Horns by Joe Hill

Horns by Joe Hill

Horns! I’m so glad I liked you!

Before I get started, ya’ll should go read Kayleigh’s review, because she’s better at saying things and her review is what led me to seek this book out.

Alright, so Iggy Perrish is a good rich kid and living a relatively happy life, until one day is girlfriend Merrin is brutally murdered and Iggy is the prime suspect. He’s never actually arrested or charged, but it’s one of those “you know he did it” kind of situations. Everyone in his small town assumes that his parents pulled strings to get him off the hook. But he really didn’t murder her, and has spent the last year in misery. On the anniversary of Merrin’s death, he gets wasted and does bad things and wakes up – with horns growing out of his head. And all of the sudden, people are telling him things – their darkest thoughts and urges come spilling out of their mouths just at the sight of him. He thinks he’s going crazy, until he realizes that the horns and their power are real, and he might be able to use it to find Merrin’s real killer.

You guys, this book. Initially, it was really the shock factor that sucked me in. People just blabbing all of their horrible thoughts to Iggy, all of their most terrible secrets. That shit was crazy. And then the story progresses and you learn more about Iggy and Merrin’s epic romance and the gruesome details about her murder, and you see how tortured Iggy is over losing her. It’s all very tragic, with the tiniest hint of dark comedy to it. As far as supernatural thrillers / dark fantasty novels go, this one was superb. It was hard to put down. I liked that it was a story of revenge, more than redemption, but also a story about blurred lines. Sometimes the devil works in mysterious ways too, and the end result isn’t always terrible. I’m not being a spokesperson for Satan here – I’m an atheist. I just liked that there were so many gray ethical areas.

Also, Joe Hill has a famous author father*, and not to compare the two… but so far I prefer Joe Hill. I’ve read slightly more of his dad’s books, but this one book was more interesting and engaging and just better than those. And I think their work is different enough that you wouldn’t necessarily connect the two unless you knew about it ahead of time, which I did. I’ll continue to read both of them though. I’m REALLY looking forward to reading NOS4A2. I’m finally finding my dark thriller / horror groove, I guess.

Sarah Says: 4 stars

* I’m not going to name his father here, in case you don’t want to know. You could easily google Joe Hill and find out for yourself if you wanna.

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24 comments

  1. Horns was the first Joe Hill I read, and I keep meaning to pick up his others but it just hasn’t happened yet. (Though now that I’m thinking about it, I think he’s one of those authors who never made it onto the appropriate tab on my spreadsheet… my crazy organizational skills only work when I’m not lazy about it…)

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  2. I’ve passed this one by SO MANY TIMES in the bookstore … it’s been available at a crazy low price, but I still don’t buy it. I’ve read one Joe Hill and I felt like he was trying too hard to be like his dad BUT I do intend to read some more of his stuff so I’m not basing that idea on one book. I’ll have to try this one out!

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  3. So glad to hear you liked it!

    “I’m not being a spokesperson for Satan here – I’m an atheist.” << I laughed

    I really lived the revenge/dark fantasy/grey ethics of this book too, I think it was probably why I loved the book so much. It wasn't an unheard of concept – well, except the horns, that was a pretty unique addition – but it could have played out a lot more familiarly.

    I bought NOS4R2 a few weeks ago and I desperately want to read it. Interesting factoid, in Australia it's titled NOS4R2 not NOS4A2. I guess it's a pronunciation thing?

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    1. Strange! I think I like the NOS4A2 better, because you kind of get the “r” sound already from the 4. Ohhhhh, or does that sound different with an Australian accent? (I’m bad at accents).

      I won one of those door prize thingys during the Dewey’s readathon, and I picked the last copy of this book. I can’t wait till it gets here!

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      1. I think it’s NOS4R2 here in the UK too, because we don’t pronounce our “R”s properly. 😀 I really want to read this book; it’s one that I’ve been looking at since it was first published. I read Hill’s “Heart-Shaped Box,” which was OK; I was definitely reminded of his father. This one looks very original and clever and dark. *resolves to look in the library.*

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      2. I just read the synopsis for Heart-Shaped Box and it sounds like something closer to what his father would write. I’ll see how I like NOS4A2 first and then see if I want to try that one. Horns was great, I hope you find it at the library.

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  4. Excellent, excellent review. I had such a hard time figuring out exactly how to describe this book. It’s a little bit of everything and then melds so well together.

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  5. I need to read this, for obvious reasons. But you know what I have to say… NO YOU DO NOT LIKE HIM MORE THAN HIS DAD, GOD SARAH!

    Or… you do and that’s ok. BUT IT’S NOT REALLY *glares and generally looks terrifying*.

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    1. But but but… I might? I really don’t know yet, I’ve only read two of his dad’s and this one of his. Clearly I need to keep reading them both. But so far liked Horns a lot more than those other two.

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  6. It’s odd, but you have a knack lately of reviewing books that I’ve either JUST read or plan to read in the next few weeks. It’s getting slightly creepy now…

    This is the latter though. It sounded kind of Dorian Grey-ish from the blurb, although perhaps not, from your review. Either way I’m really glad you enjoyed it.

    I had no idea who his father was until someone told me last week. I really respect him as an author for not trying to cash in on his father’s name.

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