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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true wordslinger
Review

NOS4R2 is the latest book from the very impressive Joe Hill (son of some bloke called Stephen King), His previous books Heart Shaped Box and Horns both well worth buying and reading, in fact its the skill of each book that makes me want more.

NOS4R2 tells the story of Vic McQueen a young girl who using her own special gift is able to travel on...
Published 22 months ago by Parm

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Hill, less King
A bit like second albums by Stone Roses and The Clash, I was slightly disappointed after months of keen anticipation waiting for this to be published. I have enjoyed all his books so far, particularly short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, and thought that he had his own voice, although with echoes of his Dad. I think with this one, he has tried too hard for...
Published 15 months ago by Steve Kenny


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true wordslinger, 14 May 2013
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: NOS4R2 (Paperback)
Review

NOS4R2 is the latest book from the very impressive Joe Hill (son of some bloke called Stephen King), His previous books Heart Shaped Box and Horns both well worth buying and reading, in fact its the skill of each book that makes me want more.

NOS4R2 tells the story of Vic McQueen a young girl who using her own special gift is able to travel on her Raleigh Burner across a portal to a world hidden behind our own.

Unfortunately for Vic, she is not the only person who can cross between this world and the other, these worlds are also well-travelled by the evil Charlie Manx who kidnaps children in his black 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith after promising them a visit to Christmasland; a place where every day is Christmas Day and every night is Christmas Eve.

Both Vic and Charlie are vividly written characters, a skill that Joe Brings to all his books. We follow Vic through various stages of her life, in various scenarios, Allowing Joe to give the reader many insights into her personality. To allow a real emotional bond to grow between character and reader. You the reader are left fully invested in the safely of Vic, to the point the plot really gets your heart pumping.

Likewise, whilst Charlie Manx is the villain of the book he is also a multidimensional character rather than just being the bad guy who commits evil acts. Manx is delusional and dangerous, but also funny and charismatic (when the mood takes him). This makes his interaction with Vic all the more real, dark and unpredictable. Manx also has a sidekick, in the shape of his car, this is his means of transport, and his means of sucking the souls from children to spend their eternity in christmasland.

NOS4R2 is a brilliantly written tale of horror, compassion and Lost youthful innocence. Joe Hill's writing just gets better with every book. This book just keeps you going for every one of its 700 pages providing Horror, Humour and action from first to last page.

For a book that is not normally on my reading radar, I can't recommend this highly enough. I look forward to whatever Joe Hill writes next.

(Parm)
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspend all belief and jump right into this surreal, horror fantasy, 2 May 2013
By 
JK "J. K." (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: NOS4R2 (Kindle Edition)
If you enjoy completely surreal, off the wall, contemporary horror then NOS4R2 should keep you hooked. The plot opens up into a nightmare landscape where nothing is as it seems. A land where a little girl slips through real time on her Raleigh bicycle and a demon dressed in human skin cruises around in a classic Rolls-Royce. Along the way you'll visit Christmasland, where children are taken after they've been 'rescued', and be introduced to other sinister 'inscapes' including a cemetery, library, Sleigh House and a derelict, bat infested bridge.

The criminally insane, deluded, dead and inexplicable haunt the pages alongside the children living in Christmasland and they're really not 'nice' kids. Joe Hill has created a great lead character in 'The Brat'. Absolutely loved the complexity of her nature as she grows from little girl on a Raleigh cycle into a strong woman with her path drawing ever closer to the shadow of that diabolical Rolls-Royce.

Running centrally to all the madness is an excellently worked vampire theme. If you look at the title of the novel 'NOS4R2' you'll perhaps be able to work out the name of one of our most classical and disturbing vampires (if you can't, don't worry, it quickly becomes obvious). NOS4R2 has featured in many a novel and movie and was always the boogeyman who scared me the most. I'm not going any deeper because I want you to read the book and discover him for yourself. However; watch out for the 'Gas Mask Man' with his gingerbread smoke....you never know where he's hiding and waiting.

Joe Hill has taken classical/contemporary horror and mixed it with themes of adventure and mystery. He's created something bizarre, darkly comical and surreal. Fascinating to sit back and experience this wacky, wonderful, complicated novel open up. You're spun from one chapter to the next without knowing how you got there and there's usually something nasty waiting for you just out of sight. Be prepared for some of the hard hitting themes to reach out and batter you. This is a dark fairytale and certainly not for those of a more 'sensitive' disposition.

I only have one word of caution. NOS4R2 is a 'horror story' relying on psychological tension, eerie landscapes, demonic characters and the totally insane to give you a chill, make you feel uncomfortable, without any obvious shock factor. That's the point. If you're expecting a traditional slasher/shocker you'll possibly be disappointed. Plenty of gore, murder and violence that's often gratuitous but; this is a novel much more concerned with the slow unfolding of a story than one created just to make you jump out of your seat.

I enjoyed 'Horns', not so much 'Heart Shaped Box', but with NOS4R2 Joe Hill has shown real talent. I read the first quarter in one sitting. Didn't even look at the clock. Addictive.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic brilliant horror by the amazing Mr Hill!, 11 Jun. 2013
By 
RT Twinem "freeloader" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: NOS4R2 (Hardcover)
What can you say about a book that was so amazing that 2 days after finishing I just cannot get the images thoughts ideas and great story telling out of my mind! There are so many ways you can access NOS4R2 (R2 not A2 here in the UK) On one level it's a simple crime novel, the evil one Charles Tenant Manx capturing children and being haunted by our tainted hero Vic McQueen (affectionately known as the brat by her dad)on another level it's fantasy... Vic McQueen travelling across the Shorter Way Bridge, a covered bridge that flicks in and out of existence, to do battle with Manx and face her nemesis in a battle of good and evil in Christmasland, and on a final level this is a horror story which has at it's centre a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith driven by the evil Manx. I came to believe that the Rolls-Royce was the real star and in some strange way is joined in a kind of evil pack with Manx helping him feed of the children and turn them into a form of demonic child followers. It's the type of novel that totally absorbs you, demands your attention and in so doing rewards with a pulsating story and a list of characters reminiscent of only the best horror stories, my personal favourite The Gasmask Man Charlie Manx's personal assistant...and what a twisted individual he is :) The players and characters that fill the pages of NOS4R2 are in many ways as complex as Manx himself and all our tainted to some extent by their backgrounds and the paths they have chosen. Lou Carmody's Vic's part time lover and father of her son Wayne is a sorry and somewhat overweight individual, an unusual partner for Vic McQueen to have chosen. Maggie Leigh, librarian and friend, reader of the tiles and teller of the future has a constant and personal battle against her drug addiction, and Vic McQueen, our flawed hero, who alone attempts the rescue of her son Wayne, has spent time in a mental institution and endured a childhood in a family where domestic violence was not uncommon. This book meant so much to me as prior to reading I was fortunate to meet the author, Joe Hill, a true gentleman who appreciates his loyal and growing following here in the UK. His reputation and position as an author is now on the ascendancy and I look forward to his future publications. For lovers of great classic horror this book is the one you have been waiting for...read and enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Hill, less King, 14 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: NOS4R2 (Hardcover)
A bit like second albums by Stone Roses and The Clash, I was slightly disappointed after months of keen anticipation waiting for this to be published. I have enjoyed all his books so far, particularly short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, and thought that he had his own voice, although with echoes of his Dad. I think with this one, he has tried too hard for mainstream success and as a result has lost some of the freshness that defines his other books.

That said it is an enjoyable read, and probably deserves 4 stars-but dropped one because I was looking forward to it so much.

For a really great Fantasy/Horror book, try American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett. It has everything, plot, great characters and originality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a King, 27 Oct. 2013
By 
Siltone (Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: NOS4R2 (Hardcover)
I decided to read this novel during a period when I was recovering at home after a minor operation that required me to stay indoors for a few days. First off, I have to say that it deserves all the plaudits it has so far received. I'm not a huge fan of this genre (horror) but I do occasionally turn to Dean Koontz, Richard Laymon, and Stephen King and the like when I want to read something that will take me into the strange and weird worlds that these authors can conjure up for us. These writers don't just succeed in scaring the pants off us readers but are actually very good at just telling damn good stories.
From the very first page you are drawn into the mad, bad world of Charlie Manx. The central character of Victoria (Vic) McQueen is someone we quickly get to know and like. Her 'journeys' and consequent adventures keep the story rattling along at a good pace and as the story develops, you'll get to appreciate what an observant and skilled author Joe Hill is as he delivers such a cracking tale.
If you like King, Koontz and Laymon then add Joe Hill to your list. Heart Shaped Box was the first book I read by this guy and really enjoyed it. However, I think he has bettered that with NOS4R2. It's one of the best horror books I have read in a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hill's a Master, 9 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: NOS4R2 (Paperback)
I approached this book with a fair bit of trepidation and excitement: I'm always looking out for new horror, that can (hopefully) compete with the mighty King. I had been hearing good things about Mr Hill, and when I found out he was Stephen King's son, I was even more intrigued! I started reading NOS4R2 on a Tuesday evening, it was finished the following night. It's a wonderful, imaginative horror- and yes- echoes of King's voice can be heard, but Hill's voice is even louder. He writes like a true Master of the genre (Charlie Manx is a wonderfully well-rounded, disturbing creation) and, most importantly, he tells a great story. His prose is descriptive and concise, and the whole book is very well paced.

If there are any other readers, like me, who have read and re-read Stephen King's back catalogue, and are looking for something new, I can highly recommend NOS4R2. Also, King-readers, watch out for the True Knot reference (funnily enough, there's a reference to Charlie Manx in Dr. Sleep too). Relax and enjoy... it'll soon be Christmas!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time it takes to read., 27 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: NOS4R2 (Paperback)
I totally enjoyed this. Admittedly, there was a distinct lack of vampires, but Hill more than made up for that. I loved the character of Charlie Manx - gloriously wicked with wonderful graveyard humour (ha ha). I found Bing repulsive in the extreme, and the mark of a good author for me is that I respond to his characters with a degree of passion.

I really liked the idea that Vic could jump from place to place by riding her pushbike or her Triumph when she was a adult. There is a part of me that wishes things like that would happen in real life. Now that would make life interesting.

This is the first of Hill's novels which I have read, and after I have posted this, will be buying more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars King of the Hill, 22 Feb. 2015
By 
This review is from: NOS4R2 (Paperback)
I don't know if writing talent is genetic or not, but the quality of "Even" by Andrew Grant, the brother of Lee Child, suggests it could be. Further evidence can be found within the pages of "NOS4R2", whose author, Joe Hill, goes by the full name of Joseph Hillstrom King and is the son of authors Tabitha and Stephen King. He certainly seems to look a lot like his father, from the pictures I've seen and having been fortunate enough to meet him, so it will be interesting to see if he writes like his father as well.

Vic McQueen has a talent for finding things. Her little Raleigh bicycle can take her over a seemingly demolished bridge near her home and takes her to places where lost items have come out. Over the years, she has built up stories in her head as to how she found these items, but as she gets older, she becomes more and more unable to find herself. One day, she takes her bridge to a place where she finds Charles Talent Manx III, a man who has a similar talent, but uses it to take children out of the world, rather than bringing lost things back into it.

Vic is responsible for the arrest and imprisonment of Manx and, having built up a cover story for herself about those events, she gets on with a semblance of life. But she is haunted by mysterious telephone calls seemingly from the children Manx has abducted and taken to the special place he calls Christmasland. Even after Manx is dead, he continues to haunt Vic McQueen and one day he comes for his revenge and abducts Vic's son. Vic needs to find a way to get back across her bridge, somewhere she's not been for many years, and rescue her son.

"NOS4R2" is a genuinely creepy story. Whilst Manx never directly abuses the children he ''rescues'', the sense of wrong-doing that he imparts is palpable. When we get to see what he does do to the children, it's so disturbing to both the character and the reader that it somehow seems worse than the abuses perpetrated on the children by someone like the title character of Joyce Carol Oates' "Daddy Love". Manx is a manipulator rather than an abuser and the way Joe Hill draws him makes that feel even worse than some other options, especially as he holds his belief that he's actually doing good by these children and remains unrepentant throughout.

Vic McQueen is another wonderfully drawn character, as the damaged heroine. She falls apart twice, as a child crumbling under the power of the Shorter Way and again as an adult, haunted by Manx and his children. Her awareness that she has treated people badly contrasts brilliantly with Manx's lack of repentance and the strength she finds when the lives of people she genuinely cares about are at stake is powerfully moving.

Hill is a superb writer, whether it's genetic or not. There are aspects of his father's writing you can see here, in that he takes a long time to build his characters and makes you genuinely care for the people involved in the story. Vic McQueen's past and her descent into a kind of madness as the phone calls start are presented well enough that the actions others in the book deem crazy seem almost reasonable and Lou's devotion to her is apparent. In the same way, Manx's beliefs are so strongly presented that Bing's devotion to him also seems quite natural.

As a long time Stephen King fan, I did enjoy the slight nods Joe Hill puts in to his father's works. He references places his father has used in his novels and some of the things Manx's Rolls Royce Wraith does evokes Stephen King's "Christine". The largely character driven writing is much the same, as is the slow build and the way Hill draws you in to the novel and makes you care about his characters before he starts doing particularly nasty things to them.

Is "NOS4R2" a book greatly helped along by genetics? I don't know. What I do know is that it's a deeply disturbing book written by a great new writer in the horror field. Wherever Hill's talents came from, they're clearly on display here and he's certainly deserving of a long and successful career in the field to match his father's, to judge from this novel. If you're a reader who, like me, found the horror field through the popularity of Stephen King, you're going to love Joe Hill, especially with something this good.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant., 22 Feb. 2015
By 
Paula Mc (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: NOS4R2 (Kindle Edition)
'NOS4R2' is the story of Charles Talent Manx the third and his 1938 black Rolls-Royce with the licence plate 'NOS4R2' which spells out 'Nosferatu' (Charles's own little joke). Charles is The Wraith and a serial killer, he takes children to Christmasland, his inscape where every day is Christmas and children lose themselves and never come back.

Charles Manx must find an accomplice to assist him in kidnapping children from their 'monsters' of parents and there must be ten children taken a year. Bing Partridge is recruited after he replies to a job advertisement for a job in Christmasland. Bing is 42 years old and a murderer of his own parents and believes everything that Charles tells him. Charles offers Bing the chance to go to Christmasland, only special adults are chosen, they must prove their love and devotion of children, their protection and service to Christmasland, Bing is desperate to prove himself.

As Charles & Bing commit their crimes they never expect to be hindered or caught but then Charles meets Victoria 'Vic' McQueen, who has her own inscape and is the first person to escape from Charles which begins a chain of events for both of them.

I enjoyed 'NOS4R2' from beginning to end, what a fantastic read! I loved the story, Christmasland is terrifying, the idea of it gets under your skin as more is revealed about Charles Manx and the moon that hangs over Christmasland is one of many scary moments that you read in the story.

All of the characters are well written, you see Vic growing up, as she discovers her inscape, the shorter way bridge, a bridge she was forbidden to go near because it was unsafe. Vic discovers her inscape whilst riding across the bridge and thinking about her mother's lost bracelet, Vic finds herself in the place where the bracelet was lost, as time goes on, Vic uses her power more but she suffers for it.

I liked Vic because she is flawed and never denies that she is, her first experience of Charles Manx leaves it mark, it was sad to read about her addiction and experiences, finding herself living with the disbelief of others and then making herself believe that nothing happened to her which left Vic isolated, she wants to do the right thing, especially for her son, Wayne. I also liked Lou, Wayne's father, devoted to him and Vic. I liked that he was a nerd and proud of it, he strives to be better for Wayne and Vic, wants to do something heroic when he just does not realise that he is heroic to Wayne and Vic, he saves them both in so many ways.

Charles Manx is a memorable character, horrible and cruel but does not see himself that way, a charming psychopath who thinks he is saving children.

'NOS4R2' is a dark book with characters who are memorable, there is so much feeling in this book, you go through a range of emotions, you care what happens to Vic, Lou and Wayne.

Joe Hill is definitely a great author.

A memorable story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars ... know I usually do not read and review books like this, but I since I read almost every ..., 21 Dec. 2014
This review is from: NOS4R2 (Paperback)
Ok so I know I usually do not read and review books like this, but I since I read almost every other genre I decided to spread my wings a bit, and good thing I did.

For 700 pages it sure went by fast. But then it did have me at the edge of my seat wondering what would happen. What was it called now again, Horror Thriller Suspense? Well you get the idea. It will keep you interested.

The plot then. Vic can with her bike travel across a bridge and end up wherever she wants to. A bit how she does this is explained later, some have this power to do things. Some use it for good, some use it for bad. Vic grows up and falls in with the wrong crowd. Sex, drugs, life is s***. And then she meets Manx and is more messed up for life. Years later, he wants her son...

Oh yes, through out the book we meet Manx. A creepy guy who travels in a car and steals children to Christmasland where they get creepier than him. The mothers are killed too by his psychotic side-kick. Manx is silently creepy, like if you just looked at him you'd freak out and run. Seriously, ugh. While like I said his side-kick is a psycho and shows it.

Poor Vic, she really thinks she is crazy, and who could blame her. Who would be able to bike across a bridge and end up miles away? But she has some strength left and I liked to see her fight for her revenge.

Conclusion:
I liked the book. Enough creepy people (you do NOT want to go to Xmas land). Characters to root for (even when they f up their lives.) If you like suspense read it, horror read it, thriller read it. Or if you are like me and wants to try something new, give it a chance :) And get a bit freaked out.
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NOS4R2
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill (Paperback - 30 April 2013)
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