Joe Hill knows how to start a novel off with a bang. Horns captured me from page one when the main character, Iggy Perrish, wakes up with a hangover and discovers that he has devil horns growing out of his head. Don't all hangovers seem like a Satanic nightmare? For Iggy it's not a dream and even worse, his horns compel the people he meets to make confessions of their darkest secrets. Ig can't get help for his condition--the horns render everyone a slave to their dark thoughts and people forget about him after he leaves. As the story progresses, Ig discovers even more Satanic connections to his current condition.
The mystery surrounding Ig's horns isn't the main thing. The meat of this story are the characters and the relationships of the four friends who ground this tale in reality. I usually hate long flashbacks, but in the case of Horns, they were very well done. We learn about Ig's high school days, his brother Terry (who grows up to be a famous TV talk show host), his best friend Lee Tourneau and his girlfriend since high school, Merrin Williams. The romance between Ig and Merrin is pretty sweet, but in the present day, we learn that Merrin has been murdered, and everyone thinks that Ig is the prime suspect. Thanks to some of Ig's new abilities, we see the events surrounding Merrin's death from different perspectives, until we learn the real truth.
If you've followed my blog Giant Size Marvel, you will know that I loved characters such as Ghost Rider, anti-heroes imbued with a touch of dark power. Ig becomes somewhat like that as the novel progresses, very much the dark hero, opposing one of the most vile and disgusting characters I've ever read. A very satisfying, one that I can highly recommend because I was so involved with the characters. Nuff Said!
Link: Horns: A Novel
Link: Horns CD: A Novel