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  • Horns
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 26 March 2017
Horns is more supernatural suspense than straight out horror, and is also, at times, a touching romantic comedy. It looks at fear, secret dark desires, love, hate and death.

Our hero, Ig, wakes up after a night of angry drinking and sacrilegious vandalism, sporting a pair of horns. We discover that Ig is the primary suspect in the rape and murder of his girlfriend the year before. It isn't only the new horns and the old accusations that Ig has to contend with. People reveal their darkest secrets in his presence and often act on their darkest desires, and Ig is, more often than not, who they want to harm. Hill adeptly handles theological philosophy in an entertaining and thought-provoking way as Ig learns to embrace the demon revealing itself in him.

It's a fun read, which frequently soars above fun to become a great read. Horns displays Joe Hill's talent for writing the quirky and the strange.

A longer review will be posted on my blog soon - www dot carmillavoiez dot com

4.5/5 stars
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on 30 December 2013
Another great book by Joe Hill. It really grabs you from the start and keeps you wanting more throughout. It's written well and the characters are believable.

One day Ig woke up from a night of drinking and found he had grown horns. From then on his day gets worse and you get to find out more about why he is who he is and what these horns mean for him.

Well worth the read. Buy it, you won't regret it.
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on 2 May 2017
I loved this book, Joe Hill has a similar writing style to daddy. Not surprising, really, and I look forward to reading more of his work.
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on 7 November 2014
Saw the film trailer and thought I'd read the book first. By no means a great book but deals with heavy themes and certainly gets you thinking. An original young adult thriller.
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on 1 September 2017
Great read
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on 18 July 2017
Creepy but humorous
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on 29 September 2015
Loved it
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on 10 June 2013
Ignatious Perrish (Ig) is the prime suspect in the rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin, who died a year ago. No charges have ever been brought, but everyone, including his own family, believes him to be guilty. On the anniversary of Merrin's death, Ig goes out on the mother of all benders, urinates on the Virgin Mary, and wakes up the next morning with horns. He soon discovers these horns have the power to make people reveal their darkest secrets to him and after having some fun with it, he inadvertently begins to discover more than he bargained for about Merrin's murder. In between present day chapters, the tale flashes backwards to Ig's teenage years, telling the story the will eventually end in tragedy to explain what is happening to Ig now.

The story is a great idea and the sprinklings of humour are very well done. However, where it loses me is when it suddenly diverges to flashback and stays there for chapter after chapter with no warning. There is no segue, leaving the jump feel out of place. There is also a fair amount of what seems like filler. I feel the book could have been a hundred pages shorter without really losing anything. There is excessive description of people and events that aren't actually relevant to the tale. I found myself skimming quite a lot.

This isn't a mystery as we know whodunnit fairly early on. I suppose it could be a coming of age tale, but the flashbacks feel too disjointed for that to be fully realised. It seems like a book that could have used a firm hand from an editor. The sudden changes in setting, time, place and tone don't really work for me and made it difficult for me to settle in to the story and properly care about the characters.

The ending felt rushed and didn't offer anything that felt like a resolution for me. Not that I need everything wrapped up in a neat little bow, but we'd been expected to sit through a lot of ups and downs and excessive description for very little pay off.

With all that said, I didn't actually dislike this book. It had many strong ideas, the premise was interesting and the Perrish family were very well realised. It just felt like it kept "almost" being excellent, but stayed at "quite good" instead.

I've enjoyed Locke & Key - Hill's graphic novel - and I am happy to read more from the author. Hill is clearly a talented writer with a head full of creative ideas. This one maybe just wasn't completely for me.
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on 12 June 2016
Ig Perrish awakens from a drunken night and finds he has grown horns. Not only that strange things start to happen.

Joe Hill is Stephen Kings son so its no surprise that he writes horror. At times with this book I thought I could have been reading a Stephen King.

This book started of for me quite well and I was really enjoying it. However it comes clear about 200 pages in who killed Merrin, Igs girlfriend, if the reader hasn't already guessed. So I did think how can a further 200 pages be filled. I struggled because I felt the story was covering old ground and became very repetitive.

My second niggle which is not the authors fault is that the book is full of snakes. I have a real phobia of snakes and found I was squirming while reading and have to admit to skipping big chunks because of my phobia.

The story all came together and Merrins actions made sense with the revelation towards the end. The book was a lot better than what I thought it would be, but very over long at times.
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I think that Joe Hill has managed to tap into a genuine primal fear with this novel. What if you could read their minds with a single touch? Now part of you might be thinking, `this would be great'. But I'm going to have to disagree. Could there be anything worse than knowing exactly what the people around you think of you? I am sure the reality would be a lot like the situation depicted in Horns. You would immediately start to learn things that you just didn't ever want to know. I don't think it would take long to discover that underneath the thin veneer of society a lot of individuals are way freakier than they appear on the surface. Ig Perrish learns this the hard way as he descends into his own private hell. The good news is that the reader gets to follow him, every step of the way.

I should stress that it's not all doom and gloom though. There is some welcome dark humour particularly when Ig tries to master his new powers. He takes some amusing, if slightly petty, revenge against those that have slighted him in the past. I couldn't help but feel that all the various characters got exactly what they deserved in this regard. Almost without exception, everyone wants to see Ig just disappear, so it seems only fair that they get what is coming to them.

This is the first novel by Joe Hill that I have read and I was heartily impressed. The main protagonist is placed in a terrible situation and I was compelled to follow his journey. The novel is very dark but also surprisingly life affirming. There are some flashbacks that cover Ig's first meeting with Merrin and the beginning of their relationship. These add additional depth to the characters and made it easy to empathise with Ig's predicament.

At the novel's core this is a story about understanding the key components of relationships. The relationships between Ig and Merrin, Ig and his family, and Ig and his friend Lee are all examined as Ig is forced to confront the ugly truths in his life. Horns is an intimate story that provides fresh insight into the nature of love, longing, jealousy and revenge.

If you like the idea of giving Mr Hill's work a try you could do a lot worse than start here. On the strength of Horns I now look forward to picking up his other novels.

Phew! I managed to get through this entire review without mentioning Stephen King once.....oh damn.
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