Saturday, 1 June 2019

Midnight Horror Review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

I have a bad habit of attempting to read books that are soon to be adapted as a movie or television series but never actually doing it. Well, I guess I finally broke my procrastinating streak because I pushed myself to read the epic horror novel NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (a.k.a. Stephen King's son) before the series debut's tomorrow night.

If you've ever watched AMC recently, then you would've seen the countless teasers for the NOS4A2 series; which prompt me to seek out the novel at my local library. The novel is nearly 800 pages, so it took me a little bit longer to read it than I'd originally anticipated. The good news is that at least I got it finished before the series starts.

The novel begins in 2008 at a hospital where a nurse has a bizarre encounter with the supposedly comatose Charles Manx, a child abductor, and then it quickly flashes back to 1986 where us readers are first introduced to a young Victoria "Vic" McQueen, the heroine of this story. She has the ability to ride her bicycle through the Shorter Way Bridge, which can take her to anything her heart is seeking.

Vic isn't the only one who has the ability to use the Shorter Way Bridge. Charlie Manx can drive  "The Wraith" Rolls-Royce on the Bridge. He kidnaps children from troubled homes and takes them to a place called "Christmasland," where they can be happy forever. Assisting Manx is a psychotic chemical planet worker named Bing, who's in charge of getting rid of the children's parents.

In 1996, a now teenager Vic encounters Manx and barely escapes thanks to Lou Carmody, a motorcycle rider. She eventually get romantically involved with Lou and later gives birth to his son, Wayne. Fast Forward to 2012, where Vic must once again take a ride on the Shorter Way Bridge in the attempt to rescue her son who has been kidnapped by Manx.

Final Thoughts

NOS4A2 is a real page-turner from beginning to end. Manx is a truly creepy villain that will surely give readers nightmares long after they have finished reading the very last page. Vic is a intriguing flawed protagonist. While reading this horror epic, I kept wondering if maybe Vic has a little bit of the "shining" as it would explain her connection to the Shorter Way Bridge and to Manx. The author does toss in a few connections from his other stories and even drops a few Stephen King Easter eggs, so you never know, maybe Vic does have the "shining."

Overall, NOS4A2 is an entertaining thrill ride. Joe Hill is definitely a chip off the old block! And just like his father, he has a great talent for writing frightening horror stories.

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