Sunday, February 10, 2013

Horns - Review

Title: Horns
Author: Joe Hill
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:

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 thoughts:

I loved it!  I am such a little horror freak.  I have loved Stephen Kings books since sixth grade, and I have never stopped enjoying them.  I didn't want to read this book and think the whole time how Joe Hill is Stephen King's son - I didn't want to compare like that, it seems unfair.  I was able to forget that fact most of the book, with the exception of a few times, when you could just tell he is the King's son.  

Ig's story is a sad one - the girl he loved for most of his life is brutally raped and killed. And he is the main suspect.  Ig had always been a good boy. He was the kid who followed his parent's orders, never caused trouble, was a good Christian who went to church and prayed, and believed in the good in everyone.  After Merrin's death however, he was no longer the golden child around town - people kept their feelings to themselves, but inwardly, they resented and reviled Ig, thinking that he had gotten away with murder. And if Ig was the town's golden boy, Merrin was their golden girl.  

When Ig suddenly wakes up with horns and new powers, he learns truths that had been buried inside people, the things they keep to themselves.  And he learns what really happened the night Merrin was killed. 

This book is not all sadness and horror - there is some levity to the story, although there are two scenes that really bothered me.  One I had to even skip a few pages past. There was a reference to Bangor, Maine, and a reference to Carrie.  And there are a few sentences that to me, smacked so much of King. Ig is talking to his current girlfriend Glenna. He is telling her to leave the town, change her life, make something of herself.  And then Ig says "Go on now, Glenna. Rearview mirror. " I just sounds to me so King-like, perhaps he helped Joe craft it. 

I only had one question that I felt never was resolved enough for me- why did Ig develop these powers and horns in the first place?

I loved this book - I think Hill took this genre by the horns, the very genre his father is master of, and proved himself to be an outstanding author in his own right. 

Don't forget to enter my giveaway, part of the Literary Blog Hop! You could win a hardcover copy of Call of the Wild by Jack London. 


  1. Great review! I may have loved Hill's collection, 20th Century Ghost, a bit more, but that's because I really like my horror stories to be short. They scare me more! Heart-Shaped Box is great as well. I'm glad you enjoyed Horns!

  2. "I only had one question that I felt never was resolved enough for me- why did Ig develop these powers and horns in the first place?"

    *Spoiler alert* It was because of what he did in the Treehouse of the Mind – it's strongly implied that the figurines at the altar represented himself, Terry, Merrin and Lee. He broke the angel that represented himself and replaced its head with that of the devil. It seems that the Treehouse had some sort of reality-warping power.

    1. I thought it had something to do with that!! That makes so much sense! Thanks so much for letting me know!


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