Friday, August 17, 2012

Books read in 2012: No. 65 -- Horns

by Joe Hill

Started: August 12
Finished: August 17

Notes: This horror author recently impressed me with his debut novel, so I thought I would give him another try. The plot sounds a little simplistic but also somewhat intriguing, being about a young man who wakes up one morning to find horns growing from his head.

Mini review: I hate to admit it, but over all I did not enjoy this novel as much as the first one by this author. The parts I did like were all the religious allusions throughout. This was a much more literary tale than the author's first book, though it's still somewhat a genre tale, leaning heavily upon the horror genre specifically. The writing here is solid, quite good, well thought out. The characters are interesting, likable, though I felt not quite as unique as the characters from the first novel. What I really did not enjoy about this novel were all the flashbacks, even flashbacks within flashbacks. I don't usually mind flashbacks. I can hold back my sense of suspense long enough to make it through a chapter or two of flashback, or short scenes here and there. But at least half this novel was flashbacks, perhaps more than half, and that I found frustrating, though I will admit the use of the flashbacks did fit the tone of the story. There is a lot about religion within this novel, mostly about Christianity and Christ and Satan, so those with strong fundamental beliefs might be turned off by some of what they find here, though there's really nothing I read that was anti-Christian or anything of the like, nor was there anything that tried to rewrite the Bible. The religious aspects were one of my favorite parts of the book, and I enjoyed catching little things here and there pertaining to religion. John Milton came to mind more than once, reminding me specifically of Paradise Lost.

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