Book Review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

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

Genre: horror


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

18 Responses to Book Review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

  1. Leslie says:

    I have to make time to read this one. I like crazy and I don’t mind a little fantasy either.

  2. I hadn’t heard of this book before reading your review. I’m so glad that I read your review as it sounds quite intriguing!

  3. I’ve always wanted to read something by Joe Hill, maybe this is it.

  4. I am eagerly waiting for this to arrive at my library!

  5. I think this sounds amazing – I would love to try reading this one.

  6. Marie says:

    I enjoy reading Joe Hill’s tweets but am sorry to say I haven’t yet read anything by him. This sounds a little crazy, in a good way. Maybe it’s one I could start with.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Marie, I follow hardly any authors that I’ve read, let alone author I haven’t! I think you should pick up one of his books soon. 🙂

  7. Joanna says:

    This sounds great, Judith. I’d never heard of him before or the publishers and now I can’t wait to read it and check them out. Thanks.

  8. I liked Joe Hill’s writing as well, and have high hopes for this one. Glad u loved it Judith.

  9. Kelly says:

    Thanks for sharing your review! I have been unsure if I should read this one or not…I’ve read one other Joe Hill book (Heart Shaped Box) and didn’t really love it. I think part of my problem is that I can’t stop comparing his work to his father’s, and nothing compares to Stephen King for me! Sounds like this one might be more of a winner though.

  10. Angie says:

    I have actually only read one other Joe Hill book too.. and that was Horns. I really loved that book. I can’t wait to get started reading on this book this week! Thanks for stopping by my bout of books!!!


  11. Ashlee Stalling says:

    I have read Joe Hill before also and I loved it, Horns was the one I had read! Glad to see this one, there is just something about the way he writes that I find really great. I am finishing up a good read at this very moment, Fallen Angel by Jonelle Patrick. [deleted] I need to finish it up so I can get into Joe’s new one!

  12. Szever says:

    Nice review.

    I am unfairly more critical on this book, because I loved his first two books (if you liked this, you need to get Heart-Shaped Box – NOS4A2 even references it in the story). Because of that, I held this a little higher and it just failed to reach that for me. The book does contain that Joe Hill character quirkiness that keeps you engaged, but I felt the plot, though obscure and unique, was somewhat predictable, and the ending fell just a little flat (though I hear there’s more as you get the “Notes on Type” section that doesn’t appear in the e-book version, so I haven’t seen it).

    I am, however, greatly looking forward to the movie adaptation of Horns (starring Harry Potter).

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