With NOS4A2, Joe Hill truly steps out of his fathers shadow and becomes a master of horror in his own right.
I read his Heart Shaped Box a few years ago, partially because of the cover and partially because of the blurb by Neil Gaiman. It wasn’t until after I had finished and went looking for more information on this new author that I discovered his pedigree. I’ve since read 20th Century Ghosts and Horns, which until today was the only horror novel to make me cry.
NOS4A2 is the story of a 140 year old, creepy man who steals children and takes them to Christmasland. What is actually about, however, is the depths of a mother’s love and how far she’ll go to save her children.
Victoria McQueen has had the strange ability to find lost things since childhood. She simply hops on her bike and after riding through a covered bridge near her house, she finds herself exactly where she needs to be. Her ability is so strong that she’s able to continue riding through the bridge long after it had been torn down. One day as a rebellious teenager, she runs away looking for trouble and ends up in Christmasland. She’s the first person to show up uninvited, so of course Charlie Manx, the only resident is *very* interested in her. She’s able to escape this horror land, but has beenb haunted ever since. Fast forward 12 years: Vic is living with the first guy she met after escaping Christmasland and their son, Bruce Wayne. Awesome name, right? Except that they all call him Wayne for some stupid reason. Oh, and Vic is getting phone calls from the dead children of Christmasland. When Charlie Manx returns and kidnaps Wayne, Vic will and does do everything in her power to save him.
The tension in this book was almost unbearable! It took me 2 weeks to finish, but that’s only because I’m taking summer grad classes, but every second I spent away from this book was agony. I could not stop talking it up to random people I’d meet out and about, and when I teared up at the end, people just couldn’t resist asking what I was reading. All of the characters were so well written I can’t gush enough. Read this book.
**You’d think that a book where Christmas is the scariest part would be less terrifying during the summer. For instance, The Snowman by Jo Nesbo would have much worse had I read it in winter. But somehow, the fact that most of NOS4A2 takes place in July makes it all the more frightening.
**How screwed up do you think it would be to grow up in the King household?