the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Joe Hill’ Category

If you like contemporary horror/suspense, you’ll probably enjoy Joe Hill’s Horns.  The prose is smooth, the characters are interesting (if a little stereotypical), and that secondary reveal will just kick you in the head.

Ig really misses his girlfriend Merrin.  High school sweethearts, he was a better person when he was with her.  It’s been about a year since he lost her.  About a year since they had a heated, drunken argument, and he left her, crying, in the parking lot outside the neighborhood bar.  The next day her broken and mutilated body was found in the woods.  A year later Ig is still a person of interest, and he tells himself that people believe him when he says he loved Merrin and would never do anything to hurt her.

And then he wakes up with horns.  Little devil horns that encourage people to tell Ig their deepest darkest secrets, things they want to do, things they wish they did.  Random people tell him they have been cheating, have been lying. His parents tell him he should kill himself. The local priest happily admits to indiscretions. After reading Horns, you’ll never again wish you had the power to read people’s minds.

The first hundred pages or so of Horns was the best part for me.  Ig tries to figure out who can see his horns and who can’t, why people are telling him strange things. I expect many readers will  get out kick out of some of these conversations. I know I did.  He is the son of and brother to a trumpet players, and there is a few plays on words regarding How to Play Horns. I was suddenly interested to see how far Joe Hill was going to push this.  Ig has become some kind of demon creature,  he can influence people to say and do things they would never do. Imagine the possibilities!!

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 A fter their guidance counselor father is brutally murdered by a deranged student, the Locke siblings Tyler, Kinsey and Bode move cross county with their mother from California to rural Massachusetts. The family mansion, known as Keyhouse, sits on the end of the island village of Lovecraft. The children explore their new home, and try to come to grips with their father’s death. 

Key house is full of magical doors. There is a door that makes you old, and one that makes you young. A door that changes your sex, and one that lets you teleport. But the doors are hidden, and some of them require a key. Bode finds a door that turns him into a ghost, and meets his echo in the wellhouse. Of course his older brother and sister don’t believe him. Everyone just thinks he’s acting out. His only friend is his echo, and she promises to be his friend, if he’ll help her with just a few little things.

Meanwhile, back in California, Sam Lesser, their father’s killer, escapes his mental hospital prison, and begins hitchhiking across country. He’s got a job to finish, and the means to do it. Someone has promised Sam eternal freedom, if he brings her two very specific keys, both of which are hidden somewhere in Keyhouse. 

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.