I started reading Stephen King novels when I was WAY too young (my mother thought Firestarter was a kids’ book because it had Drew Barrymore on the cover) and I have always enjoyed horror fiction. Is it possible to discuss Joe Hill without mentioning his father, Stephen King? Even if they weren’t related, their style and stories are very similar. I had high expectations of NOS4R2 after having enjoyed Hill’s earlier novels, but for some reason this one just left me cold.
My first thought was that this book was the most “Stephen King” of Hill’s books to date. There were so many elements that seemed directly drawn from King: the talisman of childhood revealing another world, the corruption of innocence, the horror within the everyday. But what really bugged me about this book was that it just seemed to go on forever. Once the story was established, it followed a fairly well worn path, with all the characters doing exactly what you would expect. It just seemed to me that a great chunk from the middle of the book could have been deleted without it affecting the story at all. I found myself putting this book aside several times and vaguely looking for something else to read, as I simply was not caught up by the story.
Not a terrible read, but one that I never really felt involved in.