Top positive review
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Welcome to Christmasland
on 12 August 2014
I had to get my mucky mitts on this book when I had a chance at an advanced review copy, as although I have heard great things about ‘NOS4R2’ (the English title for NOS4A2) as I sit here writing this I still haven’t read it. If you are familiar with that book then you will be happy to know that once more we are back with Charlie Manx and his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith, abducting people to take to his Christmasland. The story here is great as are the illustrations and colouring used.
If you are unsure who Joe Hill is that is because it is a pseudonym for Joseph King, son of Stephen King, and there are a few references to his father’s work in this story, most noticeably for me the surname Claiborne stood out. Joe didn’t want to use his own surname as he didn’t want to think that people had ridden on his dad’s coat tails, but I think once you have read something like this then there is no one who can say that about this author.
In this edition as Charlie Manx takes a girl on her journey to Christmasland we find out more about him as he talks about when he first realised he had the power to create a physical reality from his imagination, and what life was like for him, how he married had children, and was conned out of his money in investing in Christmasland by a grifter.
After Charlie has made his delivery to his world he is off on another job, this time helping some convicts as one of them knows him and has called upon his assistance. When a prison transport van goes off the road the convicts manage to escape, taking the guards as hostages, and these people need Charlie’s help in getting past the police blockades. Of course going with Charlie may not be their best bet, as he is taking them to Christmasland. When the convicts arrive they find that there is seemingly no escape, and that is just the beginning of their problems.
Throughout this is macabre, indeed making you think of Grand Guignol, and there is a very dark vein of humour running through this as well. Will any of these people brought to Christmasland be able to escape Charlie and his children?
As an added bonus - if you like - whatever happened to the man who conned Charlie out of his money? You will find out how his life started and proceeded in this little added story. In all this was a great read that held me throughout and I will have to go out and buy at least ‘NOS4R2’ to read now. One thing as I have mentioned, I haven’t read that book as I write this but it doesn’t matter if you have or haven’t as this is easy to get into and is a standalone tale, so you could just as easily start with this book and then purchase that one to read.
I was kindly provided with a review copy of this by the publishers via NetGalley.
*I actually wrote my review for this a couple of months ago so that the publishers had a copy if they wanted to make any quotes from it. Since that time I have now read 'NOS4R2' and personally I think this graphic novel is even better.*