NOS4A2 pays tribute to a King of horror, by mentioning the True Knot crew, from Doctor Sleep. Very cool, Joe Hill. Very cool! I enjoyed this novel very much- but to say that this one was a truly horrific and scary tale isn't true.
The story is a scare of a different breed. Instead of something coming to snatch away children for a stew or to extend life or even to sacrifice to some blood-thirsty diety, Charlie Manx (the beast of the story) comes to rescue children from a certain future. It knows what may or may not happen, so it seems... but for Vic, now the only one who's escaped the Christmasland horrors, Charlie is finding himself in a bit of a holiday nightmare himself. Vic is a formidable foe.
I wasn't sure what to make of this tale at first. It carried the feel of a King novel, but Hill didn't follow in his father's footsteps per se (hence the pen name). NOS4A2 carried a different sort of vibe, and for that, I enjoyed this story. Although I can say, when it came to henchman, Bing Partridge, was like a fellow from daddy's arsenal of dimwitted sidekicks!
The horrors weren't gruesome and gory, as I was expecting. I didn't even get the vampire I thought was coming- but Manx was a vamp of a new age, so to speak, stealing lives through deception. Because of this creative style, I found myself intrigued- especially in the land before you entered Christmasland. It was right out of one of my own nightmares!
The characters, all flawed, were perfectly set up, and felt real for me. Even with them being whisked away, into a ghoulish space between worlds where children live forever, they were REAL There was no blabber and whining on how 'It's not real! It's not real' that you get with other characters. With fun backstories that mixed well with today's issues, the characters, honestly did their jobs in making this a book that will stay in my arsenal of reads. I loved it all.
NOS4A2 isn't one of the best horror tales, but I can say that it was exciting and kept me from the very beginning, to its end. I'm now a small fan of Hill, and I hope to grow. I'm off to the next read! 📚
*Insects Trilogy is next.
April 30, 2013
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