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4.5 out of 5 stars237
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 25 December 2014
A brilliantly told story! Since his debut novel, Heart Shaped Box, Joe Hill has gone from from strength to strength. And is he ever his father's son.
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on 16 December 2013
An interesting story, which was well worth the read. I felt the characters could have been stronger, but this was still a good book and I enjoyed it.
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on 24 June 2013
If it didn't quite reach the heights of Heart Shaped Box or Horns, it is still ten times better than anything else out there. Joe Hill, I salute you.
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Really enjoyed this book. Hallmarks of his father, Stephen. Kept going throughout and will definitely read his other books!!! Excellent stuff!
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on 15 March 2015
This is a well written and well characterised story that kept me entertained throughout. Fantastic fun! I am looking forward to the next one.
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on 7 May 2014
I Came across this on a recommendation, so far it's a great read IMO.

Looking forward to reading some more books from Joe Hill.
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... or perhaps not, you may think, after reading this book.

Before I review it, I need to apologise to Mr Hill for not really liking his last book, and so taking a while to get round to reading this one. When I did, I could hardly put it down. It was, indeed, as though Charlie Manx's devilish car had a grip on my soul and kept me reading.

Hill just spins a wonderful, creepy, yet compassionate story. His heroine, Vic McQueen, is a troubled woman from a disturbed home. As a girl, she escaped into the woods on her bicycle and found that she could go to places and find things, in a slightly weird way. But the experience damaged her, as, in this book, it damages all those who have that gift. Including Mr Manx, who trawls the roads in his terrible, sort-of-alive, vintage Rolls Royce, sweeping up children and taking them to Christmasland where the fun never ends!

Does that sound good? What could be wrong with endless fun? Charlie Manx doesn't hurt the kids, certainly not. You mustn't believe lying stories put about by that nasty Vic McQueen. No, good old Charlie wants to keep the youngsters safe from the adult world, safe from their parents. And if a few heads get broken along the way, if he has to get his Gasmask Man to take care of their mothers, that's probably for the best...

At the climax of this book you'll be shouting for Vic as she engages in a desperate duel with Manx, surely one of the creepiest, most plausible villains this side of Dr Frankenstein - all the worse for what may have been good intentions at the start. Hill is simply superlative in portraying both him and Vic. She is flawed, too, damaged by that childhood (too many bats have flown out the bridge), not an easy person, often wrong, but also deeply sympathetic, determined to save her son, resourceful and witty. Towards the end even Manx respects her, I think.

Along the way we meet other perfectly realised characters. Lou, who is far from perfect, but deeply admirable. A librarian, who comes close to rivalling Vic for general attitude and heroics. She also travels the "inscapes" and pays the same prices as Vic, and manx - her heroics come at a cost. (You can't fault a book with a psychic librarian). The Gasmask Man himself, almost as much a monster as Manx (or maybe worse?) still gets some sympathy (though perhaps he gave Hill a does of his "gingerbread smoke"?)

From the opening page to the final, chilling twist, this book is enthralling. Get aboard Hill's ride, and it won't let go of you till you've reached your destination. Will you still have an appetite then for year round carols and holly, candy canes and jolly songs? Seriously, I know people who are saving this book up for Christmas. I'm not sure that's such a good idea...
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on 20 August 2013
The book was fantastic. I couldn't wouldn't put it down. I read the book in just two days. Cannot wit to read another of JOE HILLS BOOK!
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on 12 June 2013
Excellent story. Believable characters. All you would expect and want from a King:-)
Going to have to purchase his other tales now!!
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on 17 December 2015
Read on the recommendation of a friend and the realised the author is Stephen Kings son. Following in his fathers footsteps for sure!!
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