Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review of Horns by Joe Hill

Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2010: Best known for his terrifying (really) debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box, and his famous dad, Joe Hill continues to make a name for himself with Horns, a dark, funny exploration of love, grief, and the nature of good and evil. Ignatius William Perrish wakes up bleary and confused after a night of drinking and "doing terrible things" to find he has grown horns. In addition to being horribly unsightly, these inflamed protuberances give Ig an equally ugly power--if he thinks hard enough, he can make people admit things (intimate, embarrassing, I-can't-believe-you-just-said-that details). This bizarre affliction is of particular use to Ig, who is still grieving over the murder of his childhood sweetheart (a grisly act the entire town, including his family, believes he committed). Horns is a wickedly fun read, and reveals Hill's uncanny knack for creating alluring characters and a riveting plot. Ig's attempts to track down the killer result in hilariously inappropriate admissions from the community, heartbreaking confessions from his own family, and of course, one hell of a showdown. --Daphne Durham
Wow! Joe Hill has knocked this one out of the park and then some. This novel, appropriately named Horns got its grip on me early on and did not let go till the very end. Ignatius Perrish and the rest of the cast were really fleshed out characters all with intense psyche that keeps you flipping the pages of each point of view just to see what they are going to do next. I am seriously awestruck with the places in my head that this book took me. The series of events that took place to show you that there is a devil inside all of us. Ig, an average guy and Merrin, his soul-mate travel a destiny fraught with chaos and disaster and of course, a love that is as deep as an ocean. Lee Tourneau, man, I hated this guy and was ready to take him out really early on. All the pop-culture references in this book make it really fun too and when I would read over one it would kind of put a smirk on my face and randomly blurt things out like, "heh! Nice!". The majority of this story for me was just as simple as the continuous struggle in all of us with good and evil and that paved a road for a great, great novel. But, what took it to the next level for me was that despite what Ig became in the end, he held onto the good inside him. The unfaltering love he felt for Merrin truly made me feel sympathy for the devil.

As a side note... I read Heart Shaped Box a few years ago although I do not have an actual review of it up on goodreads (yet). It was a really good novel as well and leads me to this: Anyone who knows who Joe Hill is, knows that stepping into any kind of writing would be a huge shoe with and even bigger shadow to fill. In fact, it makes me cringe to even bring it up because if I was Joe Hill, I would probably get very tired, very quickly whenever it was mentioned at all. But after just two novels he has shown me atleast that he writes really really well and I will continue to read his stuff with no other pretenses than that. Keep up the amazingly wonderful writing Mr. Hill. I like your shoes just fine.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Review of The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian - leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood. Unpredictable, compelling, wickedly funny, and packed with unforgettable characters, The Blade Itself is noir fantasy with a real cutting edge.
This is some of the best blood and battle type fantasy out there. But yet under the surface of the grusome stuff Abercrombie really brings out the heart of the characters. Makes them believable in their mannerisms and thought patterns. This is my second time through this series and that in itself should say something for the Trilogy. I rarely pick up series twice.