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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027

Horns: A Novel

Horns - Joe Hill One of the concepts that I love in horror is that despite all of the random chaos the universe contains, some of the worst evil imaginable comes from humanity. Joe Hill really grasps this in everything I’ve read by him, and I love to read more of his take on it. And what I love about Horns is that it really explore the consequences of what people conceive of each other and how deep evil cuts. That’s really the heart of the story. You really don’t want Iggy to give into this dark, twisted version of himself, but the circumstances around him unfortunately force him into the role. He’s obviously been through a lot since Merrin’s death, and having the court of public opinion constantly punishing him, it’s surprised that he didn’t ‘fall’ to begin with. It’s a thin line to sympathize with Ig, when he starts encouraging others to act on their dark deeds; at the same time, you want him to succeed and humiliate the bastard who killed Merrin. He’s a very pitiable character, and it works well.As for the flipside, it’s hard to get into the character of Lee, mostly because he’s a complete sociopath. At times, he does feel like a villain for being a villain’s sake, even when we get his point of view of events. But the interesting thing is that Lee so honestly believes that no person could be that innocent and good-natured that of course he’s going to hate Iggy’s guts. But, man, Lee is just such a creepster that you’re pretty much rooting for him to die by the end. (The friendzoning aspect with Merrin doesn’t help either.)I would have really liked to have seen more of Iggy’s brother Terry, especially in the flashbacks and Merrin. Merrin does come off as a “Too Good For This Sinful Earth” girl, but I did end up liking her. You get the sense that she did really love Iggy. Terry does play a large part in the plot, but he only shows up when he needs to. There is a little bit of aloof older brother-ness to him, but he doesn’t really play a large role in the narrative aside from the beginning and the end. I like both of them, and I wanted to see more.My big issue with the book overall is that…to be honest, weird. Not in that the concept’s strange, it’s just some of the revelations come straight out of left field. I really don’t buy the explanation behind Iggy’s start of darkness with the Treehouse of the Mind, mostly because it’s introduced fairly late into the story. There’s already a great explanation with Iggy being constantly judged by everyone around him, there’s really no need for a further catalyst for him to become a devil. The first quarter of the book feels like the start of a short story with way too much backstory to stand on its own, and the book doesn’t really pick up until we get the revelation of who killed Merrin, and some of the flashbacks go on for too long. (Side note, I like the little shout-outs Hill throws in; the one about Derry and Terry interviewing a skinny Brit in a leather jacket made me giggle. )If you’re just getting into Joe Hill’s fiction, I would recommend not starting with this. There’s good parts to it, and I did enjoy it, but coming into him, this would turn some people off. (Start with 20th Century Ghosts and then maybe Horns.)