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.
So my boyfriend recommended NOS4A2 to me after reading it and really enjoying it. I am always on the look out for a book that will grab my attention, hold it and scare or disturb me in the process.
That is exactly what this novel does. It twists your mind and throws you into the uncanny valley where things like Christmas and children’s picture books become a dark scary place full of children with needle teeth and moons that talk.
This book was basically about a guy who kidnaps children, takes them to a place called Christmasland where he turns them into monsters and siphons off their life force to keep himself alive. However, it was really so much more than that as well.
The heroine of the novel is not the traditional kind, beautiful, sure…But she screws up a lot; drugs, alcohol, craziness. The author writes her in a way that no matter how she behaves you still root for Vic, you still like her. She is certainly different from the Mary Sues I am used to reading about. Her love interest Lou, is also not the normal kind, he’s an obese dork madly in love with his hot tattooed baby mama. The characters were so refreshing I couldn’t help but smile, laugh and cry with them, I worried along side them and didn’t want the book to end.
The villains were the kind I enjoy as well, ones you can almost feel sorry for and a whisper inside you doesn’t want them to get caught.
Charlie Manx, the childnapper, is a creepy old dude who is basically a psychic vampire and drives a Rolls Royce Wraith that is magical and sinister all on its own. He loves children and wants to take them away from parents he thinks will screw them up. He loves Christmas and is a disturbing Santa-like figure. He drives the thin line between pervert, kind old gentlemen and madman.
Bing is Charlie’s helper. A weird guy who never quite grew up. He helps Charlie by taking care of the moms of the kids. He wears a gasmask which is scary for me already, can we say “Are you my mummy?” He takes the moms, rapes and kills them. At times he acts like a child and Charlie keeps him under his thumb with promises of taking him to Christmasland.
This book starts out with action and it never stops. The chapters are written in a way I have never read before and really helped with the story telling. The writing is just damn good and the plot is excellent.
Not gonna lie, there is some gore, disturbing content and foul language. All things I enjoyed and thought enhanced the novel, but others might not appreciate. I actually do not have anything to complain about. Possibly one of the best things I have read this year.
With that said…On to the next!