Publishing Date: April 30th, 2013
Genre: Adult, Horror
Pages: 689 pgs
Source: Received from Harper Collins Canada for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
Charlie Manx burned a man to death in his black 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith, but that’s not the worst of it. Rumor has it that he kidnapped dozens of children, taking them to a place he calls “Christmasland.” The only child ever to escape was a very lucky girl named Victoria McQueen.
Vic has a gift – she can ride her bike through the Shorter Way bridge and she’ll come out the other side wherever she needs to be, even if it’s hundreds of miles away. Vic doesn’t tell anyone about her ability; no one would understand.
When Charlie Manx finally dies after years in prison, his body disappears...after the autopsy. The police and media think someone stole it, but Vic knows the truth: Charlie Manx is on the road again...and he has her kid. And this time, Vic McQueen’s going after him...
I was very excited when I heard that Joe Hill had another book coming out and I immediately requested it for review. I was happy when this shiny book showed up at my doorstep a few weeks later. I have to first off apologize that this review is going up a little later than I would have liked but my personal life has been a bit of a rollercoaster lately. Things are on the upswing so I'm glad to be getting a bit of reviewing done again.
I have read Hill's other two novels (Horns and Heart Shaped Box) and I quite enjoyed both of them. They are creepy and imaginative and you can't seem to peel yourself away from them once you start reading.
I have to say that this novel is just as creepy and just as imaginative as the other two novels I have read. NOS4A2 follows two different stories that eventually come together in a macabre underworld. At the beginning of the novel Vic McQueen is a young girl who can find anything that is lost. All she has to do is travel across a magic bridge with her bike. Charlie Manx kidnaps children and brings them to a magically scary place he calls Christmasland. There bad things happen and the children somehow change. One day Vic McQueen crosses paths with Charlie Manx and somehow survives and gets away. Charlie Manx never forgets this and without giving too much away he ensures that he crosses paths with McQueen another time.
I have to admit that the size of this novel is a little daunting. It is almost 700 pages and at times the story can drag a little. I did find my mind wandering at times and for this reason I think that some of the story could have been cut down a little.
That being said, I really did enjoy the world in this novel. There is a such a disturbing magic in this novel and I wouldn't expect anything less from Hill. When you read this book you can't help but become immersed in the story because the writing is so descriptive. You really feel like you are right there in the book.
As for the characters, I was on the fence about Vic McQueen. She is endearing when she is younger but as she gets older I begin to feel like she becomes slightly selfish at times. She is difficult to like at times but in the end I came around to liking her.
There is no way that anyone could really like Charlie Manx but I did find his character to be fascinating. He was just so weird and creepy and for some reason I am drawn to that.
Overall I have to say that I enjoyed the book but I can see how some people may find it to be slightly too long.