Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Heart-Shaped Box (2007)

Author: Joe Hill | Page Count: 400

"A girl, walking beside a taller boy who sported a yellow bow tie, shrank back against her companion as they went past. Bow Tie put a comforting arm around her shoulders. Jude did not flip them off and then drove for a few blocks feeling good about himself, proud of his restraint. His self-control, it was like iron."

I'm a huge fan of Joe Hill's contributions to the comic world- I think Locke & Key is probably the best comic being published right now- so I was anxious to check out one of his novels as well. I started with Heart-Shaped Box, a novel about an aging musician who finds himself being haunted after purchasing a dead man's suit on the internet. The book started out as a pure horror tale, and had some wonderfully creepy moments, but soon, it became more of a redemption tale than anything else. But as the book became less scary, its characters grew stronger, and it was a gripping read throughout.

At times, I wanted to scream at the characters for failing to put certain pieces of the story together, but the book was involving even when I could tell exactly where it was going. The surprises that do happen are mostly small, but those moments feel special, and give the book's cast more depth. I found the ending to be a little bit unsatisfying. This is partly because figuring things out ahead of time meant that there was no grand reveal scene, but also because it just wasn't my sort of ending, and I suspect many readers will be pleased that things pan out the way they do. All in all, this is a solid debut novel, and I may dive into Hill's second book tonight.

3.5 girls named after states out of 5.

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