Raven Review: Horns by Joe Hill
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from library; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: At first Ig thought the
horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and
grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory,
following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and
murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have
been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural
about the horns, which were all too real.
Once the righteous Ig
had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son
of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV
star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.
Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was
never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public
opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty
because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the
investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters.
Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is,
but the devil inside. . . .
Now Ig is possessed of a terrible
new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends
to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life.
Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a
little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. . .
Review: The official summary for this book is quite long, so I will try not to waste a lot of time describing actual moments from the book. Instead, I just want you all to know that I absolutely loved this book. I’ve been wanting to read something by Joe Hill for awhile now (I even own Heart-Shaped Box) but it took realizing that the movie adaptation is fast approaching for me to grab a copy of Horns from the library. I’m a huge fan of Dan Radcliffe and I try and see anything he is in, so I was excited to learn he would be playing the title character, Ig, in the movie. After reading the book, I know it will be quite a departure for him but he looks great in the trailers!
Anyway, back to the novel. Horns follows the third-person point of view of Ig Perrish whose girlfriend was raped and killed. Ig was was never charged, but most of the people where he lives seems to believe he did it. When Ig develops the horns, he finds that touching people will show him terrible things they have done, and he can often persuade people to do bad or dark things. In all, though, Ig is not a bad guy. It’s interesting to see him manifest physically into the devil because there are still so many aspects of his personality that do not match up. Yes, he is capable of bad things. Yes, he does carry out some of these wishes. At the same time, he cares about people. He gets his feelings hurt, especially learning people’s dark secrets concerning him.
Horns allows you to see back in time, to learn how Ig grew up, how he and Merrin met and fell in love. It also gives you background information about other characters that is very much necessary for the story. Horns is difficult to talk about because everyone has a secret. I will tell you that the mystery of Merrin’s death does not remain a secret for too long; at least concerning who killed her that night. From there, it is a dark path that Ig takes in terms of learning the truth and figuring out just what he wants to do with that power.
Finally, for those that are not aware, Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King. I tell you this in case you are a fan of King’s and it helps you become more interested in Joe Hill’s work. As of now, I have read one book by each of these men, and to be honest, I’m far more interested in reading more by Hill at the moment than King.
And now, for those who are interested, here is one of the Horns trailers. Horns is released in theaters on Halloween (Oct. 31).