If you’re looking for a festive book to read this season, look no further than NOS-4R2 by Joe Hill – because horror does Christmas too!
“What would you do for a lifetime pass to a place where every morning is Christmas morning?”
An old Silver Wraith with a frightening history. A story about one serial killer and his lingering, unfinished business.
Anyone could be next.
We’re going to Christmasland…
NOS4R2 is an old-fashioned horror novel in the best sense. Claustrophobic, gripping and terrifying, this is a story that will have you on the edge of the seat while you read, and leaving the lights on while you sleep. With the horrific tale of Charles Manx and his Silver Wraith, Joe Hill has established himself as the premiere horror and supernatural thriller writer of his generation.
Every kid wants to go to Christmasland, and Charles Manx can take them there – the only downside, if you can call it that, is that once you’re there, you can never leave, and it’s Christmas every day. No one has ever escaped Manx, no on except Vic McQueen – now Vic is all grown up, with a child of her own, and Manx is ready to take him to Christmasland….
That’s all you’re getting of the plot, because you really do need to read this book for yourself, no explanation can replace the events that you will read about and the inscapes you will discover. Hill writes in such a riveting way, the supernatural elements are fantastic, and the horror elements are creepy as hell! Speaking of creepy as hell, wait till you meet Charles Manx! Hill also has this great retro vibe to his writing, and you feel cool just reading one of his books, like yeah, I read Joe Hill, and now I totally understand the fanbase he has.
While Manx and his sidekick, Bing, are the definition of horrid, Vic and her son’s father, Lou, are the definition of awesome. Regardless of which characters you like and dislike in this one, each has been well developed and are memorable for their own reasons.
As a regular reader of crime fiction, we don’t get many illustrations in books and that’s something I wish we’d see more of [but I guess no one wants the visual image of countless murders] but in NOS-4R2 the illustrations were brilliant, and used to really enhance the reading experience. The artwork is by Gabriel Rodriguez and I feel it’s only right, he gets acknowledged when you talk about this book because they really do help this novel come alive.
Another reason I love this novel is the way it transitions between chapters; for some chapters the last word of the last sentence of that chapter is the title of the next chapter. For example, the chapter will end “….thudded back down in” and when you turn the page the next chapter is titled “Haverhille, Massachusetts.” And let me tell you, this is the first time I [can remember] ever coming across this and it took me ages to figure it out! Mainly because I didn’t turn the page, I was wondering if I had a faulty edition, but when I figured it out, I loved it. It really helps to express all that this novel is and when you read it, you’ll totally understand why this was so clever.
Sometimes, when you read a book in excess of 600 words, you’re ready for it to end and feel that sense of achievement that you have finished a big book, but with NOS-4R2, I was genuinely sad when it finished, that the adventure was over. And what an adventure it was, filled with evil Christmas cheer! I really can find no fault with this book and I highly, highly recommend you journey to Christmasland and read NOS-4R2!