ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Joe Hill's 'Horns': A Review

Updated on October 20, 2012
Horns: A Novel
Horns: A Novel

Want to check out the mind bending madness? Click here!


Pages: 416

Rating: **

I must admit that I'd never heard of Hill until I came across 'Horns' in a $4 bargain bin. I saw the opportunity to explore some new writers without spending too much money. For some reason, this title, stood out and screamed "buy me!". While I didn't find the next masterpiece in horror literature, what I found was a story that was unlike any other that I'd read before. Generally, I can appreciate a different writing style, or an outlandish story concept. I can also appreciate a story that can keep my attention, whether they're gory, sappy or downright disturbing. However, every once in a while there is a novel that is so far out in left field that I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. 'Horns' is a perfect example of one such story.

Poor Ig Perrish. The lowly boy that was considered a little odd by everyone in town. Everyone, except, the young and free spirited Merrin Williams. When the two fell in love, they actually seemed to be the perfect couple. Until one night, Merrin's dead body is found by the old town foundry. Williams, the town sweetheart, is mourned by everyone. Even without a trial, the blame falls upon poor Ig. While there isn't enough physical evidence, Ig is a man shunned by the community. Forced to wear his scarlet letter, the best Ig can do is try to move on with whatever life he can forge for himself.

Now, almost a year later, the ever suspicious eyes of the town still glare in his direction. That is until he wakes up one morning with a whole new perspective on life. Ig wakes to a particularly severe hangover, and the blurred memory of a night where he did "terrible things", Ig finds that he has sprouted a horn out of each of his temples. Thinking that he might have some sort of disease, Ig decides to go get checked out. As he braves the idea of going out into the public, he is surprised that no one really seems to point out his anomaly. As Ig interacts with people, he realizes that he has an extraordinary power: everyone he meets can't help but be brutally honest with Ig regardless of whatever may be on their mind. Interestingly, those people have no recollection of seeing or even speaking to Ig. He'll also soon discover that by touching another person, he can see things about someone that they had hidden deep within. With these new abilities, Ig decides that perhaps he will be able to find out who is responsible for the death of his beloved Merrin. Will Ig be able to solve the mystery? Or will he be ever condemned to bear the cross for the murder? What kinds of secrets do his friends and family have kept hidden from him?

Let me start off by saying that I thought the concept behind 'Horns' was absolutely brilliant. It is by far one of the most interesting and original stories I've ever come across. Sadly, the story falls apart right from the get go. The story jumps often from past to present with no warning, which can be confusing. I'm not convinced that each flashback is beneficial to the story, and they are painfully out of sequence. At one point, Hill talks about Ig and Merrin finding a tree house in the beginning, and then at the end of the story, Ig flashes back to the tree house scene. It would seem to me that the two scenes should be closer together. On the plus side, some of the characters ARE well written and stand out. Ig is clearly the star, as he should be. As he grows into his new body and new abilities, you grow right along with him. What's interesting is no matter how he changes or how dark his thoughts or actions become, you always feel sympathetic toward him. You want him to succeed even though he has become the devil. Lee, the novel's antagonist, is also a standout for me. His sociopath tendencies are intriguing, and Hill pulls no punches when he lets the reader get inside Lee's head. One last thing that Hill deserves recognition for, is his element of surprise. Some of the revelations at the end were secrets that I never saw coming. For me, the moral of the story is that secrets are kept for a reason. Although, I really couldn't help but wonder what I would have done if I were in that situation. Do I really want to know a stranger's deepest darkest secrets? Or would I want to know if my family secretly resented me? I'm only awarding the novel two stars. Even though it shined with originality, and is quite thought evoking, it is weighed down by it's flaws. The story's lack of organization, and the fact the writing is pretty sub standard really prevents the novel's horns from growing into little more than nubs. The story would have fared better if Hill had been more organized. A clearer sequence of events would have improved my opinion of the story greatly.

Would you like to have Ig's powers for one day?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)