Monday, July 14, 2014

Horns: A Novel by Joe Hill

Release Date: February 18, 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Ignatius "Ig" Perrish came from a very well-to-do family but often found himself on the fringes of acceptance, both at home and everywhere else. The youngest child who spent many of his days fighting his asthma, Ig wasn't able to continue the family's musical legacy as his father and older did. There seemed nothing special in his life until the day he met Merrin. Inseparable from their first meeting, the young couple appeared to have everything planned with nothing but good futures ahead of them.

So it was until the night Merrin was found dead beneath a tree where everyone used to play as children. With fingers pointed at him, Ig weathered the brutal storm of accusations and prejudice as he struggled to find his way in life without the goodness Merrin brought to his life. After having a horrible hangover on the anniversary of his beloved's death, Ig discovered something about him was different and it directed his feet on the path to discover the truth behind Merrin's death and his new lease on life.

I have wanted to read Hill's books for some time now, but I wasn't able to afford them for a period of time. When I discovered this book on sale, I wasted no time in picking up a copy for my Kindle. The book's description intrigued me from the first paragraph, so I was excited when I entered Ig's part of the world. There's a sense of something stolen from Ig in the beginning of the book as the foundation of the story was being built. With each passing page it became clear how deeply he felt the absence of Merrin and how much of a toll the loss had taken on Ig and their circle of loved ones.

In the first part of the novel, a small cast of characters were introduced, but the spotlight shone brighter on a trio which included Ig, Merrin and Lee. The story followed the blossoming friendship between the three of them as well as the romance between Ig and Merrin. Even as their lives progressed into adulthood, the ties between the three of them wove their paths in and around one another until the night Merrin was killed. Ig's world shattered in more ways than one. What was good inside him died the night Merrin was murdered. Every day after was one day closer to revealing his true nature and helped prepare him for his biggest test. While not all of the characters were given a lot of time in the spotlight, they did feel real to me. Their emotional reactions to the events in the story made it easy to empathize with them, cheering some along while despising others.

With a steady pace, the story easily carried me along its tracks. Although I did expect it, I found the beginning a little slow until I reached the middle of the first chapter. That's when the first of many, many weird things began to take place and the story had its hooks in me. Each passing chapter introduced another level of either weirdness or background. Around the middle of the book, I thought I had everything figured out and tried to guess what was going to happen in the next chapter. Boy, was I ever wrong to try and do that. Nothing I guessed came to pass how I envisioned it. I'll just sit in the ride and follow along with the next book of Hill's that I read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. There were a lot of little jokes, cliches and interesting twists that I didn't find myself bored for a moment. I so wanted an ending that wasn't really feasible, but the one given wrapped up all the ends neatly and very creatively. I am looking forward to reading more of Joe Hill's books in the future. If you are a lover of the strange, the slightly outside-the-box or a time-defying love, this book is one you need to look into reading.

Horns: A Novel by Joe Hill is available at many online retailers and local bookstores. It can be purchased in hardcover, paperback, Kindle/e-book and audio book formats. Below is a link to the book's Amazon page.
Horns: A Novel by Joe Hill

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