Skip to main content

CBR7 #1: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Cannonball Read #7 has BEGUN!

My first book is Joe Hill's NOS4A2, which was received as a gift in the CBR Book Exchange this year. I was extremely excited, because I've been hearing really good things about this book, and I really enjoyed Hill's Heart Shaped Box.

The main character in the story is Victoria McQueen, called Vic by some, and The Brat to her father. She discovers one day that she has the ability to slip through space to find things, driven to wherever she wants to go by crossing over an old wooden bridge. Usually, she uses it to find items people have lost, but one day when she's a teenager, she uses it to go looking for trouble. As it always has, the bridge takes her to exactly what she asked for. What she finds on the other side is another person who also has a way to slip in and out of the world, but his activities are not as benign as Vic's. Although she manages to escape from Charlie Manx when she's seventeen, the rest of her life will turn on what happened that day.

Thus begins a tale that spans more than a decade and criss-crosses the country. I was very caught up in Vic's life, and really liked and identified with the character. She had a tough but vulnerable voice, and I was anxious to find out what would happen to her. I also liked the supporting cast quite a bit--her boyfriend Lou was a wonderful, gentle giant of a character, about whom I was constantly worried. Her son Wayne was also interesting in a quiet, self-contained sort of way. Maggie Leigh was wonderful, and I was sorry she didn't get more time.The villain and his henchman were both deeply creepy, though I would have liked just a bit more back-story about Manx.

The plot moved along pretty quickly, and at no point did I find the book dragging. It was quite a page-turner, and I was happy to be along for the ride.

Hill is obviously deeply influenced by his father's work (his father being Stephen King), but he has his own unique voice, and has managed to take a lot of the things I love about King (his relatable characters, clever use of language, creative ideas) and put his own spin on them. He has also managed to come up with a solid ending, for which I was grateful.

On the whole, I liked this a lot, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys creepy stories.

A note: read to the end. Don't forget the note on the typeface...I know they're usually boring, but this one isn't.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CR3 # 17: Mount Misery by Samuel Shem

Mount Misery is the sequel to Samuel Shem's first book, House of God (review here). It follows Dr. Roy Basch as he leaves the House of God and moves to psychiatric hospital Mount Misery to begin his psychiatric residency. Unfortunately, it turns out that psychiatrists are just as crazy, confused, and often detrimental as medical doctors. As Dr. Basch cycles through the various sectors of the hospital (talk therapy, admissions, Freudian Analysis, drug therapy) he is horrified to discover that it seems everything he is being taught is not only wrong, but potentially dangerous. He begins to fall into terrible patterns of behavior, mirroring the problems his patients are having. Each area is worse than the last, with one doctor who thinks the best way to treat is to be aggressively hostile, one who cares only about insurance premiums and efficiency, one who treats with silence and "regression," and one who thinks the only viable treatment is to pump every patient full of exp…

CBR9 #5 Borgin Keep by Ron Ripley

I've read the entire Berkeley Street series, as well as the Haunted series, and I think this was definitely one of the better offerings. This time, former Marine Shane and his slowly growing band of willing (and unwilling) ghost hunting allies face their biggest challenge yet. While the ghosts of Borgin Keep are both very dangerous and very evil, Shane also must keep one step ahead of The Watchers, a ruthless and powerful organization who find him to be a threat to their shadowy goals.

As always, for me the best part are the characters. Shane and his ghost-hunting partner Frank (a former soldier/former monk) are joined once again by police detective Marie LaFontaine, who is a very tough woman determined to avenge a dead friend. I'm not as fond of Shane's girlfriend Courtney, but I understand her uses as far as character development.

The plot moves along quickly, and I found this book a little better fleshed out than a few of the previous ones in the series -- while I enjoye…

CBR9 #3: Missing Wives, Missing Lives by JJ Slate

There's a lot of discussion these days about things that are dangerous to women--is it heart disease? Is it stress? Car accidents? Drugs? Serial killers? Trans women in bathrooms?--but it seems like one of the biggest hazards to women are the men in their lives.

This book details the cases of thirty women who vanished. Stretching back to 1976, and with cases as recent as 2007, the women featured in this book seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen again. For some, the legal system was able to prove a case against the men in their lives, but for others, the search for justice may never be resolved.

The amazing thing to me was the stories that the husbands gave upon their wives' disappearances. "So, you had a fight, and she just left the house--at 3am. In her pajamas. Barefoot. Without her purse, or her glasses, or her car, or her TEETH? Leaving her small dependent children behind. And you decided to say nothing for three weeks? And while she was gon…