Author: Joe Hill
First Published: 2010
Page Count: 447
Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*
Rating: 5/5 Stars
*Best Book of 2015 on Without a Book
Horns will remind readers why they fell in love with reading.
*Sickening Villain *Engrossing Story
“The people you love should be allowed to keep their worst to themselves.” Ignatius Perrish wakes one morning with a very vague recollection of the previous night’s events, a hellish hangover, and two horns protruding from his skull. As Ig tries to make sense of the new additions to his body, he learns that with the horns he has a new set of powers. He wants to return to normal, but even more than that, he wants to find the killer of his girlfriend, Merrin, a phantom that has haunted him for a year after her death. If his newly acquired powers can help him find her murderer, Ig might decide to take said powers for a little spin…
What on earth did I just read?! A horror story? Ehhhh not really. A crime novel? That almost describes it, but that’s still not really what I’d characterize it as. Wikipedia labels it as dark fantasy. I’d label it as AWESOME. Hill has written one of the most demented, ignorant, psycho of villains that I absolutely wanted to see die a thousand torturous deaths (although I was very satisfied with the author’s choice for the villain’s final scene of the book), but that is not the sole reason this book works so well. Mostly everything in the book could happen in real life which makes it feel like a crime novel. However, Hill weaves just the right amount of fantasy by turning the main character into the devil so he can have his due. It’s such a nice little peppering of supernatural that you almost forget it’s there. Instead of having the novel be an extremely dark look at a vengeful boyfriend searching for his girlfriend’s killer, adding the horn element to the story infuses humor, magic, and even a bit of romance where there wouldn’t have been any. And to top it off, the devil is kind of the hero of the story; we are rooting for the eternal nemesis of God. Or at least the guy that seems to resemble him.
I could not put this book down and, subsequently, found nothing to complain about. The story is just brilliant. Events unfold and people say things that you just can’t predict which shock you and keep you turning those pages long into the night. Also finding out midway through the book that Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son kind of took the story to another level of awesomeness, even if he clearly doesn’t want to be associated with his father so he can make his own way in the literary world. Totally respect that, but still…mind.was.blown. Now I’ve got to catch the movie adaptation on Netflix (not that I have any hope it will do the book justice) and I will most definitely be reading more from this author. I highly suggest you do the same.
* Film Adaptation: (Starring Daniel Radcliffe, 2013)