Book Review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
May 12, 2013 18 Comments
I’ve read only one other book by Joe Hill: Horns. It was something rather different to what I normally read, but I enjoyed it a lot. So, I was keen to read this new book by Joe Hill.
It’s been described as Horror, but there isn’t a great deal of scary stuff going on, at least not at first. There is nothing where you’d want to peek between your fingers while reading because you can’t handle it. But it is a crazy story in which a child abductor plays a large part.
NOS4A2: What it is about
The book focuses mostly on Vic McQueen who we meet as a girl. She has a really nice bicycle with which she can cross a derelict bridge in order to find back items that are missing. The bridge brings her to a completely different part of the USA, where she collects/finds the missing item, then rides her bike back over the bridge and arrives back home. One day, she comes across a man, Charlie Manx, who has a child locked in the back of his car. When she tries to release the boy, he comes after her.
Charlie Manx has built Christmasland, a wonderful Christmas experience for all the children he saves from their terrible parents. All the children he abducts end up there, for ever.
NOS4A2: What I thought
This is a big, big book, but didn’t bore me for even one minute. The pace is good and the writing is fun. The reader sometimes gets to read about Charlie Manx and his helper, the Gasmask Man and so, gets some insight into what Vic and other children awaits, when they are caught.
Vic, as an adult, is the real hero of the story. She does everything she can to catch Charlie Manx and destroy his Christmasland, after he returns while she is at a low point in her life. The vulnerable, unstable woman develops into a Die Hard hero who fights Manx until the bitter end.
I found the story very original, clever, funny, and also very believable – the only problem I had was with the fantasy part of the story. As I tend to read contemporary fiction in which everything that happens, could happen, I had to wrap my brain around the idea that Christmasland existed in Charlie Manx fantasy rather than in reality. But still, children were abducted to it and Vic also goes there. So, it took me a while to adapt to this idea. This is not a negative aspect of the book, though, I loved trying to understand how it might work.
Definitely worth a read for anyone that likes a book with crazy ideas and a rollercoaster ending.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Number of pages: 704
First published: 2013
I got this: for review from the publishers, William Morrow