Review ~ NOS4A2 ~ Joe Hill

Posted 20 April, 2022 by Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 13 Comments

Review ~ NOS4A2 ~ Joe HillNOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Narrator: Kate Mulgrew
Published by Harper Audio on April 28, 2013
Genres: Adult, Horror, Suspense, Thriller
Length: 19 hrs, 41 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Purchase
4.5 Stars

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews Horror - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Oh my! I don’t think I could’ve chosen a better *horror* book than NOS4A2 for COYER’s Outside Your Box Read-a-thon. I don’t read horror anymore. In fact, I haven’t read any in about 30 years so horro was a no-brainer when thinking of reading outside my box. While JHill didn’t shy away from the violence that defines this genre, at least in my mind, the story took precedence and it was a creative, creepy, and thought-provoking tale.

I’m not going to say much about the book because if you haven’t read this, you should go in blind like I did. NOS4A2 revolved around engaging characters – even the creepy ones – as well as a story that kept me fascinated. The imaginative ways JHill told Charlie Manx’s history and  intertwined it with Victoria’s was riveting. I admit to initially selecting NOS4A2 because the title invoked thoughts of vampires. And NOS4A2 did indeed include vampires. However, the vampires found within this narrative were unlike any I’ve previously met. But vampires they were. I was so invested in these characters I knew I’d be devastated should they meet their end and yet this is a horror novel, so… I will say the ending left me feeling alright.

As I listened to this, quotes aren’t easy for me to pull out of my memory. However, one thing that was said that stuck with me was something to the effect, “the difference between childhood and adulthood is the difference between imagination and resignation.” I kept thinking of this quote as Vic’s and Charlie’s stories converged, especially with how they did. Then, at the end of the book, JHill narrated an afterword of sorts and he said that NOS4A2 was essentially a story about the loss of childhood innocence. And that quote as well as JHill’s words have been marinading in my brain. Thought-provoking indeed.

Kate Mulgrew was the perfect pick for the narration. She embodied every one of the characters as well as evoking every emotion with her accents and pacing. She could make me smile while alternately making the hair on the back of my neck rise. I’ll always hear her gravelly voiced version of Charlie when I think of this book.


Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Brandee is a mom of 3 and a soon-to-be empty nester. She is also an avid reader, a genre omnivore, and a compulsive one-clicker - but she's in recovery. Besides being a reader, she's also a writer and hopes to divide the vast quantities of spare time she'll soon have between reading and finally publishing her first book.

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13 responses to “Review ~ NOS4A2 ~ Joe Hill

  1. Its good to know that one needs to go blind into this. I don’t read horror, but you definitely have me intrigued with this one here,. Glad this one was such a win for you!

    Lovely review!

  2. I’ve heard great things about this one but haven’t tried it because … horror. I’ll keep it in mind for a future challenge.

    Anne – Books of My Heart

  3. Stephanie - Bookfever

    I’ve heard nothing but great things from Joe Hill and now from you too so I’ll have to start reading his books!

  4. Jen

    Good for you, going outside the box. I don’t do horror, but I’m glad you enjoyed. I do, however, love the Netflix series Locke & Key which is based on a JHill graphic novel.

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