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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-23 20:50
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill (6-Nov-2014) Paperback - Joe Hill

NOS4R2 by Joe Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Victoria McQueen discovers her mind can do something very special - it can summon a bridge that can transport her anywhere she wants to go. One day, in a fit of dangerous thinking, she finds herself within the vicinity of a very unstable child abductor; Charlie Manx. Escaping Manx was a turning point in her life, and now, years later, she has a son of her own, and Manx seeks revenge on the one that got away.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

Imaginative would be one word I’d use to describe this; crazy would be another. Not only does it implement so many different things, it does it exceptionally well. If I were to list off the elements that Hill includes, I’m sure you would (if you haven’t already read it) raise an eyebrow or two - I certainly did at first. I had no idea just what I was getting myself into, until it was too late and I was swept up into the mind blowing and twisted biography of Victoria McQueen. It started when she was just eight years old; a child that had a mind filled with fantasy, seeking some semblance of freedom upon her Raleigh Tuff Burner. I do favour tales than span a character’s life, from a young to adult age, as it truly highlights development and progression. The journey of Victoria was a rollercoaster of tragedy, and at times I deeply felt for her. This isn’t to say I particularly liked her throughout the entire book, because there were moments she was depicted as a very selfish individual, but over time, I came to love and accept her. Due to her trauma, life shaped her into a broken soul, and none of it was fair.

As for the numerous other characters, there were an interesting mix of personalities. Lou was a hero in his own right, and seriously a lovely person, whilst Bing was quite the opposite. He was the primary source of sexual violence, even if it was mostly glossed over rather quickly. Child molestation in fact didn't play a part at all in this book, thank goodness, so when I mention sexual violence, it relates purely to the abuse of adults. I just wanted to get that out of the way.

Moving on to Manx himself, he wasn’t my most favourite antagonist. I prefer the charming, deceptive sort of bad guy, instead of the Joker-esque insanity, however he was most assuredly entertaining. The version of his inscape, “Christmasland”, had an undeniable, nightmarish vibe to it, and every time more and more of it was revealed, I became increasingly more fascinated. He truly had lost his mind, and I often wondered about his origins and how he came to be. I'm going to come outright and state that he wasn't a vampire, but the play on the title was pretty much summed up in the book itself. Needless to say, I'm sure there's a significant amount of history pertaining to Manx, that Hill could delve into, if he ever wanted to.

Despite Christmas being a prominent theme, it in no way diminished the bleakness that radiated off every page. I found there to be a particular beauty in the dark atmosphere coupled with Charlie Manx’s eternally joyful outlook. I even appreciated the occasional sprinkle of humour, as Manx and his partner in crime truly weren’t the most coordinated of villains. The plot itself was padded out with unnecessary information, yet it’s something I’ve come to associate with works similar to King - and of course the son would be inspired by the father. Sometimes I don’t really mind the veering off; it’s dependant upon the overall story, and if I feel the distractions are worth the outcome. With NOS4R2, it was definitely worth it.

I expected nothing less from the bittersweet ending. I got an idea of what would transpire, and I can't say my prediction was wrong.

In conclusion: A masterpiece of weird. Vic "The Brat" McQueen was a star, in all her tattooed glory. I can't say just how much I loved it, and since it was my first experience with Hill's storytelling, I can't wait for more.

Notable Quote:

She had said she could bring her bridge into this world but that in some way it also existed only in her mind. It sounded like delusion until you remembered that people made the imaginary real all the time: taking the music they heard in their head and recording it, seeing a house in their imagination and building it. Fantasy was always only a reality waiting to be switched on.

© Red Lace 2018

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/06/23/nos4r2-by-joe-hill
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photo 2017-07-31 01:29
The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo,Jo Nesbo
Hector and the Search for Happiness - Fran├žois Lelord
The Leopard: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 6) - Don Bartlett,Jo Nesbo
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill (6-Nov-2014) Paperback - Joe Hill
How to Catch a Star (10th Anniversary edition) - Oliver Jeffers
Die Trying - Lee Child
The Wrong Side of Goodbye - Michael Connelly
By Lemony Snicket The Dark (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards)) (First Edition) - Lemony Snicket
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances - Neil Gaiman
Nemesis - Jo Nesbo
1st roll : ?8
2nd roll - Main street 14
Paradise Pier 30
Tomorrow land 36
Main Street 10
Cars Land 16
New Orleans 19
Monorail 29
Frontierland 2

Started on 15 April already. So I am a few days late. 

See details here. 




Rolled dice 1st on 17 April and got 8 .  Landed at Question 8 on the board. 

So a mystery novel. Started with Jo Nesbo "The Devil's Stars" 


Collected $20 at Start. 


See how it goes. 


Update: 24 April.  Finished reading The Devil's Star. 522 pages. Collected $5.


New Total = $25


2nd roll dice of 7.



Get me to Main Street 14. Read a book that involves oversea travel or has a suitcase on the cover. 


Hector and the Search for Happiness 192 pages. 


30 April 2017. Read the book. Collected $2. 


New Total = $27. 


3rd roll of dice. A 10. 


Landed me at Water Works. "Read a book with water on the cover, or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e., cries) because of an emotional event." 




Rain is water. Picked "The Leopard" by Jo Nesbo. 740 pages. 


Finished the book on 4 May. Collected $5. 


4th Roll the dice on 4 May.: 8


Landed in Paradise 30 Suspense book over 555 pages.  


Picked NOS4R2 by Joe Hill. Supernatural suspense story 692 pages. 


New total: $32


Read the book on 9 May. Collected $5.


New total: $37


5th roll on 10 May: 6 


Get me to Tomorrow land 36 


Read a book with space in the cover. 


Picked How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers. 32 pages. 


Read this book. Collected $1. Roll again. 


New Total: $38. 


6th roll 12: Landed Main street 10. 


Select Die Trying by Lee Child happened in small town USA. 557 pages. 



15 May. Finished Die Trying. Collect $5.


New total:$43


7th roll: 6

Land at Cars Land 16 


Picked Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly, story happened in LA California. 400 pages. 


2 June: Finished the book. Add $5 


New total: $48


8th roll: 4


Landed in New Orleans 19 


Pick a children book as I don't usually read horror. The Dark by Lemony Snicker. 40 pages. 


New total: $49


3 June 

9th roll :8

Landed Adventureland 27

Picked Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman 308 pages



13 June 

Read Trigger Warning and collect $3 

10th roll:11

New total$52


Landed Monorail 29

Have difficulty picking a book. Do not want to read Girl on a Train. Interpret that a book with car on the cover also fit. Pick "Nemesis" by Jo Nesbo 706 pages 


New total: $57


22 June 

Read "Nemesis". Collect $5.

11th roll:10

Landed Frontierland 2

Finished "Redbreast" by Jo Nesbo 636 pages


New total: $62


25 June 

12th roll 7

Landed in Fantasyland 9 
Fiinished The Unadultered Cat by Terry Pratchett 160 pages

Picked the Son Jo Nesbo 656 pages. $5


New total:$64


11 July 

13 roll 9 

Landed ?17

Finished  the Son Jo Nesbo 656 pages. $5 

New Total:$69



17 July 2017

Finished Headhunters by Jo Nesbo 384 pages. $3
roll 14:12
Landed Free Parking
Roll again. Got a 3. Odd number sent to WaterWork

Picked Blood on Snow 192 pages as there is enough water in snow.


New total $72


22 July 2017

Finished Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo. $3
Roll 15: 7
Landed The Monorail

Travel by air. Picked Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbo 224 pages.


New Total $74


23 July 2017

Finished Midnight Sun. Picked up $3. 

Roll 16: 10

Landed in Frontierland 2
Maincharacter is a shooter.

Picked Stand by, Stand by and Zero Option by Chris Ryan 416+374= 790 pages.


New Total $77


30 July 2017
Finished Stand by Stand and Zero Option by. $5
Roll 17: 7
Landed Fantasyland 9
Picked The Land of Stories Worlds Collide 434 pages


New total $82






Started with $20

1st roll 17 April -8
Landed at ?8
Read "The Devil's Stars" by Jo Nesbo 522 pages.
Finished on 24 April and collected $5.
New total $25

2nd roll 24 April - 7
Landed on Main street 14.
Read "Hector and the Search for Happiness" 192 pages.
Finished 30 April. Collected $2.
New total $27

3rd roll 30 April - 10
Landed at Water Work.
Read "The Leopard" by Jo Nesbo 740 pages.
Finshed on 4 May. Collected $5.
New total $32

4th roll 4 May -8
Landed at Paradise 30.
Read "NOS4R2" by Jo Hill 692 pages.
Finished 9 May. Collected $5.
New Total $37

5th roll 10 May -6
Landed at Tomorrow Land 36.
Read "How to Catch a Star" by Oliver Jeffers. 32 pages.
Read it and collected "$1".
New total $38

6th roll 11 May - 12
Landed Main street 10.
Read "Die Trying" by Lee Child 557 pages.
Read on 14 May. Collected $5.
New total $43

7th roll 15 May -6
Landed at Cars Land 16.
Read "Wrong Side of Goodbye" by Michael Connelly 400 pages. $5
New total $48

8th roll 2 June - 4
Landed at New Orleans 19
Read "The Dark" by Lemony Snicker 40 pages. $1
New total $49

9th roll 3 June - 8
Landed Adventureland 27
Read "Trigger Warning" by Neil Gaiman 308 pages, $3
New total:$52

10th roll 13 June: 11
Landed Monorail 29
Read "Nemesis" by Jo Nesbo 706 pages Collect $5.
New total: $57

11th roll 22 June: 10
Landed Frontierland 2
Read "Redbreast" by Jo Nesbo 636 pages Collect $5.
New total: $62


12 roll 25 June:7
Landed Fantasyland 9
Finished Unadultered Cat 160 pages Collect $2

New Total 64


13 Roll 11 July: 9 

Landed ?17 

Finished The Son by Jo Nesbo  656 pages. $5

New Total:$69


14  roll 17 July: 12

Landed Free Parking 

Roll again. Got a 3. Odd number sent to WaterWork

Finished Headhunters by Jo Nesbo 384 pages. $3

New total $72


15 Roll 22 July 2017:7

Landed The Monorail

Finished Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo. $3 

New Total $74



16 roll 23 July 2017:10

Landed in Frontierland 2 

Finished Midnight Sun. Picked up $3. 

New Total $77


17 roll 30 July 2017 :7

Landed Fantasyland 9

Finished Stand by Stand and Zero Option by. $5

New total $82

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review 2015-06-12 09:18
Nos4 R2 - Joe Hill

This novel blew me away. The audiobook version is nearly twenty hours long. I consumed it in a little under four days.


I couldn't stop. I WANTED to stop but I just couldn't make myself. I wanted to stop because this is a book drenched in sadness, fear and sacrifice.


I was living in the shadow of how bad things were going to get but I couldn't move away, not because I was fascinated by the evil in the book in some kind of ghoulish, car-crash-rubber-necking way, but because the book never extinguished the hope that good might win out and I passionately wanted that to happen.


The book also never left me in any doubt that there would be a toll. In this book, nothing comes for free, there is always a toll.


Perhaps it was because I listened to this book during long drives, but I began to feel that the book was the Rolls Royce Silver Wraith and that I was trapped inside it, paying for my ride by having my emotions twisted until the only option was to cry.


The book is magnificently performed by Kate Mulgrew, who I fell a little in love with when she was Captain Janeway, lighting up the otherwise unremarkable "Star Trek: Voyager" series. She brings power and passion to the voices of her characters and performs every moment of the twenty hour read with complete focus, giving the book the impact it deserves.


The book reminds me of the very best of Stephen King's writing: "IT" or "The Shining", but Joe Hill is not a Stephen King mimic, his style is all his own.


At a time when many horror/thriller books try to cram all the action into a few days to keep the experience intense, Joe Hill has produced a book that spans decades and is all the more intense for that. We see the main character, Vic, short for Victoria, grow from a young girl through to an adult mother and share all her traumas along the way. We watch Bing, a simple-minded man with an instinct for evil, evolve into someone truly monstrous over years and years. We see characters, once full of youth and promise, fall from grace and become the flawed adults so many of us are.


Joe Hill understands that good heroes have flaws but the best heroes have their flaws worsened by the heroics they perform. Vic's heroics are slowly eroding her sanity. Maggie's heroics cost her the thing she values most, using words well. In Hill's world, "with great power, comes great sacrifice".


The magical/supernatural elements of this story are handled perfectly. The iconography is original and powerful and builds upon itself as the novel progresses, The interior logic of the magic is remorseless. The magic itself remains sufficiently ambiguous to allow either doubt or belief.


The book is stronger for the fact that the "real world" is just as threatening as anything the supernatural has to offer, and by the fact that all actions have consequences. This is not a story where the heroine can sustain damage, then cast a spell or change shape, and all is well again. In Hill's world, scars are forever.


What makes Hill's world worthwhile is the love and the loyalty that the flawed, scarred, people offer to each other. They give meaning to the sacrifices.


You've probably gathered by now that I'm not going to talk about the plot, even though its a good one. I'm sure that, in a years time, I will have forgotten elements of the plot. I'm equally sure that I will remember the people and the emotions that they provoked.

My advice: let Kate Mulgrew read this book to you, but don't start it until you have many hours to spare and a private place to cry.

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review 2015-03-17 12:11
N0S4A2 - Not for me, thanks
NOS4R2 - Joe Hill

Brainycat's 5 "B"s:
blood: 3
boobs: 2
bombs: 2
bondage: 2
blasphemy: 3
Stars: 2.5
Bechdel Test: FAIL
Deggan's Rule: FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test: FAIL

Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.

I DNF'd at 58%. The last third of what I read I was literally going chapter by chapter, looking for a reason to keep going. I never got a specific reason to stop the book - Instead, I got to a point where I realized if I'm trying this hard to find something engaging I'm clearly not having much fun. I started the book with really high hopes from all the great reviews I've seen, I really liked the premise and eventually I developed a bit of a crush on the main character Vic McQueen. Overall, though, the characters felt like they hardly have any interiority - they existed to effect each other, but did very little to affect themselves. The only character who is making things happen is the Bad Guy. It's like a pool table - there's only one cue ball, the rest of the balls just react to what it does.

This book is way too wordy. With some proper editing, this could've been cut down to a shortish novel sized book and I'dve finished it and given it more stars. But it wasn't. It's not quite as bad as Robert Jordan, but very nearly. One example that had me WTFing out loud was the story of a night time security guard (think "red shirt") at a hospital. The salient part of the plot is that Bad Guy is going to make a move from point A to point B through the hospital. The part we get to read about is a whole backstory on the nighttime security guard, the intimate details of the sexual relations he has with one of the nurses, and his troubled relationship with his uncle and supervisor. I don't need to know all this, and if the author just wanted to drop in some prurient sex he could've done us the favor of at least writing explicit sex scenes. The whole book is full of pages of unnecessary backstory and color that are all well crafted, but so irrelevant they each detract from my enjoyment of the book.

But so many opportunities to provide meaningful and subtle dimension to the characters were skipped. The most glaring example that comes to mind is Vic's tattoos - she's got a number of them, and even did a sleeve after coming out of rehab. What images did she choose? Where did she put them? Who did the tats? At one point, we find out she has a picture of a V6 over her heart. Sure thing dear author, don't strain yourself too hard with that one ok? Otherwise, there's no mention of them other than to illustrate that she could be considered a harlot by people who don't know any better.

While there's way too much pontificating about irrelevant people and places, the foreshadowing is as blatant as young kids' lies. You can see it happening - somebody does something with something, and it's like it's lit up under a spotlight: "This Thing Will Be Important To The Plot Later". Yawn. Please, challenge me - surprise me and make me think. If I wanted to vegetate, I'd watch TV. "The Walking Dead" also uses too many words to scarcely advance it's plot, so an author needs to give me a better reason to read their book instead of crushing all over Danai Gurira. Related to this, we find out that the "find my iPhone" app can tell you when the device in a magical alternate reality - and even draw a map of the whole territory. Seriously? What is the name of the trope where the Magic Amulet solves all the problems and advances the plot through all the gooey Character Development and straight into Final Battle?

A major part of our heroine's makeup is her alcoholism. This is a topic near and dear to me as I have 6yrs+ sober. Her addiction was handled as a plot complication but I never got to know about her struggle and how it evolved her. Also, just out of a 30 day rehab and she's "working on her 8th step". I'm not an expert on 12 step programs; my sobriety takes a different path but I know from years of exposure that it takes many months of sobriety before someone is ready to do that work. This was yet another example of the author using traits without showing the proper research. To be fair to him, though, I see this all too often in books, tv and movies - recovery isn't portrayed well by people who haven't been through it. I looked up the author to see if I could find anything regarding his own experience with addictions and I discovered this he's the son of Stephen King. This explains everything; it seems clear to me that he learned how to write best sellers from his dad, and also picked up some of his dad's bad habits. He no doubt watched his father go into recovery and learned the lingo that way.

This is a very pretty book, a very easy to digest book, but it just doesn't have any impact. I'm writing this conclusion about a week after I gave up on it and I'm struggling to remember anybody interesting except Vic McQueen, who got shortchanged by the lack of character development. It's not particularly horrific, it's not particularly interesting and all but one of the characters aren't memorable. It is well written with a superior command of the language, but if I were the editor I would have sent it back for a couple more revisions. Overall, it feels like way too many pages of phoned-in filler.


EDIT: And once I post it, I suddenly remember who the Bad Guy reminded me of: His look and mannerisms are a total ripoff from Vincent Cassell's character in Sheitan.

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text 2015-02-12 09:14
Thursday's New Books - 12 FEB
Gridlinked - Neal Asher
Trailer - Edward Lorn
Reamde - Neal Stephenson
NOS4R2 - Joe Hill
Clarkesworld: Year Six - Neil Clarke,Aliette de Bodard,Ken Liu,Sean Wallace,Robert Reed,Kij Johnson,Catherynne M. Valente,Carrie Vaughn
Damoren - Seth Skorkowsky
Last Train From Yokkaichi - Alan Henry
Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge - Peter Watts,Mike Resnick,Laird Barron,Tim Waggoner,William F. Nolan,Stephen Graham Jones,Benjamin Kane Ethridge,Jason V. Brock,James S. Dorr,Jonathan Templar,Robert S. Wilson

Shoutouts to Grimlock for "Gridlinked", Char's Horror Corner for "Trailer" and Seriously, Read A Book for "Reamde".


I've been wanting to read "Last Train From Yokkaichi" for quite a while; it's just about the only book about F1 I haven't read. I was very happy to find it on KU.


I don't recall where I found out about Damoren - probably from a different site that rhymes with "wood bleeds".


I picked up another couple of scifi anthologies. "Blood Type" is probably all over the place, but it has Peter Watts in it and I'll buy anything with his name on it. Peter has been published in Clarkesworld several times so I want to try their latest annual anthology.

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