Thursday, November 21, 2013



NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

Hardcover, 1st edition, 692 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by William Morrow
ISBN 0062200577 (ISBN13: 9780062200570)

About the Author
from Goodreads

Joseph Hillstrom King (born 1972) is an American writer of fiction, writing under the pen name of Joe Hill.

Hill is the the second child of authors Stephen King and Tabitha King. His younger brother Owen King is also a writer. He has three children.

Hill's first book, the limited edition collection 20th Century Ghosts published in 2005 by PS Publishing), showcases fourteen of his short stories and won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection, together with the British Fantasy Award for Best Collection and Best Short Story for "Best New Horror". In October 2007, Hill's mainstream US and UK publishers reprinted 20th Century Ghosts, without the extras published in the 2005 slipcased versions, but including one new story.

Hill's first novel, Heart-Shaped Box, was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins on February 13, 2007 and by Victor Gollancz Ltd in UK in March 2007. Simultaneous to these two editions, a limited edition of Heart-Shaped Box was also released by Subterranean Press; it sold out several months prior to publication. The novel reached number 8 on the New York Times bestseller list on April 1, 2007.

His new novel Horns was published in 2010.

Hill chose to use an abbreviated form of his given name (a reference to executed labor leader Joe Hill, for whom he was named) in 1997, out of a desire to succeed based solely on his own merits instead of as the son of Stephen King. After achieving a degree of independent success, Hill publicly confirmed his identity in 2007 after an article the previous year in Variety broke his cover (although online speculation about Hill's family background had been appearing since 2005).

Check out the author's website
Follow the author on Twitter

My Thoughts
Nurse Thornton dropped into the long-term-care ward a little before eight with a hot bag of blood for Charlie Manx.
Vic learns as a young girl that she has the unique ability to find things. See, she has this special bridge that she can ride across to wherever she wishes, and find things that were lost. One day she will need to use this ability in order to find her son, after he is kidnapped by child abductor Charles Manx, who drives around in a Rolls Royce Wraith with the license plate NOS4A2, grabbing up children to take them to Christmasland and do unspeakable things to them.

There were some great characters in this novel! I loved Vic, who is a very damaged woman, struggling to keep it together. Strong, tough, and loyal, Vic is one of those people who keeps most people at arm's length, but who loves and lives with a fierceness.

Lou is the one man Vic has been able to count on since that fateful day they met and he whisked her away to safety on the back of his motorcycle. A kind and patient man, he feels like the luckiest guy alive to have Vic as his woman.

Charlie Manx is a creepy character. The license plate NOS4A2 says it all! There is a passage where Manx explains the NOS4A2 license plate, and it sounded very familiar, as I seem to recall reading that the author had said something similar regarding an ex-girlfriend.
Manx said, “It is one of my little jokes. My first wife once accused me of being a Nosferatu. She did not use that exact word, but close enough...” (p. 56)
Enter the equally creepy Bing Partridge, and you have a dangerous team. But whereas Manx is a genuinely evil man, Bing is something of a farce-- dangerous, yet hard to take seriously.

But he most assuredly should be taken seriously. Him and that darn Wraith that Manx drives around in. That thing should definitely be taken seriously!

After Vic and Lou's son Wayne disappear, Tabitha Hutter is on the case as the lead FBI agent. I could identify with Hutter. She’s logical, something of a bookworm, detached from her emotions. There is a passage with which I could really identify, as Hutter was thinking...
His company did not cheer her but only made her more conscious of her own aloneness. Hutter had believed she would have more friends by now. The last man she’d dated said something to her, shortly before they broke up: “I don’t know, maybe I’m boring, but I never really feel like you’re there when we’re out to dinner. You live in your head. I can’t. No room for me in there. I don’t know, maybe you’d be more interested in me if I were a book.” (p. 589)
I "got" Hutter.

There was a great flow to the story. Easy to read, graphic and descriptive without bogging down the story in superfluous narration. And there were "aha!" moments as well. For instance, when there is a discussion of how innocence isn't what people make it out to be.
Innocence ain’t all it’s cracked up to be, you know. Innocent little kids rip the wings off flies, because they don’t know any better. That’s innocence. (p. 552)

It's one of those moments when I found myself nodding and thinking, "I never thought of it that way, but that is oh-so-true!"

My final word: This book is good, old-fashioned horror that is hard to come by anymore. You can definitely see the influence of Stephen King in the author's writing, as it gave me the same feeling as an old Stephen King novel from the 80s or 90s, like the classic It. Absorbing and imaginative, author Joe Hill has definitely found a fan in me! I only hope if I ever encounter a Rolls Royce Wraith, perhaps out on a deserted country road, all I see of it is the license plate NOS4A2 as it passes me by...

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher William Morrow, I have an extra copy of NOS4A2 to giveaway. This giveaway is open to US residents only this time. Just use the entry form to enter. Don't miss your chance!

I would like to thank TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour! Check out the website for the full tour schedule:

Tuesday, October 22nd: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, October 24th: The Best Books Ever
Monday, November 4th: Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, November 5th: The House of Crime and Mystery
Thursday, November 7th: Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity
Friday, November 8th: Drey’s Library
Sunday, November 10th: Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, November 11th: Entomology of a Bookworm
Tuesday, November 12th: The Book Bag
Wednesday, November 13th: The Reader’s Hollow
Monday, November 18th:  The Road to Here
Tuesday, November 19th: Olduvai Reads
Wednesday, November 20th: The Scarlet Letter
Thursday, November 21st: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Thursday, November 28th: My Shelf Confessions
TBD: red headed book child

Buy Now:
Barnes and Noble

Cover: A-
Writing Style:

My Rating:


I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel.


Dana said...

My favorite horror novel is a Stephen King one too: "It." This was the first Stephen King book I read, and it was also the first book I checked out of the "adult" section of the library, so it has a lot of nostalgic value for me. I also like it for Pennywise the Clown! Creepiest monster ever. I think I heard about Owen King being a writer, but I hadn't realized King's other son was a writer too. I keep seeing nos4a2 and never even realized the connection to Stephen King! Just makes me want to read it more.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Wow, this sounds like quite a creepy Christmastime read! Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

Emi said...

My current favorite is Joyland by Stephen King but I am already an amusement park fanatic and was thrilled that he got the background material right.

Unknown said...

The Stand was always one of my favorites as well. The realistic scenario of it is what always freaked me out. My other favorite is The Shining. Loved the book and the movie.