A review by stephanieluxton
NOS4A2, by Joe Hill
adventurous dark mysterious tense medium-paced
- Plot- or character-driven? Character
- Strong character development? Yes
- Loveable characters? Yes
- Diverse cast of characters? Yes
- Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
This book is about a woman who has the power of finding things and a scary man who kidnaps children to take them to Christmasland. Chaos ensues.
Things I liked:
Things I liked:
- The characters were great and felt realistic. We had time to get to know and love them before anything seriously terrible happened to them.
- The magical realism elements were really fun.
- There was a lot of tension! I genuinely didn't know what direction the story was going to go in. There wasn't a dramatic twist or anything, but I didn't predict the ending.
- The villains were scary. I didn't feel very scared when reading this book, but the first encounter the MC has with the villain is very stressful and tense.
- It all felt fairly original.
- We weren't overloaded with exposition. We slowly figured out what was going on as the characters did. I appreciated this!
Things I didn't like:
- As can be expected in a horror novel, theres a few upsetting/disturbing scenes.
- I get a little flustered in books when people have serious injuries and can just carry on like they're not in an absolute world of pain. Again, this seems typical in horror/thriller novels.
Graphic: Child abuse, Gun violence, Kidnapping, Self harm, Violence, Stalking, Gaslighting, Death of parent, Injury/Injury detail, Confinement, Death, Animal death, Fire/Fire injury, Mental illness, and Police brutality
Moderate: Drug abuse, Drug use, Panic attacks/disorders, Sexual assault, Medical content, Car accident, Blood, Cursing, Rape, Misogyny, and Alcohol
Minor: Incest and Cancer
Child Abuse: Not sure if what happens to the kids exactly counts as child abuse, but they go through some stuff. Nothing sexual though! Confinement: There's a few instances of characters being trapped in small-ish spaces. Death: Multiple deaths occur. Some are witnessed and some are talked about. Death of a parent:
Spoilera dog gets hit by a car and then it's head smashed in with a hammer. Very upsetting scene.
SpoilerOur main characters mom dies of illness. Her father gets shot by police trying to help her escape a situation. Many parents of the children taken to christmasland are killed but we mostly hear about it after the fact rather than witness it.
Gun Violence: Some people get shot. Injury/Violence: Many injuries and violence. They aren't described in excruciating detail. This isn't a splatterpunk. Kidnapping: Charlie Manx kidnaps kids to take to christmasland and kidnaps our protagonists son. Mental illness/gaslighting:
SpoilerOur main character gets locked in a room and the building is set on fire. Another character gets sprayed with gasoline and set ablaze. Another character burns his hand on a tail pipe. The MC burns down her house at one point.
Misogyny: Our villains, especially the gas mask man, don't respect women very much. Stalking:
SpoilerOur main character spends a lot of time in mental facilities because no one else can hear the dead kids from christmasland calling her on he phone and she struggles to understand if her "powers" are real or not.
SpoilerThe villains kill the neighbours so they can stalk the MC.
SpoilerOne characters power works best if she's experiencing pain so she burns herself with cigarettes.
Medical content: There's some discussion of an autopsy. Car Accident:
SpoilerSome discussion of drugs and homelessness. Our MC takes an oxy at one point. A kid is drunk at one point. The gasmask man drugs his victims and children.
Blood: Moderate amount. Cursing: ome swearing but it's not every other word. Rape/Sexual Assault/Incest: This is more discussed than witnessed by the reader.
SpoilerThere's a car accident involving a character and a child at one point. There's also a motorcycle crash.
Cancer: It's stated that someone died of cancer.