Release Date: Hardcover 30th May 2013, Ebook 30th April 2013
Source: Waterstones Review Copy.
Synopsis: Summer. Massachusetts.
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...
NOS4A2 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.
Review: NOS4RS. The name of the book itself is enough to send a chill down my spine. And now after reading I truly get the creeps recalling the events of the book. When thinking about this book, the first things that come into my mind are haunting children’s voices singing Christmas carols and sharp needle like teeth. This book is creepy and full of suspense, it’s a classic horror novel in its own right. I really enjoyed how the story progressed and just kept getting better and better, in which I mean creepier.
The novel is told during many different years. It begins when Vic McQueen is nine years old and has just received a Raleigh bike, she uses it to escape her parent’s heated arguments and ends up on the Shorter Way Bridge. The bridge is old and practically falling apart, with her bike she manages to cross the bridge and ends up miles away finding her mother’s lost bracelet. It is here she begins to discover that when riding her bike across the bridge it will take her where ever she needs to go. The continual use of this though will cause damage as Vic begins to find out. We follow her story as she gets older and her story begins to tangle with that of Charlie Manx.
Charlie Manx is the owner of the gorgeous Rolls Royce Wraith with the license plate NOS4R2. He is a weird old man who steals children away to his Christmas land where he uses them and drains their youth turning them into monsters. Manx is twisted, he really believes what he is doing is for the best. I don’t want to give too much away about this character but believe me when I say he will be one of those characters that comes back to haunt you at night, and when a car rolls past your window at night, Christmas songs blaring, you’ll think it’s him coming to take you to Christmas land.
My favourite thing about this book though was the character of Vic McQueen and how much she goes through. She has a really tough life, her parents do not get on and end up splitting up which leaves her dragged through a messy divorce, she believes she’s imaging her bike taking her places, Charlie Manx comes for her and from then on her life is haunted by children’s voice and she lives in fear that one day he will come back. Yes we see her making bad decisions and you can’t help but feel her pain and even root her on. Hill has made one hell of a character that leaves such a large imprint on the reader.
I don’t want to go into too much detail with this book as there is so much that happens in the 704 pages of the novel. Yes it is one long book but it is worth it to see the next masterpiece Joe Hill has written. NOS4R2 is a creepy novel that will leave you with a twisted mind. If you love horror, then you will need to read this book. On the other hand if you do like Christmas, this novel will taint it for you for the rest of your life.
Thank you to Gollancz and Waterstones for providing me with a review copy.