Joe Hill’s second published full-length novel, Horns, is a fun and original story that seems to be a joke a first, then turns into something completely different and terrifying, and then transforms into the unbelievable. Ignatius William Perrish wakes up from the night of all benders. He tries to collect his thoughts and recreate the events from the night before, but is unable to. He knows he drunk a lot, remembers next to nothing, and apparently has grown a pair of small horns overnight. The problem is every time he confronts someone to help him with this “problem,” they treat him like he’s the devil and pour out their deepest, darkest desires.
His high school sweetheart, Merrin Williams, turned up dead almost a year ago, and while Ig had the finger pointed at him at first, he was never convicted. Ig had been sleeping in his car that night after arguing with Merrin. But now, as Ig tries to find someone to help him deal with his horns, he finds most of the town still wholeheartedly believes he killed her. Ig feels like he’s the only guy who’s sure he wasn’t involved, and he plans on finding out who exactly killed the love of his life, even if the truth kills him.
Joe Hill has created a great, original story that could very likely have come from the mind of his father, Stephen King, but as the book continues, the characters develop and become more complex; it becomes not so much about the overall story, as what the characters choose to do and how they react. Horns then becomes a book that Stephen King could never write, but one that any Joe Hill fan will thoroughly enjoy.
If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.
Originally written on March 26th 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.