started to receive recommendation emails that I had to read this book because I loved various other scary books and Locke & Key. I only needed 1 to add this book to my "want to read" shelf because it looked very good and it was. This is one of those books that endanger your life. It is big with 692 pages and it sucks you in and does not really want to let go. So before picking it up make sure there is someone around to feed you at regular intervals. On the other hand it is a book you can put down pretty easily too because the story will not let you go and this way you will enjoy it longer.
The thing that stayed with me most after finishing this book was that I was not even sure if I liked the main characters. Charles Manx is the perfect creep which in a way makes him a great character but not very likable. Vic obviously is the good side but she does things I do not really like either. Though in all honesty most of her decisions make sense. Lou and Wayne are innocent bystanders who become victim of the whole thing. It is obvious Lou loves Vic and wants what is best for her not understanding his luck to find such a pretty girl. He is easy to like and it was nice he got some time too. Wayne is the innocent child who has been trough enough in his life already before he met Charles. And we should not forget Bing though I never really got a grip on his motivations. There are various other characters who all play their important little part in the story but with Charles and Vic taking a strong lead I never mixed up people.
The story itself is creepy and scary and dark and funny. At first I had to get used to the fact that the title of the next chapter often is the end of the chapter before. I usually only notice chapter headings and now I really had to read them. The story builds up with introductions on the main characters and slowly develop the world around them, explaining how they come together at the most important parts of the book. There are two important actions in the book which divides the story very nice giving the reader some time to bread before you can go to the next build up. There are many small jokes in the book and as it is a horror story for sure you have to be prepared to be confronted by images that might make you feel a bit queasy.
This book will for sure be read again some day as there is so much happening and I want to visit it all again.

NOS4R2
Author: Joe Hill
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 692
Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0575130687
ISBN-13: 9780575130685
Gollancz: eBook | Hardcover | Paperback | audioBook
NOS4R2

5 stars

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25 October, 2013 delete

I never read anything by Joe Hill, I am never sure I will like his work, but this one sounds interesting. Have you read other books by him as well?

Kind regards,

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25 October, 2013 delete

I read a few of his comics and like those too. I do not see any book in your review list that gives me an indication if you will like it or not but you might want to give it a try when you can get it from the library :)

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K. A. Cozy
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25 October, 2013 delete

His novel Heart Shaped Box was good, and his short story collection 20th Century Ghosts is excellent. I didn't care for his novel Horns, but I seem to be in the minority on that.

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25 October, 2013 delete

I'm so glad you liked NOS4A2! I loved it too, and thought it was creepy and fascinating and so hard to put down! Heart-Shaped Box is one of the scariest books I've ever read, and I loved Locke & Key. Still have to read Horns though, especially with the movie coming out! Great review!

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Isi
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26 October, 2013 delete

wow you really enjoyed this one!
I didn't know it, but well, I suppose I have to look for the book and for somebody who feed me while I read it :P

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Celine
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27 October, 2013 delete

I'm going to add this one to my Christman wishlist, so hopefully I'll be able to read it soon (: Great review Ciska

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