Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Horns

Horns by Joe Hill

Publication Date: March 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Genre: Thrillers/Horror
Pages: Paperback, 416pp
ISBN: 0061147966

(Received for review from TLC Tours)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

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Excerpt from
Book Trailer:

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

The New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box returns with a relentless supernatural thriller that runs like Hell on wheels...

Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend Ignatius Perrish as the only suspect. On the first anniversary of Merrin's murder, Ig spends the night drunk and doing awful things. When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover... and horns growing from his temples. Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look, a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. Now it's time for revenge...

It's time the devil had his due...


The Devil made him to do it! Write a spectacular supernatural thriller that is. Joe Hill"s follow up to
Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts is somewhat of a departure from his earlier writing, which readers will truly enjoy. Horns is a gritty emotional thriller that will have readers on the edge of seats. With a heart stopping pace and a killer plot, this is one you won't want to miss. What more sinister character can you find than the devil himself?

Ignatius Perrish has a problem. After a night of debauchery, drinking, and cursing God, Ig wakes up to find he has horns growing from his temples. Unable to remember the events of the night before and with a strange woman in his bed, Ig is in for quite a shock when he realizes his horns come with some interesting abilities. Ig can make anyone tell him their deepest, darkest and most depraved thoughts. If he touches someone he can see their sinful past and if he wants to, he can make them act on their dark desires. Ig's life has been on a downward spiral since his girlfriend Merrin Williams was raped and murdered. Even his parents think he did it along with everyone else in town. Now Ig has the ability to find out who did it and send them straight to Hell. Will Ig embrace his new power or will good prevail?

Joe Hill has once again proven that he is a fantastic addition to the Horror genre.
Heart-Shaped Box was a horror story in every sense of the word and 20th Century Ghosts was along the same lines, but Horns is a totally different animal. It leans more toward the thriller or suspense category, in which Hill really seems to shine with this one. Though he may be following in the footsteps of his famous father Stephen King, he has certainly proven with this book at he isn't hanging onto anyone's coattails. He is an extremely versatile writer with a remarkable gift for telling a great story.

Horns is one of those novels that when you hear what it's about you might think it's one of those books where the protagonist ends up with horns and devilish powers and will spend the entire book trying to get rid of them and get his normal, hum-drum life back. That is soooo not the case with this one!

Ig is such a great character. He is so three-dimensional. Not only does he not want to get his old life back, but he truly embraces his horns and the abilities that come with them. He becomes a very strong and powerful antihero. Ig is just this normal sort of guy who always does the right thing and it never gets him anywhere. All it seems to do is get him walked on and suspected of murder in this case. But, when he realizes that he can make people do things. Things they've only thought of in their darkest hours, he relishes it. Even though he is akin to the most evil thing readers can think of, the devil, they will still sympathize with him, care about him, and want him to find Merrin's killer. When an author can make the reader care about a character who they know they should loathe, that's an accomplishment.

Hill has a very forthright and in your face approach with this book, that I think will appeal to a lot of readers. He doesn't hold back, but tells the story with a sort of abandonment you would expect from a character who has hit rock bottom in his life and finds that there is somewhere else to go besides up. I think this novel really shows the fact that there is at least a little evil in everyone. The question is, is that evil necessary to make the world keep going around? Do we need that little spark of something sinister to get us do things sometimes that we might not have had the guts to do otherwise? Hill did a masterful job of showing the reader the depravity of the world and those who live in it. What they think, what they would do if the conventions of society would allow it. It's haunting, it's emotional and above all it's a riveting plot that will hook you from the first page and not let you go til the end.

I don't usually go for books that portray the devil in good light or show him as a harmless, pitchfork toting cartoon character.
Horns shows the devil like he is... evil, sinister, malicious and maniacal and still made me like him. Not an easy feat! I really liked this book and I felt that it solidified Joe Hill's spot, as a master storyteller. Use a bit of caution with this one, it's not for the faint of heart. It's fast paced and full of surprises and twists. Ig is a fantastic character and the villain is down right scary. I recommend this one to horror and thriller readers and to those who are looking for something very unique and different.

Horns is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Joe Hill is the author of the
New York Times bestselling novel Heart-Shaped Box, the award-winning collection, 20th Century Ghosts, and a critically acclaimed comic book series, Locke & Key.


heathertlc said...

"he has certainly proven with this book at he isn't hanging onto anyone's coattails." I know his fans will totally agree with you on that statement!

This sound like a crazy book, but intriguing and compelling at the same time.