NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

December 8th, 2016 Kimberly Review 51 Comments

8th Dec
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
by Joe Hill
Narrator: Kate Mulgrew
Length: 19 hours and 41 minutes
Genres: Horror
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 5 cups

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

2016 Fave Holiday HORRIFIC Monsters thriller

I bought the audiobook of NOS4A2 by Joe Hill last year and decided it would be the perfect listen for this years #HoHoHoRAT. Wouldn’t a trip to Christmasland be wonderful? *shivers* Narrator Kate Mulgrew brilliantly brought Hill’s dark, frightening tale to life.

When I close my eyes, I can see Charles Talent Manx and his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. Thanks to Mulgrew, I can hear his raspy voice as he invites young children to take a ride in his wraith to Christmas land.

NOS4A2 was an extraordinary story with incredible worldbuilding from Hill’s descriptions of the Short Way bridge, Maggie’s Scrabble tiles, and Christmasland. He brings the Wraith to life and the villain Manx will send chills down your spine.

The characters are quirky, well developed and unique. Hill shared the tale in multiple perspectives, and it worked brilliantly. Each voice enhanced the suspense bringing an eerie sense of believability to this incredible tale.

  • Victoria McQueen was a fantastic heroine with a unique talent for finding things
  • Charles Talent Manx, our villain, will dwell in your nightmares
  • Maggie who can learn things from a bag of Scrabble pieces
  • Victoria’s son shed light on Manx and the real horrors of the Wraith and Christmasland
  • Secondary characters like Victoria’s husband, a young man desperate to go to Christmasland, and others only enhanced the tension.

The places within this story are as real and vivid as the characters

  • Christmasland where every day is Christmas and every evening is Christmas Eve. Hill brought this nightmarish carnival type world to life
  • The Sleigh House a dark, chilling place you never want to go.
  • Short Way Bridge is how Victoria travels to find lost things

Inanimate objects that become living breathing things in NOS4A2

  • Victoria’s bike(s) travels over the Short Way Bridge. Hill gave them personality and maybe perhaps a touch of magic.
  • 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith. Think Christine, Stephen’s King’s oh so special car but the Wraith is creepier my friends. I can smell the seats and if I close my eyes I can see Charlie Manx at the wheel.

Despite NOS4A2 being a twisted psychological horror that will terrify readers, Hill manages to insert humor with pop culture references that make you pause, breath and laugh. Harry Potter, Wonder Twins, his works and those of others were all referenced to this reader’s delight. Hill had me giggling at the dark humor, shivering, holding my breath and experiencing every one of the character’s emotions as he took me on one hell of a ride.

At nearly twenty hours in length (the book is a tome with seven hundred plus pages) the time passed quickly. I was never bored, completely enthralled and mesmerized by the narration. Her raspy voice is ideally suited for Hill’s characters. As I said before, we get multiple perspectives, and she provided a unique enough voice for each that I immediately knew who’s narrative we were experiencing.

For fans of horror and psychological thrillers, I recommend taking a ride in NOS4A2.


NOS4A2 by Joe Hill narrated by Kate Mulgrew will send shivers down your spine as you laugh aloud. Click To Tweet
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

51 Responses to “NOS4A2 by Joe Hill”

  1. ShootingStarsMag

    I’ve so far only read Horns by Joe Hill and his graphic novel series Locke & Key but this is one I’ve been wanting to read for a long time! I’m so glad you liked it.

  2. Laurie

    Kate Mulgrew did an awesome job with this book. I’m so glad you loved it too 🙂 She also reads his book The Fireman, if you haven’t listened to that one already.

  3. Laura Thomas

    I started this book and had to set it aside to read some review books. Forgot about it. Yikes! Going to pick it back up now. Sounds like a good listen too!

  4. Katherine

    I think this review will give me nightmares! And that clip! Love the narrators voice. I don’t think I’ve listened to anything Kate Mulgrew has read but I need too! I’m not sure I’m brave enough for this yet but I’m adding it to my TBR and my audio wishlist for when I’m feeling a little braver!

  5. Heidi

    I started this one three winters ago on audio and I was enjoying it for the most part, but it got so dark and I was struggling with the winter blues so I set it aside I need to pick it back up.

  6. Genesis

    So I had never heard of this book. Just when I finish reading the synopsis, I gasp out loud. It sounds so freaking good! Your review gives nothing away so I officially need to read this book and know what happens! Normally, I don’t read Horror books, but I’m glad this one is mixed with humor so I think that will make it easier for me. I just added it this to my wish list!

  7. Sophia Rose

    Oys, this sounds captivating in a creepy way. When a book hits all your senses and happens to be a horror, look out. 🙂

    Ha, and love the license plate on his chilling Wraith car.

  8. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I don’t usually read horror, but Joe Hill is SK’s son, so I’ve been meaning to read him. I also don’t listen to audio books, but you made me want to change that rule for myself when you mentioned Kate Mulgrew. A great narrator could do it for me.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Melanie Simmons

    The idea of this book as part of your Christmas readathon is great. It didn’t occur to me as a Christmas story because of the horror of it, but it very much is (no idea why I never thought of it when Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are two of my favorite Christmas movies). I listened to this last year and I loved it. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it as much as I did too. I kinda want to relisten. LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Actually, I first chose it because it was a Winter/Holiday themed thon but love yes the holidays come with murder and horror too…hehe!

  10. Bookworm Brandee

    Okay, so I don’t read much psychological horror but this one caught my eye because I thought the title was so clever. 🙂 That Kate Mulgrew narrates tempts me into giving this one a listen although I somehow think it’ll creep me out all the more listening rather than reading. 😉 Glad you enjoyed it, Kimberly!

  11. kindlemom1

    Oh a dark Christmas story, I love it! Crap, I’m going to have to grab this, I know how few five stars you give so I know this must be worth it.

  12. Rebecca

    Ooooh, I read this a bit ago and I just downloaded The Fireman by Joe Hill yesterday! I really liked how NOS4A2 tied into Stephen King’s world. And it was so creepy. My husband refuses to read it. (too scary). I love the scary stuff.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
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    • kimbacaffeinate

      YES, Rebecca I just got done telling someone about that as they are huge Stephen King fans too, I just bought Fireman on audio and cannot wait!! I love the scary stuff too!

  13. Tyler H. Jolley

    I have’t tried anything by Joe Hill but I’ve been meaning to. I really need to get on it. It sounds like he inherited his dad’s incredible writing skills.

  14. Lexxie

    Supernatural suspense / psychological thriller? At Christmas? Oh yes, I do want to read this one, Kim! Great review!

  15. Kimberly

    I wasn’t the biggest fan of Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill (Liked didn’t love) but I did read a bit of this one a few years ago (had to return it to the library without finishing) but it was so good. I really should make a point of borrowing it again and finishing it. I’m glad you loved it!

  16. Leona

    I have almost every Joe Hill story in my wish list. I really want to listen to his stories, it’s just finding the time to do it is where my conflict lies. Plus I’m a scaredy cat so I’ll have to only listen to them during the day time lol.