This took me awhile to get started on this one because I was initially concerned with its length. However once I got started, the plot and characters pulled me in and the book flew by! This is my first Joe Hill book, and it won't be my last. The book was well written; the characters were interesting, the plot well developed and the pages flew by like the Wraith on St Nick's Parkway! I alternated between the print and audio version, and the audio was awesome. The narrator did an excellent job portraying each character and I actually preferred the audio format.
Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author: Stephen King. Favorite book: Hyperion.
First of all, I'm a huge Stephen King fan and was curious what kind of writer his son, Joe Hill (Joseph Hillstrom King), has been able to make of himself. Is Joe Hill as good as The King of Horror? No. But is Joe Hill a good writer? Yes.
This tale is about the borders between the real world and our own imaginary worlds. "Creatives", such as the protagonist, Vic McQueen, and the antagonist, Charlie Manx, are able to find pathways from the real world into their imaginary worlds. Charlie Manx is a type of vampire that feeds upon the souls of children whom he kidnaps and takes to his imaginary world of "Christmasland". Vic uses her imaginary world to take her to places where she can find lost items. Vic, as a young girl, eventually crosses paths with Manx which sets up the latter half of the novel as Vic makes it her mission to destroy the foul evil of Manx.
What I noticed about Joe Hill's writing is that he certainly uses some of the same horror themes from his father's body of work. Notably, fans of King will see the allusions to the novels: IT, Christine, and The Shining. Especially, with IT, the callbacks to some hideous evil that snatches away young children; and a child that escapes who eventually must confront the monster again as an adult, was pretty obvious. Joe Hill is especially talented when writing action sequences. I was on the edge of my seat and completely entranced during many of those scenes. A few knocks against the writing is that some of it falls into tired cliche: the awful, terrible evil that is just evil for evil's sake. Also, the novel focuses so much on a nightmarish Christmas-land, that I really am curious what gave Joe Hill the idea for the story.
Kate Mulgrew narrates and does a fairly decent job. I really enjoyed her narration of the novel: The Son. There are points, however, where Mulgrew tends to get a bit shrill and default to a stereotypical-evil-person-voice when narrating the character of Manx. It gets a bit much at times.
Overall, this is a highly suspenseful tale and certainly entertaining; even if leaning towards typical horror story.
I love stories and traveling in a world beyond my own. I write them, read them, view them and now listen to them!
I've had this book on my shelves for years and even purchased the audible version to accompany it when reading. When it comes to nearly 700 pages, my mind tells me I'll be reading this forever.
Joe Hill creates a wonderful, immersive setting of childhood innocence, parenting and, well, terrifying shit. The elaborate work-up of following Vic McQueen throughout her life and into the trials she must overcome in all aspects really bring a soul into the story. Kate Mulgrew is a bonafide narrator and fueled the personality behind so many characters.
Also, seeing little Easter Eggs of names that tied into some of his father's work were fun to come across, making me wonder if they'll ever team up their talents on this path. Regardless, Joe Hill stands out on his own and is truly rising each page I read as one of my favorite authors.