Review of Horns
I heard about this novel from Shelf Awareness, and other book blogs out there. It certainly got me curious, despite the mixed reviews. So I gave it a chance and decided to give it a go.
At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real. Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic. But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . . Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . (From Amazon.ca)
This book definitely had a very different and interesting concept. What I did not expect was the comedy that went along with it. Ig’s new found power (which took me a bit to figure out what it was) is an interesting gift, and could potentially be either; very dangerous, hurtful, or downright hilarious. Throughout the first bits of the book I couldn’t stop laughing. The moments of Ig’s childhood years (the shopping cart incident) and the situation with the two policemen made me laugh, and kept me reading the book. Yet there were serious moments too, with Ig finding out the truth about Merrin and her death, who was really behind it, and the real true feelings of people close to him (like his parents). It’s a bit shocking, to read how his parents really felt of the situation surrounding Ig and at a certain point of the book I really felt sorry for him.
The first half of the book was really enjoyable to read. The middle part where it focuses on Ig, Merrin, and Lee wasn’t so bad. Lee’s a jerk. A real jealous one. I never really liked him to begin with and when you see his true colors, I hated him even more. Ig was such a nice guy and Lee just took advantage of that and stepped all over him. I liked Ig as a character although throughout the second half of the book he just got really strange and started behaving rather odd. This is where I thought the book was rather stuck in a rut and it suddenly dragged. I felt the pace of the book just stopped all of a sudden and started to crawl.
The ending was good and after that rut, the pace starting picking up a bit. I was definitely unprepared for the ending and it caught me by surprise. When I finished this book, I wasn’t sure how I felt. I had an empty feeling, I guess because the ending wasn’t what I expected, but also because I thought perhaps it could have ended differently. For a book that had such a promising start, the ending lacked the punch to finish it.
I would still say, give this book a chance. The idea and concept is really entertaining and interesting. If you don’t mind reading through the little stall in the middle of the book you’ll find the book isn’t so bad after all. Even though to me, it had a disappointing ending, but read it to be entertained and to have a laugh. It’s certainly worth a look through.
I give it a 7 out of 10.