Book Review: Horns by Joe Hill

Horns by Joe Hill

Publisher: Willow Morrow

Publication Date: March 1st, 2010 (first published January 1st, 2010)

Edition: Hardcover, 338 pages

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Rating: 3/5

Ever wonder what it would be like to wake up as the devil one day and hold all of his powers? Well, that is exactly what happened to Ig, and man, did he put them to good use.


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. . . .

Stephen King is my favorite author, yet this was only my first novel by his son, Joe Hill. I will be honest, despite my only giving this a 3 rating, I quite enjoyed the story. I was very impressed with Joe’s writing, and never actually wanted to put the book the down. No where in the book did the story ever feel to slow down for me, and I was a fan of the dark writing and story… and this was one dark, sick, and twisted novel.

Only real complaint I had is that I felt the character development could have been deeper with Ig and other characters, such as his best friend and brother. For example, there were some heart felt moments about Ig and Merrin, where I did feel sad and feel Ig’s pain, but it was more of the sympathy you feel when you hear of anyone talking about their lost loved one. It wasn’t actually  Ig himself I was feeling bad for.

Still, all the characters were all great, unique, and fit the story perfect.

This is a good novel, faced paced, lots of action, couldn’t put it down, and the story itself I LOVED. I will say it again, this is book is dark and twisted, with a sick sense of humor, and that was my favorite part of Joe’s writing. But something about it just wasn’t clicking. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think it was that I actually wanted the story a little longer, part because I felt there was more to learn of the story, and then also again back to growing more character development.

I still DO RECCOMEND this book though.

I have three other Joe Hill novels on my shelf, and the reason I read this one first was because of the film adaption coming out. After reading this 1) I WILL be seeing the movie and 2) I think Joe is great writer and maybe I just picked one of his lesser end novels. I have heard only great this about his novels, especially NOS4A2 – which I plan to read later this month!

Also, this book was seriously messed up in some parts. Like, it really makes me wonder what kind of stories King used to read to him as a kid? No way they were from Disney…

Hey, how awesome would be it King wrote children horror books!?


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