I’m not sure how common this knowledge is but Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King and guess what, he writes too. I’m sure the name change was to help him get his work published on it’s own merits rather than his fathers acclaim but if you have seen a picture of him, he is the spitting image of Dad. Regardless, Joe Hill is here and is making strides to dominate horror as well.
I was introduced to his work through constant badgering and recommendations for his comic series Locke & Key. I feel ashamed that I had to be forced into that one because Locke & Key is one of the finest pieces of horror anything I have ever consumed. So that alone made me a fan. This whole time I had a copy of his second novel Horns sitting on my unread book shelf (yes I have a bookshelf whose purpose is only to hold unread material) calling to me. ”You loved Locke & Key, why not give me a try?” So finally, I read his second novel Horns.
The non existing, imaginary book voice was right. I loved Horns, just like I loved Locke & Key. Is it as great as Locke & Key? No, but it’s damn good.
The general premise is the main character wakes up with devil like horns growing from his head. These horns, he quickly discovers force people to be brutally honest with him. Oh and he was accused of raping and murdering his long time girlfriend. Trust me it’s very intriguing.
From page one it takes off and I couldn’t put it down. The only thing that derailed me for a moment was the constant use of flashback, and this is where you will become acutely aware that Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King. A longing theme of days con by with fond recollections from the characters youth. Sound familiar. Hill manages to make it work to his benefit however but I found myself rushing through those parts to get back to the main narrative.
Hill has two other books out and I think I will be taking the plunge on those as well. If you are looking for a quality horror read this season try out Horns. Locke & Key should be mandatory.
P.S. There is a movie coming out soon starring none other than Harry Potter himself as the main character.