Saturday, May 29, 2010

Horns – A Review

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by PS Publishings for review.

Synopsis via

Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache, and a pair of horns growing from his temples. At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic. But Merrin's death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It's time for a little revenge. It's time the devil had his due.

My Review

Have you ever read a book that you have become so invested in, that by the time it ends you feel lost and empty? You try to find something to fill the void that has been created by this book but nothing seems to fill it; no matter what you read. Well this is how I felt about Horns. 

Immediately when I saw the title and the front cover of the book, I thought that the story was going to be just another fantasy/horror. However three chapters into the story, I found myself subscribing to the old notion that one should never judge a book by its cover.

The book started off weird, admittedly and that’s because the main character grew horns literally overnight and had the ability to negatively influence people’s behavior. Iggy Perrish could also see someone’s deepest darkest sins just by one touch.  Slowly, his superhuman abilities begin to expose themselves and then you realize that Hill’s protagonist is in reality a devil. He snorts fire through his nostrils and can control snakes. He uses fire as a healing elixir and ironically adds a pitch fork to his ensemble. However, this devil seemed different almost compassionate. Iggy grew up in a largely Christian home with strong morals and values and though he had a wealthy upbringing, his character was very modest.  When the love of his life is brutally murdered, all of that goes into disrepute. Iggy reminded me of the scenes painted in Milton’s Paradise Lost. He became an individual who you felt sorry for and at the end of it all he became a tragic hero.

Hill is definitely a talented author in his own right. He used a lot of back story and flash backs in horns that became pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. None of the pieces were predictable and when they were matched together you really began to understand and appreciate the story.  Also his characters are all bruised in some way and iggy brings out the worst in them. I particularly liked Lee whose back story led up to a mentally disturbed and perhaps psychotic villain.  The lure to the story is that it’s really well written. Horns is about love and loss, friendship and betrayal and ultimately humanity and because Hill tells it with an air of Mystery/Fantasy/Horror you become invested in every word.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from the author.

1 comment:

Mari said...

Thanks for the good review. I've enjoyed Joe Hill in the past and I'll add this one to my TBR list.

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