“Fantasy was always only a reality waiting to be switched on.”
Do you want to come to Christmasland? Where every morning is Christmas morning and unhappiness is against the law! Sound appealing? Joe Hill accomplishes so much in what I think is his best novel, NOS4A2. I love dark fantasy and this pretty much embodies why I love the genre. It’s the perfect combination of horror and fantasy with his creation of Christmasland. On the surface, it might seem like a childhood dream. But who could make a place like that possible, and what evil lies behind its creation? These questions only scratch the surface of what this story entails. This was my second time reading this book and it was such an enjoyable re-read. It will forever be a Christmas tradition for me!
Victoria McQueen may just be one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. I find her story so real and her struggles relatable. I think Joe created a very real character who’s a great protagonist for this story. Vic has a special way of finding things. As a kid, she could hop on her bike and drive across her covered bridge and be wherever she wanted. One day Vic happens to be looking for trouble and takes her bridge right to Charlie Manx’s house. Manx has a similar ability where his 1932 Rolls Royce Wraith can take him down hidden roads that lead to Christmasland. The main idea of the plot itself was compelling enough for me to fall in love with this book but Joe just immerses you in the world of the characters he creates and you really feel passionate about them, whether it be to love or hate them.
I’ve already said how much I love Vic and how she grows throughout the novel but I also have such a soft spot for Lou, and Wayne is such a little badass. While I loved the ‘good’ guys, I have to give credit to Joe for creating the vilest evil sidekick, Bing! His introduction into Manx’s life was pretty awesome, and he added an essential element into the story. The kids at Christmasland were so terrifying, and not to mention Christmasland itself! He created some beautiful (and not to mention creepy) imagery with his words when it came to Christmasland. And of course, Charlie Manx himself. What a great villain! I love the way he is depicted in the book. Manx creeped me the hell out! And the illustrations in the graphic novel, ‘Wraith’ give you detailed artistic interpretations of Manx, Christmasland, and much more.
With an epic ending and plenty of emotional scenes that tug at your heart, this is just such a well put together novel. Joe definitely lives up to his father’s name, and if I dare say, even surpasses *some* of his father’s skills with this one. It was my first book I read by him but as I write this review this is my second time reading NOS4A2, so I’ve read a few of his other books. I have loved them, and he is one of my favorite authors but I doubt that any other book could take the number one spot from NOS4A2. A must read!!