Reviews

NOS4A2, by Joe Hill

jthern's review against another edition

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4.0

Pretty much a Stephen King novel (IT meets Stranger Things?), but written by his son Joe instead. I think I read that he wanted to see if he could write something imitating his father's work; if that was his goal, he certainly succeeded.

ashleighbeanxo's review

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4.0

NOS4A2 follows Vic McQueen, a young girl who has a gift for finding things. With her bike, she can summon a bridge, known as the Shorter Way, which takes her to wherever she needs to go. This bridge will come in handy when she hears about a man by the name of Charles Manx, a terrifying man who likes to take children away to Christmasland in his Rolls-Royce Wraith, which bears the license plate 'NOS4A2'. The license plate, he tells people, is a joke based on an insult from his first wife, who would claim Manx was Nosferatu himself.

Manx believes he's saving the children he kidnaps from abusive parents, and enlists the help of Bing Patridge, a man who shot his father dead after years of abuse, to help him take the children and their mothers. As long as Manx gets the children to take into Christmansland, Bing can do whatever he wants to the mothers. And he really does whatever he wants. But if you think Manx is some sort of a 'kiddie fiddler', don't get it twisted. He isn't into all that, he just wants to help the kids and also maybe turn them into little vampires, but you know, semantics.

After meeting Maggie, a young woman with a stutter, who has Scrabble tiles which give her almost psychic abilities, Vic finds out about Manx and discovers she is the only person who can find him and stop him. So she sets off on her bike to take the monster down.

Years later, Vic is still haunted by her encounter with Manx and is struggling with addiction. But after another dangerous meeting with the monster, Manx takes Vic's son, and she's determined to take him down for good this time.

My first Joe Hill book and it was a pleasant surprise. While I do love Horror movies, I'm not a big Horror reader for some reason, and I thought I might struggle with this one. To be honest, I did in the beginning because this book is huuuuuuuuge and it takes a bit of time to get into the story. But oh my goodness, this was good.

The villains in this book were terrifying, especially Manx, and I was actually scared at a few points in this book. There was a lot of fantastical fear in this book, coming from the vampire side, and then the real world fear of children being abducted and their parents being tortured. Also, the creepy children gave me chills.

Really liked this book, and would definitely read more from Mr Hill!

jmannucci's review against another edition

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4.0

Joe Hill proves with this book that Christmas every day might not necessarily be a good thing. This was an incredibly chilling summer read that I didn't want to put down at all from start to finish.

Something else I learned from Joe Hill? He's my kind of nerd with all those Buffy, Firefly, Harry Potter, Batman and Game of Thrones references.

I'll never forget Vic McQueen, Lou Carmody or Bruce Wayne Carmody.

a02's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional tense fast-paced

4.0

bandherbooks's review against another edition

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5.0

Vic "the Brat" McQueen barely escaped from a psycho killer when she was 17. Her mind is split between how this happened. Did he kidnap her and drive her to Colorado, or did she seek him out using her special bicycle and her "powers?" Now that she is an adult with her own son, and having battled for years with what she believes is mental illness, the killer, Charles Manx, is back and looking to take her son to Christmasland for all eternity.

This is the scariest book I have read in many moons. So scary, yet so poignant. The characters are damaged, flawed, but all the more special because of this. I especially enjoyed Vic's relationships with her son's father, and her son (Bruce Wayne). Vic herself is an amazingly drawn character. She is just badass, with her motorcycle engine tattoo over her heart, and her sailor mouth.

This book also made me cry, the second this year. Eleanor and Park was the first. This is the second. Odd :)

forsakenfates's review against another edition

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4.0

This was a fascinating read. I absolutely loved the blending of horror and fantasy. I really need to read more of Joe Hill's books.

mfred's review against another edition

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5.0

Amazing and intense. Horrible and frightening. Joe Hill pulls no punches in this book-- no one is safe. The violence is vivid and as terrifying as it should be. Enough is written and described to allow the imagination to make it that much worse. The characters are heartbreakingly real, especially considering how malevolent of a world they live in.

nottoberglund's review against another edition

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4.0

Entertaining and and creepy! I appreciated the strong leading female and thought the connections to Stephen king’s works was cool. I’m looking forward to seeing the amc tv show next year!

geoffstokker's review against another edition

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4.0

I loved Joe Hill's Heart Shaped Box and maybe that excellent debut somewhat influenced my expectations of his latest offering. It felt as though this story was lifted from one of his father's notebooks for stories he might wish to write in future. And then written by either of the Kings. There was even King's obligatory reference to the Dark Tower hidden in the story; which was really one of several things including the tone of the story which had me questioning the origins of the story.

The novel was excellently written and I suppose Joe Hill's only sin was the fact that it felt far too close to his own father's work.

If Charlie Manx had dressed up as Santa this could have definitely been Joe Hill's IT.

djrmelvin's review

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4.0

I can't wait until I hear Christmas songs on the radio this year and my heart races, not in a good way. Thank you Joe Hill for writing a scary story that does what a scary story is supposed to do: creep up on you when you long after the story teller has said "the end".

(Yes, the book is too long and there's writer's ego showing through in a few places.)