Book review: Horns, by Joe Hill; Movie review: Horns staring Daniel Radcliffe

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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.

But 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. . .

I am going to combine my reviews and will mostly be comparing the book and the film.

I saw the movie more than a year ago because I was able to sign up to be in a test audience. I haven’t seen the finished version that was released this fall and am relying on my memory. I’ll eventually see the version that was released.

I finished the book a few days ago, and I can definitely say it’s better than the film. (Sometimes I tend to favor the version I saw or read first. This was not the case. Though, I did picture Daniel and Juno when I read the book.) There were changes and omissions made for the film that I felt made it a different story.

I would rate the film 3 out of 5 Horns, and the novel 5 out 5 Horns.

To go into more detail and be on the safe side I’ll put all the spoilers below.

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Book Review: The Heavens Rise by Christopher Rice *minor spoilers*

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New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice brilliantly conjures the shadowed terrors of the Louisiana bayou—where three friends confront a deadly, ancient evil rising to the surface—in this intense and atmospheric new supernatural thriller.

It’s been a decade since the Delongpre family vanished near Bayou Rabineaux, and still no one can explain the events of that dark and sweltering night. No one except Niquette Delongpre, the survivor who ran away from the mangled stretch of guardrail on Highway 22 where the impossible occurred…and kept on running. Who left behind her best friends, Ben and Anthem, to save them from her newfound capacity for destruction…and who alone knows the source of her very bizarre—and very deadly—abilities: an isolated strip of swampland called Elysium.

An accomplished surgeon, Niquette’s father dreamed of transforming the dense acreage surrounded by murky waters into a palatial compound befitting the name his beloved wife gave to it, Elysium: “the final resting place for the heroic and virtuous.” Then, ten years ago, construction workers dug into a long-hidden well, one that snaked down into the deep, black waters of the Louisiana swamp and stirred something that had been there for centuries—a microscopic parasite that perverts the mind and corrupts the body.

Niquette is living proof that things done can’t be undone. Nothing will put her family back together again. And nothing can save her. But as Niquette, Ben, and Anthem uncover the truth of a devastating parasite that has the potential to alter the future of humankind, Niquette grasps the most chilling truths of all: someone else has been infected too. And unlike her, this man is not content to live in the shadows. He is intent to use his newfound powers for one reason only: revenge.

 

I found The Heavens Rise to be an enjoyable read. I didn’t love it as I remember loving A Density of Souls when it was released in 2000. (I went back to read that one again a few years later.)

For a mystery novel The Heavens Rise is really straightforward. There are no drawn out plot twists or turns. The reader can easily know what is going on. There is a touch of a supernatural element, though I feel the “mind monsters” where  introduced too late.

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