Strange Weather is the novel I most anticipated this year and I'm happy to report that it lived up to my high expectations. It consists of four short novels, (Joe Hill dislikes the term novella), and I enjoyed them all!
Snapshot is a story about memory and a camera that steals them. Set in the 80's with a teenage boy as the protagonist, this story packed some powerful imagery along with a bit of nostalgia for good measure.
Loaded is a tale about guns. Joe Hill says it's not political, but I think that both pro gun and anti gun proponents will bring their own views to the party. I tried to keep my politics out of it and enjoy it for the fast paced horror story that it was. Oh yeah, and the ending was KILLER.
Aloft was the story of a man on a cloud. It wasn't cloud 9, in fact, it wasn't a cloud at all, really. What imagination and creativity this story showed! I can't seem to put my finger on why this tale appealed to me so much, but the fact remains that it did. It reminded me somewhat of Hill's short story Pop Art , in that the tale doesn't break its back trying to provide explanations or reasons why...it just IS. And what it IS, is fantastic. (Junicorn!)
Rain was my favorite story in the book. The protagonist, Honeysuckle Speck, was one of the most interesting characters I've ever met. She is so much more than what you first suspect and I would love to read more about her in the future. It's hard to say what one would do if the sky suddenly began raining sharp crystal nails. I would love to think that I would act with the same bravery and smarts as Honeysuckle did, but I suspect I don't have the strength. Hill says in the Afterword that this book was sort of his anti-Fireman story, but one thing they both have in common is strong female characters and I like that. I like it a lot.
I received a digital review copy of this book from Edelweiss, but I also received my own (signed) copy, (whoohoo!),courtesy of Joe Hill at a book festival. This gave me a chance to check out the VERY cool illustrations, before and after each story, and also the little icons at the top of each page. They give the book a unique look and feel.
I've come to love and admire Hill's work over the last few years and I think he has developed a strong voice, independent of, but respectful, of his father's. Strange Weather was worth every minute of my time and I'm sure I'll be devoting more time by reading it again in the future.
You can get your copy here: Strange Weather
*Thank you to Edelweiss and to the publisher, (who I unabashedly emailed for the e-ARC of this awesome book), in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*