I am a big Joe Hill fan. His previous novels, Horns and Heart-Shaped Box, proved that Joe is a masterful writer who creates not just great, pulse-pounding stories, but characters whose lives and deaths are really something the reader cares about. Those first two novels made me put Joe's latest, NOS4A2, on my "deliver to my Kindle the instant it's available" list. This was a very wise move on my part.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time recounting the plot of NOS4A2, there are plenty of summations of the story on Amazon and elsewhere. I will say that I found this tale of terror to be perfectly paced. At over 700 pages, it's a big book but it doesn't feel at all bloated. It's big and powerful and scary as hell, much like an old Rolls Royce Wraith being is driven by dead man.
Like all of Joe's books, it is the characters and pitch perfect dialog that make you buy into the fantastic world where the dead don't stay dead, evil smells like gingerbread and scrabble tiles can give you answers but never proper names. The good folks are flawed and the evil-doers have their own seductive logic to justify their actions and I am so glad I went along for this dark and wonderful ride.
It is a very rare thing that I find a book so good I buy it twice, but NOS4A2 is such a beast. After scarfing through the Kindle version, I saw the hardcover in the bookstore. The end pages and illustrations are both lovely and horrifying. And the final afterword, including a "Note on the Type" not included in the e-book, add an extra level of unease to a very haunting tale.