“Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn’t tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.
Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. Mile by mile, the journey across the highway of Charlie’s twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.
And then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble…and finds her way, inevitably, to Charlie.
That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie’s unmitigated evil is all grown up and desperate to forget.Book: NOS4A2
But Charlie Manx hasn’t stopped thinking about the exceptional Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won’t slow down until he’s taken his revenge. He’s after something very special–something Vic can never replace.
As a life-and-death battle of wills builds–her magic pitted against his–Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all…or die trying….”
This book is awesome, and I have no words to describe how awesome the book is. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try–
NOS4A2 has the most interesting gimmick: inscapes. Shortcuts through reality that only one person can use, and using things that they love. It’s an amazing concept. And it is utilized perfectly in the story that NOS4A2 tells.
And what a story.
Family is the central theme of Joe Hill’s book on magical ways that take you where you want to go. As protagonist Victoria McQueen tries to do right by the family given her, villain Charles Manx makes his own family by twisting the minds of his victims. And as both go through a journey that juxtaposes against each other, they come to a head in the most expected (not a typo) and most action-packed way.
One of the reasons why I like the book so much is that it’s easy to read. Author Hill paints a vivid world where the characters feel fully-formed and never half-assed. The characters we meet are flawed, scarred, and yet we never waver from the notion that they are protagonists–even when we’re supposed to get mad at them, we know that we’re still rooting for them.
But it’s Charles Manx that really steals the show. He is a constant threat throughout the book, even during the times when he is absent from the pages. Death couldn’t keep him away from his prizes, and his unwavering belief that he is doing the right thing only makes his brand of evil all the more scary.
This is the first time I’ve read a novel from Joe Hill, but if this is any indication of how good the other novels are, sign me up for his fan club!