I couldn’t wait to get hold of this book, I had been hearing so much about it. Joe Hill is in the public eye right now for the recent film adaptation of his novel Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe, however it is the brilliantly named N0S4R2 is the one that I hope will make it to the big screen!
The name comes from the number plate of a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith driven by the terrible Charlie Manx. For decades, Charlie Manx has been stealing children to take back to his inscape world of Christmasland where he turns them into his ghostly, murderous little vampire kids who are just as insane as he is.
Only one child escaped his clutches, and that was young rebel Victoria McQueen. Victoria has a gift for finding lost things; when riding her bike, all she needs to do is ride it across The Shorter Way Bridge and she will come out wherever she needs to be.
She finds Christmasland by accident and escapes him. But that is not the last she will see of old Charlie. As an adult, plagued by mental health problems and addiction, her own son is taken by Manx and she sets out on a bloody journey to get him back.
Charlie Manx is one of the most sinister and terrifying villains I have come across. Linked to his deadly car, his self-righteous quest to supposedly rescue children and give them an eternity of fun is scary yet compelling. The ideas in the book around inscapes and even the exploration of mental health are all so cleverly composed.
Even though she is a bit of a brat, I warmed to Vic’s character straight away, even more so once she had made her own little family. Every character in this book; the good, the bad and the ugly are all so well illustrated and have their part to play. The world of the creepy Christmasland was fabulously conceived.
This book is not for the faint-hearted. There’s sexual abuse, extreme violence and kidnapping to say the least, but in the context of the storyline, it adds to the horror and drama. I got genuinely unnerved reading this and should a Rolls-Royce Wraith ever drive past me, I will definitely look twice!
This is an extraordinary tale of epic proportions and unlike anything I have read before, which definitely makes me more excited to read more from the acclaimed author.