Ever since I was a kid I have been a devoted fan of Stephen King's books, especially his horror stories. When I heard that 'Joe Hill' was just a pseudonym and the writer was actually Stephen King's son, I was sceptical. How could he ever come close to his father's accomplishments? But I was just as surprised as many of the critics (who hadn't been told at first who Joe Hill really was) that King's son has true, unmistakable talent. He obviously inherited his father's love for the darker tale, but in writing he has a distinctive style of his own. I even thought it was better than his father's! The structure of the story is more coherent than I've ever seen in Stephen King's books and there are frequent unexpected plot twists. The main characters really grew on me and I even shed a few tears. But most of all, the story was incredibly fascinating to read! A mystery, a battle between good and evil, a love story. And all this brought with a generous dose of dark humor!
The story is about Ig, a guy who's girlfriend Merrin has been violently killed. Many believe him to be the murderer, even though he is obviously crazy in love with her. One day, he wakes up with horns. (What?! Yes... horns!) They do not just make him look like a demon, but also cause whoever lays eyes upon him to tell him their deepest desires. Using his new skills, Ig tries to find out who killed Merrin. During the process however he slowly starts to show typical diabolical behaviour. Is he turning into the devil himself, or are good and evil closely intertwined?
There are many playful references to the devil in this book (lyrics of various rock songs, snakes, matches, even a pitchfork!) and they make the story even more fun to read. At the same time, the book makes you wonder about good and evil and what really defines these concepts.
If you want to read an exciting, dark, romantic, often very funny book that is superbly written, make sure not to miss out on this one!
My rating: 9.0