I must admit something…I was hooked by this book immediately. All the reviews at the beginning of the book stated I would be….they all read that I would not be able to put this book down…and each one was quite correct. This is truly one of the best books that I have read in a while. It is the horror/fantasy genre, so readers of the faint heart do not read. I read the 685 page Advance Reader’s edition (not sure what the final copy will look like) in two days….I simply could not put it down. It was my saving grace while I have been trying to overcome strep throat…and it helped me escape into another world which is truly why we read.
The story takes place over many generations and is centered around Victoria McQueen who the reader meets as a eight-year old girl. Vic’s parents are a big mess. They are constantly fighting and Vic wants them to stop. When her mother loses a bracelet, and her parents argue once again, Vic escapes on her Tuff Burner (bike) and speeds away. It is on this bike trip that her life changes forever. She encounters the Shorter Bridge….a bridge that had been demolished….a bridge that isn’t suppose to be there. Vic crosses the Shorter Bridge, and when she comes out…she is no longer in Massachuetts….she is 40 miles away in New Hampshire where she locates her mother’s bracelet to return to her. She has discovered she has the ability to find lost things….things that she desires. The Shorter Bridge becomes a fixture in her growing up years….yet each trip across the bridge takes a bit out of Vic.
At the same time, there is Charlie Manx….who is one of the most creepy and disturbing characters I have ever read…who promises children rides in his 1938 Rolls Royce to Christmasland where there is no unhappiness, rides on the roller coaster, tons of hot chocolate and Christmas every day….this of course comes with a price. Charlie and Vic meet up during one of her trips through the Shorter Bridge….
I do not want to give anything away….I read this book blindly….not aware of what was to come. I want you to have the same experience. It is spooky, fast-paced, and quite original. I truly experienced all the sense while reading….I could feel the wind and smell the bats as Vic passed through the Shorter Bridge. I could taste metal and blood and peppermint. I could hear the voices of the creepy children calling. I could picture Charlie Manx clearly coming down the road towards me in his black Rolls Royce. Images and feelings I will hold on to for a long time.
I also learned after reading this book that author Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. Interesting, he writes of the same genre of his father, but it is much different. His own style that is for sure. I will be seeking out more by Joe Hill.