Twenty-six year old, Ignatius Perrish (Ig) is having one bad year. His girlfriend, Merrin Williams, since he was 15, was raped and murdered a year ago and he was the one and only suspect for it. Ig did not kill her and was never charged because there was no proof but that hasn’t stopped his home town from shunning him. Ig knows they all think he got away with murder and nothing he can say will get them to believe otherwise.

On the year anniversary of Merrin’s death, Ig goes to the spot where she was killed and did some not so nice things there. Look, he was drunk, angry, and lost all faith he ever had in God, so he he vented. Who wouldn’t? He somehow got himself home and woke up the next morning with a doozy of a hangover. Along with the hangover there were horns growing out of his head. You know, horns like the devil has. No, no, this can’t be true, so Ig closed his eyes hoping that he was seeing things but no such luck, the horns were still there when he opened his eyes again.

But Ig soon discovers that the horns have some special powers in them. When people see them, instead of running off screaming, they end up telling him some bad things that they’d like to do. One woman would like to do some serious damage to her bratty daughter, a doctor would like to have sex with his teenage daughter’s best friend, others would like to kill people, and on and on it goes. And no one remembers talking to Ig once he walks away.

Another interesting thing that happens is if Ig touches a person, even just a little swipe, he can read their minds and knows everything they’ve ever done and why.

The worst thing for Ig, is that people tell him exactly what they think of him. He thought that at least a few people would believe that he didn’t kill his Merrin but it was kind of a shock to find out that not only do they think he killed her but they have feel violently against him. Many would just like to murder him and avenge the young woman’s death.

There’s also the snake situation. Snakes follow Ig wherever he goes, like he’s the The Pied Piper of Hamelin, except for snakes not rats.

Someone did kill Merrin and now that Ig has learned how to use his horns to their full advantage he will find out who the murderer is and they will have a lot of explaining to do to Ig, his horns, and all his snake friends.

I had “Horns” by Joe Hill sitting in my Kindle for a long time and it never really seemed to appeal to me. I put off reading it for months but decided to go for it because I was in the mood for a little horror. I’m so glad I did. This is one good books and I should have known it would be.

Joe Hill has been one of my favorite authors for a while so I can’t explain why I put off reading this novel. It’s kind of a blend of a murder mystery/horror/comedy kind of thing. Crazy, huh? Mr. Hill is a very imaginative writer and in “Horns” readers are given a very interesting plot with lots of really evil characters and a few nice ones too. You actually feel sorry for Ig who is the devil but put in that position not because he’s asked for it. His town hates him and, thanks to his horns, they makes no bones about it.

“Horns” is one excellent book. The characters are complicated and well thought out and the story is perfect. Warning: this is a horror book, violent, and bloody. If something like this doesn’t appeal to you it’s best to stay away. But the story line is superb and definitely worth reading if a little guts and gore don’t get to you. Lots of Christian religion is involved too but it isn’t a preachy religious book. The Christian portion of it is for background use only.

Just remember, be careful what you do while you’re drunk because you never know if you’ll end up with a pair of horns growing out of your head. But then again, maybe our horns are there and we just can’t see them.


4 thoughts on “Horns by Joe Hill

  1. I heard how great the film was, but have not got round to it. I also heard how great the book is, but have not got round to it. Since gaining a growing interest in dark genres (and dark fantasy as this book seems to be in that category) I’ve put it up on my TBR list. A concept most interesting—even though some elements I learnt of are unsettling.


  2. An exciting review Sharon! Can’t wait to read. It is interesting to debate what people would tell you if they were going to tell you the exact truth of what they think about you! I can’t imagine it would all be flattering.

    PS. In the second to last paragraph it reads “Bones” not “Horns”


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