NOS4A2, by Joe Hill

NOS4A2, or Nosferatu, is the license plate of the 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith driven by Charles Talent Manx, the antagonist in Joe Hills third novel. Horror fans will recognize Nosferatu as the title of a German Vampire film produced in 1922. This is definitely not a hunting-at-night and sucking-blood type of vampire thriller though. Manx and the Wraith are more of a stealing-the-life-out-of-children tandem.

The novel follows the life of Victoria McQueen, who has similar abilities as Manx. She is able to create a bridge between realities while riding her bike. Said bike progresses from a Raleigh Turf Burner to a Triumph Motorcycle as 'Vic' progresses from an adolescent to an adult. It is not a surprise to see Mr. Hill use the Triumph in his story, as it is also his personal bike of choice.

Manx uses his Wraith to kidnap children and take them to his imaginary Christmasland, draining them of their life-force on the way. After Vic uses her bridge to discover Manx's hideaway, he ends up a prisoner. Over a decade later, he catches up to Vic, and steals the only thing in her life important to her.

Joe Hill is most known as the son of horror novelist Stephen King. He began writing and publishing under the abbreviated name to detract King fans from reading him simply because of family ties. "Coming out" has certainly helped. I personally would not be aware of the author were it not for the connection. However, his works stand alone and certainly do not copy his father's in any way.

There are some "Easter Eggs" for King fans in the book. The town of Derry, a fictional town in Maine used in several of King's novels, is mentioned. Also, there is reference to a creepy clown similar to Pennywise, the antagonist in the novel IT, which takes place in Derry. Hill also makes mention of Lovecraft, MA, the setting for his Locke & Key series.

NOS4A2 is a very good tale of terror. It touches anyone with a child deeply. It is also the type of book that is hard to put down and will keep you up late. After three novels, some quality short stories, and some excellent comics and graphic novels, Hill has quickly become the new King of terror. Or maybe he's 'King of the Hill'.


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PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Nice review. I don't read a lot of genre fiction but I do enjoy Stephen King and if Joe Hill learned from the master of horror, I imagine that this book is worth checking out. Thanks for sharing. I'll check this out!

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