Tuesday 30 April 2013

NOS4R2 by Joe Hill

A terrifying new novel from the New York Times bestselling king of horror.
Summer. Massachusetts.
An old Silver Wraith with a frightening history. A story about one serial killer and his lingering, unfinished business.
Anyone could be next.
We're going to Christmasland. . .
NOS4A2 is an old-fashioned horror novel in the best sense. Claustrophobic, gripping and terrifying, this is a story that will have you on the edge of the seat while you read, and leaving the lights on while you sleep. With the horrific tale of Charles Manx and his Silver Wraith, Joe Hill has established himself as the premiere horror and supernatural thriller writer of his generation.

Let me start with this: isn't the cover super creepy, yet absolutely stunning? It sets the mood for the pages inside, that's for sure.

Victoria McQueen--Vic, or the Brat--starts out being a young, innocent girl with the uncanny ability to find lost things by crossing through the Shorter Way Bridge. A bridge that was condemned years before, yet she can ride her bike through it, come out at the other end and find lost things, or come out where she needs to find certain answers.

Her childhood is far from perfect because her parents are often fighting and she knows her father hits her mother, but she can always depend on her bike to get her where she needs to go. Actually, that's how she finds out about the child killer Charlie Manx--a stammering librarian who can divine things with Scrabble tiles mentions him. But Vic doesn't pursue Manx for years, because every time she uses the bridge she gets violently ill. She goes years without trying, and actually convinces herself it was all in her imagination... until she's in her late teens and runs away from home, finds her old beloved bike, and winds up at the Sleigh House--Charlie Manx's house.

After barely escaping with her life, she's rescued by a chubby guy on a bike and Manx is shortly arrested, but her life is never the same. Even though she loses herself in painting and becomes a popular children's writer, she still can't seem to live a normal life. She barely pays attention to her son, or the man she lives with, and those pesky children keep calling her from Christmasland... 
Her life is a hell of a mess, and while she's trying to get things back into some order Manx returns and takes her son.

Wow. What a book! It's pretty long, but not once did it drag. The story grips you from the very beginning and just doesn't let you go. I was on the edge of my seat, couldn't wait to see what was coming next. I just had to know how it was all going to end for Vic and her family, as well as the other deranged individuals.

NOS4R2 is an amazing, well-written story that takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of mental proportions. Not only do we follow Vic from innocence to completely messed up, but we also get a glimpse into the madness of Manx, and his delusions. Not to mention the Gasmask Man--shudder--who is a truly disgusting individual, yet also not all there. This dark, spooky, and very violent tale is an incredible study of the human mind. About the darkness and horror that dwells inside our 'inscapes', and what happens when thoughts and reality collide.
And at the heart of it all is one very flawed, broken woman who is ultimately saved by love, and will do anything to save her son.

Oh, and one last thing. This book is so reminiscent of one of my favourite authors... Stephen King. I know, I know, but I say this as the ultimate compliment. :)

I absolutely LOVED this book. It's a keeper!

NOS4R2, May 2013, ISBN 9780575130685, Gollancz

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