NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I suspect that Joe Hill is going to soon be joining that list of authors that I consider 'go-to' authors, the writers that time and time again exceed my expectations. Because I have to tell you that he is really fantastic ... his stories are unique and compelling, his writing is fantastic and his characters are so real that they practically walk off of the page.
I want to say upfront that the primary reason that I'm not giving this novel 5 stars is that I think it could have used some editing. There were some sections that I felt could have been condensed in order to make this novel even better! The only other flaw that I found in the novel is that I'd like to have gotten a bit more information about the history of a few of the characters/items and how they came to be how they came to be (specifically, Charlie and the car). With that said, however, this is a fantastic read and is truly unlike ANYTHING that I've ever read.
Joe Hill appears to see the world in a very unique aqnd interesting way, coming up with some ideas and concepts for this novel that I thought were frankly just outstanding. He could have gone predictable in a number of places in the novel but instead came up with some really interesting and even 'out of the box' things. The story itself is unique and not predictable in any way. The basic horror tropes are here but he takes them to new and unusual places. Great places. Places that made me squirm. Places that made me feel a little sick to my stomach yet unable to stop reading because I had to know more!
This is a book that I find difficult to explain in a way that really makes sense - it's almost like reading it is the only way to truly understand what's happening. Every description that I've read is fine but none really capture the essence of this novel for me. All I can say is READ IT. If you can handle horror and darkness, pick this one up. It's immensely readable and will keep you fascinated for six hundred pages.
It's a vampire book that is like no other vampire book out there because it's really not a vampire book ... it's something more than a vampire book, something better. Don't expect the usual vampire stuff you can read anywhere - expect Hill to take the vampire thing and re-make it into something unrecognizable and yet completely familiar. It's got the stuff you expect from horror - some gore, lots of action, great pacing, complex characters ... and yet, it's so much more than horror. It's even got some humor and some irony rolled into it.
Anyway, I highly recommend this novel, particularly to fans of horror, good writing and good storytelling. I suspect that Joe Hill is going to just get better and better over time! I can't wait to see what he brings to us next!
View all my reviews