Christmastime? Be glad it’s over.

Christmastime? Be glad its over.

Cameron Bolton, Staff Reporter

NOS4A2  is a novel in which author Joe Hill is able to do something that previously seemed highly unlikely: make Christmastime frightening.

He does this in a tale that centers around a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith ( take a wild guess at the license plate) owned by a man named Charles Talent Manx who uses the car to abduct children in order to take them to a place called Christmasland, where it is supposedly all fun and games. Enter our hero, a woman who has previously encountered Manx when she was younger and now must do so again in order to rescue her young son. Like me, you’re probably thinking some disturbing thoughts upon reading the summary and I assure you, Manx is a monster, but not the one you may be thinking.

Here’s a hint.  Sound out the title of the book and you get something with fangs, a cape, and a really funny accent.

Previously, I’ve written a review of Joe Hill’s Horns which I thought was a really well written novel that had phenomenal character development and told an immensely intriguing and original story.  Although I did actually enjoy reading that novel more I still must say that this is a very well done  book. The whole premise of Christmasland and what happens there is frightening in itself and on top of that, I think that NOS4A2 tells a highly engaging story with great characters who develop throughout the novel.

I also like how he throws in references to some of his past books and the work of his father, Stephen King.  One part of the story refers to the gates to Mid-World (The Dark Tower) and Shawshank Prison. There’s also a part where a map comes up that shows Derry, Maine and a place called “Pennywise’s Circus.”

On the more negative side I admit there are a couple of parts in the story that come off as slightly hokey and your reaction is “only in a novel.” What I mean by that is there’s a part where Manx is at a gas station, and, by this point, has been found out, so he pours gasoline on somebody and sets them on fire.  Then, a while later, you have a character who blows up a can of pressurized gas with a lighter. Now that’s something that’s happened in so many movies that I wonder if it’s actually possible.

Don’t get me wrong, NOS4A2 is still a great novel and the good definitely outshines the bad.  I definitely recommend reading this novel.  If you enjoy this novel, Joe Hill has also released a comic book miniseries prequel titled Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland.