I really enjoyed Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill, son of horror legend Stephen King, who I’m happy to say has crafted his own identity as a writer. Nos4A2 cemented as a Joe Hill fan.
Vic McQueen was a girl who had a interesting way of finding missing things and escaping her parents toxic, failing marriage. No matter where the lost things lay. A powerful creative, with the help of her favorite bike, she can summon a bridge a bridge called the “Shorter Way” that allows her to travel incredible distances instantly, but at a devastating cost. With the help of Maggie, a fellow creative, she learns a bit about her ability but is warned to fear the Wraith. Not all creatives are good and a black Roles Royce Wraith takes children with the help of the Gasmask Man and whisks them off to Christmasland, where the children will be forever happy without their souls, exchanged for sharp teeth and a devotion to the driver of the car: Charlie Manx, who wants to live forever to bring joy to the children and to end Vic, no matter how long he has to wait to do it. Can Vic save her family from a ageless villain and his ride?
I absolutely love this book. The characters are great and honestly, Charlie Manx maybe my favorite literary villain of all time- he kind of reminded me of Mary Poppins, Mister Rodgers, and Dracula rolled into one. The book, while about 700 pages moves at a constant pace and never drags and never feels like its speeding. Hill writes simply but balances detail and has some really good, freaky imagery. I have to give Hill credit for telling a different kind of vampire story while still having nods to one. My only complaint was the ending felt a little muddled but all things considered, it was a fine ending. In the end, it was a damn good horror I highly recommend. May the gaming gods bring you glory.