A review by bookbelle5_17
NOS4A2, by Joe Hill
adventurous dark emotional funny mysterious sad tense slow-paced
- Plot- or character-driven? Plot
- Strong character development? Yes
- Loveable characters? Yes
- Diverse cast of characters? Yes
- Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
By: Joe Hill
Victoria McQueen has a gift, she can find lost things with help from her bike and a magic bridge. Unfortunately, she finds herself in the hands of another gifted person, Charles Talent Manx. He has a magic antique car that takes him to the magical world of Christmasland, but this isn’t a nice place. He takes children that he feels are treated badly by their parents to Christmasland while draining them of their life force turning them into malicious but “happy” children. Vic was the one who got away and ten years later Manx wants revenge….
Joe Hill, like his famous father Stephen King, knows how to craft a story that manages to be creepy and whimsical at the same time. The writing is similar to his dad’s and he makes references to elements of his dad’s books like the True Knot. It’s straight forward and not flowery. It is not a fast-paced horror but a slow build to the climax adding compelling tension. We don’t know when Manx will strike again or if his minion, Bing Partridge, would snap and do something crazy. I hated Bing with his childish antics and disgusting thoughts. In a small, way I did pity him for he loved Manx like a father and was desperate to go to Christmasland. He never seemed to have grown up and has the perfect mind for Manx. Bing’s use of the gingerbread gas is unsettling, especially as someone who doesn’t like laughing gas with the mask makes me panicky. Reading Bing’s chapters is uncomfortable to reading as he rapes the mothers and talks about raping a father that made wrong choice without meaning to. Manx is a terrifying villain. He plays that charming and wholesome figure, but you can see underneath he is dangerous underneath. Vic is complicated as she makes bad choices as she tries to escape her trauma, but she loves fiercely. The emotional core is her love for her son Wayne. I felt so bad for Wayne as he was caught in middle and used up by Manx as a way to punish Vic. He’s my favorite kind of villain. Maggie Leigh and Lou Carmody were my favorite characters. The ending was perfect.
Graphic: Rape, Addiction, Abandonment, Alcoholism, and Animal death