Review: Horns by Joe Hill

09 Mar

HornsMy rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Horns is a book that worked for me in more ways than I was expecting.

From the TLC Book Tours website:

Merrin Williams is dead, slaughtered under inexplicable circumstances, leaving her beloved boyfriend Ignatius Perrish as the only suspect. On the first anniversary of Merrin’s murder, Ig spends the night drunk and doing awful things. When he wakes the next morning he has a thunderous hangover . . . and horns growing from his temples. Ig possesses a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre gift he intends to use to find the monster who killed his lover. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. Now it’s time for revenge . . .

It’s time the devil had his due. . . .

I’ve been reading a lot of good books recently that don’t have strong male characters, or if they are strong, it’s in the wrong way, where that strength is used to hurt others, or at least not used in a way I find interesting to read and think about.

I figured sometime soon I would search out a book with a male character that was interesting in a positive way– an ordinary guy doing his best with what life throws at him and his family.

It never occurred to me that this would be that book.

Sure, Ig gets a little further into the battle of good vs. evil than I had in mind. It isn’t always clear which side he’s on, what with the horns and all.

But at the heart, Horns is the story of how Ig deals with the destruction of the life he’d been building with the woman he’d loved for years. Flashbacks to his childhood contrast with where his life is now. Ig was an interesting, nuanced character, and really made the book work.

And yes, Horns also works very well as the supernatural thriller I was expecting to read. Ig fully exploits the rather frightening abilities that appear with the horns on his head, and finds the person responsible for the terrible crime a year ago– and much, much more.

Within this thriller, within the character driven story, are fascinating reflections on the nature of good and evil, of religion, of where some of our ideas about these come from, and where they sometimes go wrong.

TLC Book Tours

I read Horns as part of a TLC Books Tour.  I was asked to mention:

The first 1000 people to preorder Horns and then email with proof of purchase will receive a specialized bookplate from Joe – he’s been signing and doodling all sorts of creations on bookplates for days now! For more information on this giveaway and the rest of Joe’s books, visit and follow Joe on Twitter @joe_hill.

For other opinions on Horns, check out the other tour stops:


Posted by on March 9, 2011 in books, reviews, tour


Tags: , , , ,

10 responses to “Review: Horns by Joe Hill

  1. Heather J. @ TLC

    March 9, 2011 at 8:31 am

    “It never occurred to me that this would be that book.” Don’t you just love it when a book surprises you (in a good way) like that?! This certainly seems like an unusual book, but intriguing all the same. I’m glad to know that it really is a great read.

  2. zibilee

    March 9, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I really loved this book as well, and thought that Hill was incredibly masterful in creating Ig, both in his inner and outer selves. It was a book that I couldn’t stop reading and I was so caught up in all the tension between the past and the present story lines. It was interesting to me that Ig appealed to me so much, because above all his demon-like qualities, he was still basically a good guy at heart. It was also a really funny book at times as well, which I didn’t expect. I loved your review and am so glad that you enjoyed the book too!

  3. Marce

    March 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I really enjoyed this one, the 1st part was fascinating, I definitely want to read more by him, I have Heartshaped box on my TBR list.

  4. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea

    March 10, 2011 at 3:49 am

    I’ve only read Heart Shaped Box by Hill, but I did like it….nice review Laura

  5. Rebecca Rasmussen

    March 10, 2011 at 6:44 am

    Great review! Hope you’re having a lovely day!

  6. Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

    March 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I don’t know if this line was supposed to do this: “It isn’t always clear which side he’s on, what with the horns and all.”, but it really made me giggle! Love the review, as it makes me interested in a book that I might never have noticed without it!


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