Book Review: Horns

hornsHoly hell. I finished Horns by Joe Hill over a week ago and I still haven’t emotionally recovered. You know how people use the words “emotional roller-coaster” to describe a book? Well this was an emotional rollercoaster on hyper-drive! One minute I was disgusted and disturbed, the next I was clutching my heart as it broke into a hundred pieces, then I was full of rage and murder, and finally I felt a peace and happiness that I had not expected to get from a horror novel. I think Joe Hill just about covered every emotion possible in the human spectrum!

Horns is the story of Ig Perrish, a man born into a privileged family and destined to do great things. All of his hopes and dreams are shattered, however, when the love of Ig’s life, Merrin, is found murdered under inexplicable circumstances. While there is no concrete evidence to pin Ig to the brutal crime, everyone in town has already condemned him as the murderer. One day, after a blackout drunken night, Ig wakes up to discover that he suddenly has horns sprouting out of his head. Even more disturbing is the fact that these horns seem to cause everyone who looks at them to confess their darkest secrets, thoughts, and desires. Initially Ig does everything he can to try and rid himself of these mysterious horns, but as time passes he comes to accept their powers and uses them to his own advantage. After all, what better tool could there be to find Merrin’s true killer and seek vengeance?

This book had me hooked from the very first chapter. The concept was so unique and intriguing that I just had to read on to find out what would happen to Ig next. I was happily surprised to discover that Horns wasn’t just your typical horror, but that it actually contained some depth and feeling. While a reader could simply pick up Horns and enjoy it for its entertainment value, I found myself also reveling in its symbolism and metaphors. I’m not going to lie. If I was still in University I would jump at the chance to write an entire essay on this book. I know. I’m a nerd. Anyways….

Like I noted previously, Horns made me extremely emotional. There were several times when I just had to put the book down and walk away so that I could collect myself, either because I was so repulsed by the characters, or was fighting back an overwhelming sadness for Ig. I actually found myself close to tears during one chapter that I was reading while on my lunch break at work, and couldn’t bring myself to keep reading for the rest of the day. Within all of this disgust, sadness, and anger, however, the novel also brings moments of hope and happiness. The ending of Horns was absolute perfection, and I couldn’t have possibly imagined it any better!  While many readers may find the prospect of an overly emotional book unappealing, I would disagree. In my opinion, the sign of a great book is that it evokes a variety of emotions in its readers, and Horns definitely fits that criteria.

Rating: Deciding on a rating for Horns was actually extremely difficult. Depending on what part I was at in the novel, my rating for the book changed from a 4 to a 3 to a 5 very quickly. In the end, I think I have finally settled on giving Horns a 4.5!


5 thoughts on “Book Review: Horns

  1. A friend of mine read this a few weeks ago and recommended it. I bought it immediately, then freaked myself out reading the back and stuck it on my shelf. Now, though I know I will have to emotionally prepare myself, you have totally reinstated my desire to read it! I love how you describe feeling ALL of the emotions. I also would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the Locke and Key books! I can’t put them down..

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