When you read this novel, it will become clear why my headline is written as it is.
NOS4A2 is a story you won't want to miss. Well written, with a fresh, compelling storyline. A chilling start, and then it slows a little, but that is just necessary for information gathering, and character building--which all comes together with dizzying speed. I literally could not stop listening - everytime I put the ipod down to do something else, I couldn't wait to get back to it.
At times I completely forgot I wasn't listening to a Stephen King novel, but I guess it is only normal that his son would have picked up some of his style over the years. Joe Hill is an excellent author, as shown by his many publications so far. This one is my favorite.
Charlie Manx is a really bad man of 100+ years old, who loves Christmas, and claims he has to "save" children from bad parents by kidnapping them and taking them to his Christmas Land to live. Unfortunately, most of the parents are killed or maimed in the process, unless they are saved to be used for "fun" games by the children in Christmas Land. One of the children who Manx kidnapped, escapes. Known as Vic (Victoria), she was a scrappy, tough kid who had a knack for "finding" things that were lost -in a way that even she didn't understand. Her gift becomes more clear to her as she grows into the strong and determined adult who fights the evil Manx to protect those she loves. It's hard to write a review without divulging too much information, but I haven't given anything away here, as this is all information you get quite quickly.
This is the first novel I've listened to narrated by Kate Mulgrew--and what a talent. She has a real grasp on what each character should sound like, and puts her heart and soul into it. I will definitely check out other works by her.
I feel lucky that so many King horror stories seem to primarily take place in my state of Colorado (Misery, The Shining, the Stand, etc) as does this one. I can picture where all the action takes place, as they are loosely based on actual locations or structures, which makes them deliciously creepy to read.
A special treat at the end of this novel is Joe Hill speaking about his writing, some favorite authors, and a little about growing up in the King household. Very interesting.
When I think of all the times my sister's and I played in the Red Rocks caves when we were kids--and loved to see the bats that lived there--it gives me chills after listening to this novel.
One of this author's earlier novels from the 70's. I was happy to see this as a "daily deals" offering. Clearly not as well developed in his writing skills that came later, such as in Gorky Park, but a fascinating look at Indian customs and the damage that some bats can actually inflict on animals and humans.
The novel kept me listening even though it seemed kind of slow and disjointed at times. If you are a Martin Cruz Smith fan, or not, I would recommend it. I personally love to see what our popular author's work was like early on, and this is a great example.
One last note--the narrator, Richard Ferrone, is very good. His voice was almost the same in the 70's as it is today as shown in the "Prey" novels by John Sandford.
I love this author usually. Double Bind was great. However, with this particular novel he seems to have thrown some ideas together as he goes along. It starts out really well- fascinating account of an actual plane crash and followup of that story line and how some of the survivors (and non-survivors) were coping. But then, it kind of veers off into almost a Rosemary's Baby type story (for those of you who remember that early Mia Farrow movie.) It was like trying to combine two different story lines in one-and I thought it would have been a much more interesting story to stick with one. I was disappointed in the ending because it was kind of expected. Anyway, this author is very talented in getting you to believe that what he writes is very real. My only other comments are on the narrators- the female voice was too childish at times, even when not talking as a child. Also, as another reviewer noted,, the male character was confusing at times because he did talk about himself in a third-person context. It took me awhile to get used to it.