NOS4A2 – Joe Hill A Book Review
This book explorers the world created in the mind and the carnage when it spills out into the physical world that we all share. Joe Hill (Locke & Key) has done an amazing job writing this horrific adventure story. His characters are so believable and have you rooting for them as their personal journeys are impeded by each other and their own flaws.
The main character is Victoria “The Brat” McQueen, a young girl who has the strange ability to find lost things. She doesn’t use scrying or witchcraft to achieve this, instead she takes off on her bike across an imaginary covered bridge and once she crosses the lost item appears to her. Young Vic is a Daddy’s girl through and through. She worships her father and most of her finding adventures are in order to lessen his discomfort at home. She rides a tough bike and craves his approval, these traits follow her into her adult years.
Along the way Vic meets other “creatives”, a young woman named Maggie Leigh who can tell the future using her handy scrabble tiles. Maggie is like the switchboard of the creative community and in meeting Maggie, Vic learns of a scary side to this new world.
Charles Talent Manx is the villain of the story. He also can transport anywhere he desires in his 1930’s Rolls Royce Wraith. He uses his car to steal children away from their broken families and take them to the magical Christmasland. A place that is Christmas every day and no one grows old. Sounds great, right? Not so much…
I loved the concept of this story. Manx was a proper villain and his evil was made worse by the transformation of his wards once trapped in the backseat of his luxurious ride. We all live in two worlds, but the idea that there is a tangible bridge between the two is such an interesting idea that I found myself instantly sucked into the story. Vic starts off as a child, using her ability to try and save her parent’s marriage. She grows up and has a child of her own, but when her past comes to haunt her she has to decipher which memories are real. Does she believe her vague memories of childhood and her imaginary bridge? Or will she take a leap of faith and use her gift to save her son from a terrible fate? Mix this confusion with a substance abuse problem and slipping sanity and you have a hell of a story.
I recommend this story for fans of horror and comic books. Joe Hill’s work reflects all his nerdy glory with his references and certain plot choices. I was so blown away by Locke & Key that I had to get my hands on more of his work.