Friday 29 December 2017


A stunning collection of short novels from bestseller Joe Hill, this new collection from an award-winning author makes compelling and powerful reading. 

 One autumnal day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails, splinters of bright crystal that tear apart anyone who isn't safely under cover. 'Rain' explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as clouds of nails spread out across the country and the world. Amidst the chaos, a girl studying law enforcement takes it upon herself to resolve a series of almost trivial mysteries . . . apparently harmless puzzles that turn out to have lethal answers. 

In 'Loaded' a mall security guard heroically stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun movement. Under the hot glare of the spotlights, though, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it...

'Snapshot, 1988' tells the story of an kid in Silicon Valley who finds himself threatened by The Phoenician, a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid that can steal memories... 

And in 'Aloft' a young man takes to the skies to experience parachuting for the first time . . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero's island of roiling vapour that seems animated by a mind of its own. 

The year is winding down, and I thought an anthology might be a good way to end my reading year. Since this one sounded interesting, and the stories are pretty lengthy, I thought this would be the perfect fit.

So, let's get started:


When Mike Figlione is thirteen in the late 1980s, he's overweight and doesn't have any friends. But he has a neighbour who helped take care of him while he was growing up and now, she needs his help. What he experiences changes his life in terrifying, sad and even amazing ways...

I loved this story! 

Mike's voice was engaging and raw, totally sucked me right into this very melancholy and often freaky tale down memory lane. The imagery is vivid. The use of turbulent weather perfectly matches the name of the book, and the reality of what Mike encounters is really (really) cool. If you ignore all the super sad bits, of course.

I loved his connection to Mrs. Beukes. It was so sweet, and tragic. The way he got along with his father was also very sweet. But what this kid goes through is dripping with suspense and kept me turning each page while fearing the worst.

Do yourself a favour and read this very clever novella. 



When a troubled mall security guard stops a mass shooting, he becomes a hero. But sometimes heroes aren't heroes at all. Yet,  they all have deep and dark secrets they'd rather keep hidden...

This is such a well-written story, that even though I hated one of the main characters SO MUCH all I wanted was to see him burn, it totally hooked me in and kept me glued to each and every page.

The only problem is that this story deals with a real-life horror we see way too many times on the news. Gun-toting white men who think the world is turning against them and instead of looking at themselves decide to use a gun on innocent people because it's their God-given right and no one's gonna tell them otherwise. Ugh.

This story made me SO ANGRY because these assholes with guns are too real and appear too often. And the government who should be shutting them down instead makes excuses, while making it easier for them.

I don't care what anyone says, guns & losers will always be a bad mix. Still, the way it was written captured the horror perfectly.

I know there might be some people who have a problem with the very real and very brutal social commentary in this story, but I thought it was perfect. Especially how it dealt with the ridiculous notion of only a good guy with a gun can defeat a bad guy with a gun. Again, ugh.



Okay. This story was a struggle to get through.

When a group of friends lose a member of their group to cancer, they promise they'll skydive in her honour. But Aubrey is afraid of heights and the only reason he even agreed was to impress Harriet. Just when he's about to chicken out, something goes wrong and he ends up on a cloud...

This started out well. I was really feeling the beginning and could even ignore the fact Aubrey annoyed the hell out of me. But when he ends up alone. Nope. It's not even because it's a weird tale, I actually like weird stories. It's because Aubrey was such a jerk that him being alone for the rest of the story just couldn't keep me interested.

I seriously didn't care about him and ended up skimming. A lot. The snippets of his past were okay, but his ordeal on the freaky cloud was just blah. Boring.

Such a shame because the first two stories were so awesome.



Wow. All hell breaks loose almost instantly in this one.

Honeysuckle Speck (gotta love that name!) is waiting for her girlfriend to arrive, because they're finally moving in together, when a storm like no other hits and kills anyone who was unfortunate enough to be outside at the time...

Yikes! What a story.

My favourite thing about this novella is how easily and smoothly it slips from totally serious and horrifying, to totally ridiculous and LOL-insane. I loved the jabs at the US president and how terrifying it is to watch him instantly retaliate with nuclear power when he should be worried about his fellow Americans and trying to keep them safe.

I also liked how it portrayed everyday people dealing with something so uncontrollable--the considerate versus the malicious, and even the bat-shit delusional. Plus I really liked the main character.

This story is amazingly clever, and the twist caught me by surprise. Even though I managed to connect all of the breadcrumbs after the fact!

Like I said, for being a spoof of his own work, it's very clever.


Strange Weather is an excellent collection of short novels to get lost in. And trust me, you will totally lose yourself in these powerful words, because Joe Hill has a way of drawing the reader right into the heart of the story with his engrossing storytelling style. I also liked how all four are (very) loosely tied together by the use of bizarre weather events and by cheeky word mentions.

The illustrations act as haunting bookends for each story. And the Afterword is cool because, being a writer myself, I always love to find out the story behind the story.

With the exception of one unremarkable story, the other three are absolutely remarkable and well worth the price of admission.

I strongly recommend this anthology, especially if there's a storm closing in. ;)

Strange Weather, November 2017, ISBN 9781473221185, Gollancz

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