Vic McQueen is a little girl with a knack for finding things. All she has to do is hop on her bike and ride across the magical “Shorter Way Bridge” and she’s transported to the location of the missing object. In the real world, the Shorter Way Bridge was condemned and torn down. Vic doesn’t get something for nothing though; every time she crosses over the Bridge she comes back sick and with extreme pain behind her left eye. After a particularly harrowing adventure, Vic’s bike goes missing and she’s no longer able to find the Shorter Way Bridge. As she grows into a teenager, her past expeditions into the land of the lost seem more and more like fantasy. Without an escape from her abusive and tumultuous family life, Vic turns to drugs and eventually runs away. When she winds up in the hands of an evil man named Charlie Manx, a Rolls-Royce-driving child abductor, Vic must fight tooth and nail to escape. While she successfully escapes Manx and his disturbed children of Christmasland, he will continue to haunt her and her future family for years to come. Vic McQueen might be too old for Christmasland now, but her son Bruce isn’t, and what the Gas Mask Man wants to do her isn’t any less sinister.
Just a heads up, this was one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. I recently discovered Joe Hill after watching Horns, the 2010 movie adaption of the book of the same name and have now read every novel he’s written. He’s a little addictive if you’re into this sort of thing. NOS4A2 is one non-stop rollercoaster of freaky stuff that leaves you on edge the whole time. I half expected the story to go on forever and I wouldn’t have even been mad. It’s like Joe Hill has a direct connection to my creeped-out bone. NOS4A2 has it all: undead children with sharp objects, Christmas music, rows and rows of pointy teeth, and mid-western hillbillies.