A Review of Horns by Joe Hill

Cover of "Horns: A Novel"

Cover of Horns: A Novel

From the book description:

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache, and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

With the release of NOS4A2, also by Joe Hill, I thought I’d review his previous novel, Horns, which I read before I started reading The Last Death of Tev Chrisini by Jennifer Bresnick.

No spoilers. I promise.

From the opening paragraph Horns hooked me and wouldn’t let go. It’s a book you won’t want to put down, so catch up on sleep before you begin.

Joe has a writing style that most authors would envy. Engaging. Suspenseful. He builds from one mystery to the next while interweaving the past and present to address each mystery in its own due time.

What may draw people to the story, and keep them plugged in, is what the horns symbolize–the inner devil in us all. The theme is explored throughout the book with the people Ignatius meets. Combine insights into the dark side every one of us has with brilliant writing, and you have a classic page-turner.

At times you’ll want to throttle the protagonist, Ignatius Perrish. Other times you’ll find yourself rooting for him. He evolves. He changes throughout the story. The Ignatius you see on page one is far different from the one you see at the end.

I found Joe Hill through the Amazon best seller list. For those of you who don’t know, he is Stephen King’s son, but don’t let that color your view of him one way or another. He is his own writer. He is a great story-teller. Just read a sample of Horns and see what you think.

Make no mistake though. Horns is a horror novel. There are gruesome death scenes. Thrills. Sex. But it’s all integral to the story and not used as a lure to keep you reading.

I give Horns 4 out of 5 stars. Why? Well, to reach 5 stars in the field in which I place Horns the novel would have to be as good as The Talisman or It or The Shining.

He’s not there yet, but I have no doubt Joe Hill will reach the same level with subsequent novels.

I will read his other books, Locke and Key and Heart Shaped Box. NOS4A2 is on my list. If you are a fan of horror or thrillers, Horns should be on your list.

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