Horns by Joe Hill | Book Review


Genre: Adult, Horror/Thriller

You think you know someone. But mostly you just know what you want to know.
– Joe Hill, Horns

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. . . .[Goodreads]

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I would not expect anything less creepy, disturbing and strange from the son of Stephen King. I have to say this was not what I was expecting when I picked up this book. I have put off writing this review for a little bit just because I am still processing what happened and the book as a whole. I am not sure what to say even now. This book was a complete mind fuck (sorry for the language). There were definitely parts that were disturbing and a little creepy, but it did not fit into the horror genre the way I thought it would. For me it felt a little more like a psychological thriller mystery in ways. The whole time I was trying to figure out what was happening and was left feeling the same way.

I do believe that Hill has a way with writing that kept me intrigued and captivated for the most part, but also made me question his sanity. There was a lot of suspense and mystery woven throughout the story as well as some disturbing situations with some heavy mature language. I felt like it was a very unique way to tell a story that just did not work for me real well. It jumped from past and present to tell both sides of the story, which was a quality I enjoyed, but than as well it kept jumping around to all the points of view from the story and some background to why the people are the way they are, and explanation of their actions. Although I saw where he was trying to come from with these and how he tried to show all sides of the story, it became too much for me at times and made it a little hard to push through the story. Certain sections held my attention a lot more than others up until the ending where I could not stop reading because I needed to know what happened and how it would end.

All of the characters seemed to have some serious flaws and problems. As Ig began to understand what he was capable of the story started to unravel more and you learn more about each character and see what was the driving force of each of their actions. The characters were complex and some really needed some serious help. I did enjoy the character of Lee even though he was disturbed and needed to seek some serious help, I though that all made for a really interesting character. I feel like that happens a lot, the more insane a person the more intriguing they become. I did not feel any serious connection to the characters until the end when the story was unfolded and become more accepting of Ig.

Overall this was a unique, graphic and disturbing story filled with suspense and mystery. In ways it is really hard to do a review for this because there were times I really liked it and times I wanted to throw it against the wall. It makes you question the authors sanity as well as you begin to question your own. If you enjoy dark, ominous and disturbing horror about the devil I would recommend you give this a try. Also this is coming out as a movie, which I am really excited and interested to see how this book is portrayed on the screen. It also has Daniel Radcliffe staring as Ig!



3 thoughts on “Horns by Joe Hill | Book Review

  1. What a great review 🙂 I tried this when it first came out and I only managed about 40 pages before I returned because as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t get into it. I was sort of glad to read that it wasn’t just me. I’ve loved his other books, so I thinking all this time that maybe I was just in a mood. I want to see the movie but I feel as though I should try the book again.


  2. Pingback: Horns | Movie Edition | Falling Down the Book Hole

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