I think what appealed to me most about this book was the classic horror appeal it had. Joe Hill clearly knows horror and what makes it good.
Horns shares many traits of some of the best horror stories. First off, it's not solely horror,
it can also be heartbreakingly dramatic
and unexpectedly funny.
It also features the often encountered theme of the supernatural illustrating some flawed aspect of society. In this novel, we explore the nature of truth and lies through a young man who is slowly transforming into something very obviously demonic.
, Ignatius Perrish wakes up after a night of hard drinking upon the anniversary of his girlfriend's brutal rape and murder (of which he was the prime suspect). He notices he has horns growing out of his head. He also notices that everyone he talks to is less concerned about the horns and more concerned with casually confessing their darkest secrets and desires to him. Ig starts to think something is very wrong, but also realizes that his newfound "gift" could help him find out what the people closest to him really think of him after being accused of such a heinous crime, and maybe even find out what really happened to the girl he loved.
This is a superbly crafted book, an entertaining page-turner through and through. Very accessible for more modern readers, like myself, but accessible in general I think. It hooks you, startles you, intrigues you in dark ways, and throws plenty of curveballs that keeps the suspense fresh.
This book shows us, in candid detail, the dark side that more than likely does hide behind a lot of the people we meet in life. It's also a fun mystery and an exciting tale of vengeance. Like I said, more than just horror, even if Hill does keep that dread pretty consistent. Sometimes in the subtlest ways.
It also proposes some unique ideas about the devil, religion and even relationships, all of which I found fascinating and added to the overall suspense. The book also contains a brilliant depiction of The Sociopath
And, of course, I found the hero's journey to be endlessly fun. Even though I had some minor grievances with the end, it's a quick and solid read.
Basically, if you're a fan of Joe Hill or his father, odds are you'll probably enjoy Horns. I personally loved it.