Monday, October 6, 2014


HornsTitle: Horns
Author: Joe Hill
Read: July 22, 2014

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.
At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin's death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It's time for a little revenge. . . . It's time the devil had his due. . . . goodreads

Review: Well, I've finally ventured into the son of the King's books-- Joe Hill that is. Most of you know he is Stephen King's son but just to clarify, he is! And I think that if you were to read this book without knowing that, but being a King fan, you would feel the whisperings of classic King. That being said, I think Hill has definitely found his own voice in the horror/thriller genre and I will be exploring more of his books. 

Now, my feelings about the book. I was pleasantly surprised with this dark little tale. I really enjoyed Ig, horns and all. The story starts off introducing us to Ig and we very quickly learn of the "growth" on his head. It took me a little while to understand if they were really horns or what was happening but we learn quickly that yes, they are really horns. We also quickly learn that he has been accused of (though never tried for) murdering his girlfriend. We also learn that these horns provide Ig with the power to see into people's subconscious so he knows what they really think and feel. Some people may think this is a very cool gift but in Ig's case, it's anything but. Imagine everyone thinking you killed someone they love and getting to hear exactly what they thought of you. Not fun. Ig also gets to see the deep, dark, and sometimes evil sides of his family and friends. 

This book is much more than good vs. evil, heaven vs. hell, light vs. dark. Yes, those are all important themes but I think the focus of this book is more on how each of us has a little bit of both sides in us and explores how characters choose which one they follow. If you think about it, that's what life is all about. The choices you make and how they impact your life. 

Hill does a phenomenal job not only of writing a novel with a lot of depth but for also creating characters that can pull on the heartstrings as well as make you despise them. Following Ig's story specifically, there were times I wanted him to make different decisions than he did but by the time I got to the end of the book, even though the choices weren't the ones I would make, they made sense for Ig and made his character more complete. That's the best summary of what I think/feel that I can give you without spoiling anything. Basic point-- READ THIS BOOK! I'm not even going to qualify that with if you like King, you'll like this because I think Hill has earned a name of his own. Good for him!

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