Monday, December 30, 2013


by Joe Hill

In 1999, when Stephen King was hit by a distracted driver and nearly retired from writing, I wondered what his faithful fans (me) would read if there were no more King books. Fortunately, his "retirement" was short-lived and he has provided followers (me) with hours more fun and fright. But I think King must have also considered this quandary during his rehabilitation and determined to fix that problem by subjecting his son to a vulcan mind meld. Writing under the pen name Joe Hill, he is King, but not exactly. It's like he wandered into his father's world and camped out right between Derry and Castle Rock.

NOS4A2 is brimming with flavors and references to his father's works: The Shining, It, Christine, The Dark Towers, Joyland, 11/22/63, Doctor Sleep, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, and etc. And so in keeping the King tradition, Hill let's you know where he's been and then takes you to a new place; and here it's Christmasland, and yes it's creepy.

NOS4A2 is Hill's It and Charlie Manx is Pennywise. For many of you that is enough said, but if not here is the low down. Victoria McQueen can find lost things, but not in the ordinary way. She can find them using the bridge of her imagination, which appears when she concentrates on a place while pedaling like a madman on her bike. During one of her adventures, she runs into Charlie Manx, who is "rescuing" children from their unfit parents, using a similar technique as Vic, only his transport is a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith sporting the license plate NOS4A2 (nosferatu=vampire). Although Vic slips through Manx's fingers as a teen, he is not finished with her. Years later, he returns for revenge. Let the battle begin!

Any fan of those early Stephen King's (and some of the newer ones) will love this book. If you're afraid of the dark, skip it.

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