Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Strange Weather

A collection of four chilling novels, ingeniously wrought gems of terror from the brilliantly imaginative, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fireman, Joe Hill“Snapshot” is the disturbing story of a Silicon Valley adolescent who finds himself threatened by “The Phoenician,” a tattooed thug who possesses a Polaroid Instant Camera that erases memories, snap by snap....

Title:Strange Weather
Author:
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Edition Language:English

Strange Weather Reviews

  • Char

    is the novel I most anticipated this year and I'm happy to report that it lived up to my high expectations. It consists of four short novels, (Joe Hill dislikes the term novella), and I enjoyed them all!

    is a story about memory and a camera that steals them. Set in the 80's with a teenage boy as the protagonist, this story packed some powerful imagery along with a bit of nostalgia for good measure.

    is a tale about guns. Joe Hill says it's not political, but I

    is the novel I most anticipated this year and I'm happy to report that it lived up to my high expectations. It consists of four short novels, (Joe Hill dislikes the term novella), and I enjoyed them all!

    is a story about memory and a camera that steals them. Set in the 80's with a teenage boy as the protagonist, this story packed some powerful imagery along with a bit of nostalgia for good measure.

    is a tale about guns. Joe Hill says it's not political, but I think that both pro gun and anti gun proponents will bring their own views to the party. I tried to keep my politics out of it and enjoy it for the fast paced horror story that it was. Oh yeah, and the ending was KILLER.

    was the story of a man on a cloud. It wasn't cloud 9, in fact, it wasn't a cloud at all, really. What imagination and creativity this story showed! I can't seem to put my finger on why this tale appealed to me so much, but the fact remains that it did. It reminded me somewhat of Hill's short story

    , in that the tale doesn't break its back trying to provide explanations or reasons why...it just IS. And what it IS, is fantastic. (Junicorn!)

    was my favorite story in the book. The protagonist, Honeysuckle Speck, was one of the most interesting characters I've ever met. She is so much more than what you first suspect and I would love to read more about her in the future. It's hard to say what one would do if the sky suddenly began raining sharp crystal nails. I would love to think that I would act with the same bravery and smarts as Honeysuckle did, but I suspect I don't have the strength. Hill says in the Afterword that this book was sort of his anti-Fireman story, but one thing they both have in common is strong female characters and I like that. I like it a lot.

    I received a digital review copy of this book from Edelweiss, but I also received my own (signed) copy, (whoohoo!),courtesy of Joe Hill at a book festival. This gave me a chance to check out the VERY cool illustrations, before and after each story, and also the little icons at the top of each page. They give the book a unique look and feel.

    I've come to love and admire Hill's work over the last few years and I think he has developed a strong voice, independent of, but respectful, of his father's.

    was worth every minute of my time and I'm sure I'll be devoting more time by reading it again in the future.

    Highly recommended!

    You can get your copy here:

    *Thank you to Edelweiss and to the publisher, (who I unabashedly emailed for the e-ARC of this awesome book), in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

  • Ellen Gail

    Y'all had better get ready because this was amazing and I'm about to word vomit my thoughts all over the place. Joe Hill seriously has a deal with the devil, because he can do no wrong.

    Four beautiful and haunting novellas, each dealing in their own way with "strange weather": a rain of crystal needles, flashes of 'lightning' that are missing their thunder, suspiciously shaped clouds, and raging fire tornadoes. Each story stands alone beautifully, but together they make a great collection.

    Let's

    Y'all had better get ready because this was amazing and I'm about to word vomit my thoughts all over the place. Joe Hill seriously has a deal with the devil, because he can do no wrong.

    Four beautiful and haunting novellas, each dealing in their own way with "strange weather": a rain of crystal needles, flashes of 'lightning' that are missing their thunder, suspiciously shaped clouds, and raging fire tornadoes. Each story stands alone beautifully, but together they make a great collection.

    Let's take this story by story, shall we?

    4/5

    This is probably the only thing I've read by Hill that gave me strong

    vibes. A young boy with an affinity for tinkering accidentally crosses a menacing stranger with a

    Solarid camera that does a little more than take pictures. I really didn't find the Phoenician that scary, but the camera was a very cool concept. Shelly's plight was sad and beautifully told.

    It does go on a little long though. The story felt like it wanted to end, then kept going for another 15 or 20 pages. Which is probably another reason I was getting King vibes.

    4.5/5

    A perfect storm of PTSD, revenge, racism, and violence leads to a shooting at a mall. A security guard becomes a hero in the aftermath, but reporter Aisha Lanternglass knows something is off. Both of their pasts heavily influenced by gun violence, their stories intersect and unravel in horrific fashion.

    This one hit me hard. I have personally cowered in a classroom during a lockdown, trying desperately to call my mother, while SWAT team members dressed in black swarmed the sidewalks outside. Thankfully no one was killed that day, but I remember every detail, clear as day. It was terrifying and surreal, and this story brought back some uncomfortable memories.

    It was a captivating story for sure. And that ending! It pissed me off

    much, but the good kind of pissed off. It's provocative and challenging, and will stick with you.

    5/5

    Aloft is probably my favorite of the four. To honor a friend's memory, Aubrey and several friends go skydiving. Despite his fear of heights, Aubrey is determined to tough it out. He doesn't want to look weak in front of his longstanding crush, Harriet. But when he and his jump instructor leap from the plane, they never hit the ground.

    Suddenly Aubrey is stranded on a cloud that isn't a cloud. He has no food or water, but whatever else he might need, the cloud provides. Other than letting him go, that is. And there's something the cloud doesn't want him to know.

    It's imaginative, odd, and introspective. We get to go deep in Aubrey's head, much like the cloud does. It's a fascinating story. And the ending was perfect. Joe Hill does great endings.

    4/5

    This is an apocalyptic story featuring a rain of crystal nails (synthetically engineered fulgurite, to be exact.) Honeysuckle looses her girlfriend in the first violent shower of needles and everything keeps falling apart from there.

    It's maybe the most traditional horror in the collection. World falling apart, bodies everywhere, dead lover, utter chaos; nothing that hasn't been done before, but it's done well. And man, there was a heck of a twist that I didn't see coming!

    So,

    knocks it out of the park with four great novellas. Joe Hill has yet to disappoint me. Like, HOW DOES HE WRITE SO GOOD?

    Every bit of this was a delight to read, and I'm thrilled to say that one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 did not disappoint.

    ---------------------

    It's fall and new Joe Hill novellas are here and I am reading them. NEW JOE HILL NOVELLAS ALL FOR ME! Happy Halloween.

    ---------------------

    Get excited y'all! There's a new collection of Joe Hill novellas coming out this fall!

    This is not a drill.

    I'm ready. And excited. Did I mention excited?

  • Johann (jobis89)

    "When movie stars grieve in the tragic third act of a love story, they always make mourning look a lot more beautiful than it really is."

    I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of this collection of short novels by Joe Hill (release date is later in the year). For those interested in a brief synopsis of each story... keep reading. If not, skip ahead! The first story, Snapshot, is about a young boy's encounter with a villain who robs his victim's memories by taking Polaroids of them. The second

    "When movie stars grieve in the tragic third act of a love story, they always make mourning look a lot more beautiful than it really is."

    I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of this collection of short novels by Joe Hill (release date is later in the year). For those interested in a brief synopsis of each story... keep reading. If not, skip ahead! The first story, Snapshot, is about a young boy's encounter with a villain who robs his victim's memories by taking Polaroids of them. The second, Loaded, tells the story of a mall security guard who is believed to have stopped a mass shooting, but his story quickly unravels... Aloft, the third story, is a unique tale about a skydiver who lands on a very strange cloud in the sky. Finally, the last story, Rain, tells of an apocalypse wherein literal nails fall from the sky as rain. Pretty interesting collection of stories!

    I do enjoy a short story or a short novel... as Joe Hill himself says, it's all killer, no filler. However, I wish that could be said for these stories. I loved being back with Joe Hill, but ultimately felt like some of these stories just dragged on a little bit?

    The first story, Snapshot, was one of my favourites. A really strong opener for the collection. It was the perfect length with the perfect message. Emotionally charged too!

    As for Loaded... I have mixed feelings. It started really strongly, I was loving it... but it just kept going on and on. And the main protagonist was just a really hateful person. Then the ending straight-up pissed me off. I do however appreciate what Hill is trying to say with this story with regards to gun violence in America.

    The third story, Aloft, was so unique and original! A really enchanting and intriguing idea from Hill. But again, really felt like I lost some interest in the middle.

    The final story, Rain, was a terrifying concept. Nails literally fall from the sky as rain... destroying everything in its path. I was revelling in his descriptions of the post-apocalyptic world. Hill even admits in the afterword that it's a spoof of his own work - I do love when an author can poke fun at themselves.

    Overall, I did really enjoy this collection, I love Hill's style of writing and pop culture references. He also can write a sex scene so much better than his father! But I did feel like some stories perhaps could have been trimmed slightly. Although, I wonder if this is because I read this collection on my kindle, and I'm really not a fan of reading on my kindle. Maybe I would have enjoyed some of the stories slightly more if I was reading a physical copy. I'd give this collection 4 stars out of 5! Some really fresh ideas in here. I'm happy to have new Joe Hill!

  • Sadie | sadie_reads_them_all

    Thank you so much to my local bookstore for giving me an Advanced Reading Copy of this book for an honest review!

    ***

    NO SPOILER REVIEW

    This book is comprised of 4 shorts/novellas (whatever)

    Snapshot-5 Stars

    Loaded- 4 Stars

    Aloft- 5 Stars

    Rain- 5 Stars

    ***

    I think Joe Hill can write his ass off. These short stories were brilliant. Not a lot of people give credit where credit is due concerning shorts/novellas. They're freakin HARD! Everything the author wants to do with the story, the setting, the charact

    Thank you so much to my local bookstore for giving me an Advanced Reading Copy of this book for an honest review!

    ***

    NO SPOILER REVIEW

    This book is comprised of 4 shorts/novellas (whatever)

    Snapshot-5 Stars

    Loaded- 4 Stars

    Aloft- 5 Stars

    Rain- 5 Stars

    ***

    I think Joe Hill can write his ass off. These short stories were brilliant. Not a lot of people give credit where credit is due concerning shorts/novellas. They're freakin HARD! Everything the author wants to do with the story, the setting, the characters has to be done in an efficient & concise manner--there aren't any words wasted; everything counts.

    Not all stories have to be novel length--some stories want to be told quickly and urgently.

    I think it's good for everyone to go into these stories blind, so I'm not going to go into details at all on the plots of each one. I'll just say that the last two stories were my favorite.

    I loved the main character, Aubrey in Aloft so much. He felt like someone I would know and be friends with--there were some moments that made me laugh out loud too. Which is great because I saw Joe Hill on The Fireman Tour and the man is hilarious-so I love when that sense of humor comes out in his writing.

    And the last story, Rain was scary. We've seen all the natural disasters we could ever see, except this one.

    Loaded had this one scene in that made me happy because for the longest time, I thought Joe Hill was going to take after his father and just plain suck at sex scenes, but I think there's hope for Hill, yet.

    Lastly, our front runner out of the gate, Snapshot, the first story with some great feels. Punches you in the gut a little.

    I loved it. Great protagonist too.

    Anyhoodles,

    Not going to say too much because this is a way in advance review. Everyone needs to buy this! Joe Hill fans will LOVE IT!!

  • Will Byrnes

    Joe Hill has taken a break between epic horror novels to put together a collection of four novellas under the title

    . The title seems an afterthought, frankly. Only one of the stories actually incorporates weather that is certifiably strange. But, no matter. Don’t go looking for story one to relate to

    Joe Hill has taken a break between epic horror novels to put together a collection of four novellas under the title

    . The title seems an afterthought, frankly. Only one of the stories actually incorporates weather that is certifiably strange. But, no matter. Don’t go looking for story one to relate to story two to story three to story four. There are some links, but they are minimal. Read each tale on its own. The stories were written here and there, between this and that, over several years.

    - from his site

    focuses on loss of memory, but not in the usual way. A thuggish agent,

    , stalks a town, uses a Polaroid-like camera to extract recollections. An eleven-year-old boy is charged with taking him on, which will feel familiar to those of you who have read

    , a good-soul everykid being confronted with adult challenges. It is a chilling story, tucking a bildungsroman into a nightmare experience, while taking on the very real horror of dementia. If we are our memories, then what are we when those memories are gone?

    , takes on the very real-life horror of gun violence and death by cop, even death by mall cop, focusing on the bad things that can happen when one mixes fear, paranoia, bigotry, and greed, with ready access to ordnance. Randall Kelloway is a mall guard, a wannabe cop who keeps getting rejected from the police force for the very good reason that he is psychologically unfit. He is also in deep poo in his home life, having earned an Order of Protection for dangerous behavior with his ex and child. He is inordinately fond of guns, and imagines himself using them to heroic purpose. When a violent situation unfolds at the mall, guns blaze. When Randy emerges from the smoke he is seen as the white knight he always imagined himself to be.

    Aisha is a reporter, who suspects that the mall shooting may not have gone down quite the way Randall said, and digs relentlessly to find out the truth. Hill uses an encroaching brush fire (common in the real Florida in which this is set) to add to the constant ramp-up of tension. Although it can feel didactic at times,

    may be the most effective horror story of the collection, as it is the one we are likeliest to encounter in real life. Hill relies on flawed, corrupted humanity instead of the supernatural to jangle your nerves, and succeeds in hitting his target.

    is the most

    -like of the collection. Aubrey Griffin is trying to impress a young lady, a band-mate, Harriet. Their friend, June, had passed recently and they, with others, are honoring June by doing things on her bucket list. Sadly, Aubrey is scared out of his wits by the impending parachute jump, and is about to bail. But the plane loses power, mysteriously. Probably something to do with the UFO-like cloud formation they had spotted a short time earlier. Aubrey has to bail for real. But before his chute can open, he makes a relatively soft landing on something that is not exactly solid ground.

    This is not your typical UFO, being a mile or so long, having a malleable surface and the very non-UFO-like capacity to make one’s wishes real. Which is where we get into the content portion of our program. What if you could have whatever you wanted, physically? Of course, there is that pesky element of core beneath the surface, and coming to grips with what one wants, and what one can and cannot have. A thoughtful piece, although not particularly scary. At the end, there is a mention of New Hampshire, where Hill lives, making one wonder how much of Joe was in Aubrey.

    is a shorter example of the sort of post-apocalyptic sci-fi romp Hill has done so well in the longer form. But the rain that falls

    indeed. No squishy

    for Hill, nosiree. His rain arrives in crystalline needles, ones that penetrate instead of melting.

    Twenty-something Honeysuckle Speck regularly babysits for nine-year-old Templeton Blake, a kid with some medical issues. He likes to call himself

    and Honeysuckle loves him. Good thing he is a mostly at-home kid, as vast numbers of those caught outside when the first hard rain arrives fail to make it back inside. The story follows Honeysuckle as she tries to get from Boulder to Denver to get news to the father of a dear friend, enduring some of the horrors one might expect in a road trip story, and some you might not.

    There are characters to engage with in every tale. The pre-teen in

    is a classic Hill/King kid who must test his mettle against the hostilely weird. Readers who have not always been members of the

    all their lives will relate. Aisha gives us someone worth rooting for in

    . Aubrey, in

    , offers a pretty relatable example of unrequited attraction, and Honeysuckle, in

    , checks all the boxes for a post-apocalyptic heroine, without the Disney songs.

    If you are looking for the sort of large-scale epic horror story that Hill has produced with

    and

    , you will be disappointed. If, however, you go into

    expecting material more like his short story work, as in

    , you should be pleased. Hill will take you from

    to

    , from fear to wonder, giving you some good nightmare material and a few sparks to spur a bit of introspection. The forecast is for good reading ahead.

    Review posted – August 4, 2017

    Publication – October 24, 2017

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    Links to the author’s

    ,

    and

    pages

    Other Joe Hill books I have reviewed:

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  • destiny ☠ howling libraries

    I've read almost every piece of work that Joe Hill has graced the world of literature with, and I've loved all of them, but this was exceptionally brilliant. Rather than dwell on monsters and ghosts, the most terrifying aspect of

    was simply the horror of the human psyche, and how far people will go to inflict pain upon others.

    I'll be breaking this up by story, as I typically do with novella reviews. I've combined the content warnings and will add them all at the end of the review

    I've read almost every piece of work that Joe Hill has graced the world of literature with, and I've loved all of them, but this was exceptionally brilliant. Rather than dwell on monsters and ghosts, the most terrifying aspect of

    was simply the horror of the human psyche, and how far people will go to inflict pain upon others.

    I'll be breaking this up by story, as I typically do with novella reviews. I've combined the content warnings and will add them all at the end of the review, for efficiency's sake. I'm placing these in order of how they are positioned in the ARC, but the final copy may differ.

    , the first of four novellas, tells a man's boyhood memories of the strange man with the polaroid, and the bizarre things that each photo took along with it. I found this to be my least favorite story in the book, though it was still awfully horrifying to think of a camera that could take away more than just a photo. I found myself undeniably on edge from start to finish, and found it to be an unsettling, unique entrance to the collection.

    I have no words for how

    I was when I realized what a blatantly political direction Joe was taking this story in.

    is a perspective-changing story that follows in the wake of mass shootings, and tells of police brutality, racism, gun fanaticism, and hate. The villains in this story are so over the top that you find yourself desperately wanting not to believe in them, despite the fact that, as a citizen of the southern states, I can certainly assure you that I have heard many of these arguments from acquaintances in my own life.

    (Note: I'm not interjecting politics into this, and will leave my thoughts on gun ownership out of this, but we've all met at least one person who took things too far, and that's what's happening in this story.)

    absolutely destroyed me. I have never in my life cried through a horror story, yet I could hardly regain composure in one moment before the next event had me sobbing again. The hatred in the villain's heart left me hollow. This was the most horrifying story I have ever read, yet not a moment of it felt like fiction, particularly in the wake of the shootings we've seen over the last few years.

    First of all, if you have a fear of heights, this story may not be one you want to take lightly. I don't even have acrophobia, and I still found my stomach turning at many of this story's descriptive moments. When Aubrey's skydiving experience goes wrong, he finds himself in a very interesting set of circumstances, and... well, I'll let you go into this one blind, but trust me, you're in for a really unique (and bizarre) ride.

    In

    , we watch the beginning of an apocalypse through the eyes of a young woman named Honeysuckle. As a rain of crystalline needles kills Honeysuckle's girlfriend and nearly all of her neighbors, she sets off on a journey to inform her father-in-law of his daughter's passing, only to be hunted by members of a local religious cult. As she tries to navigate the empty streets of Denver and avoid being slashed to bits by the next storm, she finds herself in a spiral of terrorism conspiracies.

    Like

    , this story hit way too close to home for comfort, though not on nearly as intense of a level. Joe let his politics shine through once more with a few catty remarks about a president who's a little too twitter-happy, and I found myself laughing despite the nature of the tale. Of course, you're never left smiling for long when it comes to a Joe Hill book, but I found this to be a fantastic rounding-out of the collection.

    All in all,

    averaged out to a 4.75 rating, which I obviously will

    round up to 5 stars for my favorite horror author. Now, I'm only sad that I have to wait for his next release!

    fat-phobia, ableism, homophobia, racism, police brutality, gun fanaticism, sexism, spousal abuse, child death, extreme violence, religious fanaticism/occultism.

    You can find this review and more on my

    !

  • Debra

    Strange Weather is a collection of four short Novels in one book. None of the stories are similar and range from horror to science fiction. He showcases his creative mind and also his political thoughts/viewpoints.

    The book begins with Snapshot. This is set in the 80's and has a teenage boy as the protagonist. The "Phoenician" takes Polaroid pictures and in doing so his camera erases memories. I actually thought I would like this one the best as it felt more like a horror book/novel/story. It was

    Strange Weather is a collection of four short Novels in one book. None of the stories are similar and range from horror to science fiction. He showcases his creative mind and also his political thoughts/viewpoints.

    The book begins with Snapshot. This is set in the 80's and has a teenage boy as the protagonist. The "Phoenician" takes Polaroid pictures and in doing so his camera erases memories. I actually thought I would like this one the best as it felt more like a horror book/novel/story. It was slow to start for me. I kept putting the book down and then came back to it. Things do take off in this story and when I thought it would be over, it wasn't.

    Loaded is about a security guard stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero but is the spotlight too much? Will he unravel? What connection does a mass shooting have to a ten year old and her cousin? Spanning twenty years this story/novel felt political. Gun control - pro/against. People are passionate about this issue and it felt like Hill was making a point.

    Aloft is where a man parachutes to impress a woman and in memory of his friend but instead of landing on earth he lands on what appears to be a UFO. Dare, I say that this felt like an episode of the Twilight Zone. From the beginning things felt like something was not going to go right. Aubrey is scared and things go downhill from there. This becomes a type of relationship where one being is happy with the arrangement and the other is not.

    Rain is about nails falling from the sky instead of water droplets. Honeysuckle watches as her girlfriend dies and sets off to inform her girlfriends's father only to be hunted by a religious cult. Yep, this one is political as well - A President making threats on Twitter, Cults, Terrorists, Russians, etc. One plus, Honeysuckle is a strong female character.

    As I said, I thought I would like snapshot the most. It turned out I enjoyed Aloft the most and also Rain. Loaded was my least favorite. I enjoyed the concept of 4 novels in one book, but honestly, I prefer a longer novel overall.

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    I feel terrible that I didn't post any updates while I was reading this one, but I was so sucked in that I kept forgetting to share my thoughts here as I went!

    The only reason this wasn't a 5 star read for me was due to the fact that the first story (SNAPSHOT) underwhelmed me quite a bit. It didn't seem to fit with the other three, but that could just be a case of personal taste and opinion. Other than that, these stories contained a slow building sense of dread and disturbance that felt gritty

    I feel terrible that I didn't post any updates while I was reading this one, but I was so sucked in that I kept forgetting to share my thoughts here as I went!

    The only reason this wasn't a 5 star read for me was due to the fact that the first story (SNAPSHOT) underwhelmed me quite a bit. It didn't seem to fit with the other three, but that could just be a case of personal taste and opinion. Other than that, these stories contained a slow building sense of dread and disturbance that felt gritty and unsettling; of course, this is what we look for in a Joe Hill production so that was welcomed and expected!

    While I enjoyed all three remaining stories, I felt LOADED disturbed me the greatest as it hit home with all the mass shootings we've seen in recent times. That said, I do believe my favorite story, based purely on enjoyment, was RAIN. I'm not sure what the final arrangement of all four stories will be in the finished copies, but with the way they are set now, it seemed that they started mildly and grew slowly in suspense and unsettling nature until we reach the end. I really liked how that felt and hope the publisher decides to keep everything as is.

    Final verdict? Joe Hill has done it again and I highly recommend this to folks who enjoy a little extra thinking with their disturbing content. This is intellectual horror at its best.

    ****************************

    YAAASSSS!!! Thanks Goodreads Giveaways for this one! 👊🏼🖤

  • Matthew

    Sometimes it is considered unfair, cliche, or overdone to compare the offspring to the parental unit, but this is my review, and I feel like it, so that's what I'm gonna do!

    Four Novellas - all of them pretty decent. I enjoyed the way they played out but I think there is one thing that could either be a very positive aspect or a very negative aspect, depending on your preference.

    Sometimes it is considered unfair, cliche, or overdone to compare the offspring to the parental unit, but this is my review, and I feel like it, so that's what I'm gonna do!

    Four Novellas - all of them pretty decent. I enjoyed the way they played out but I think there is one thing that could either be a very positive aspect or a very negative aspect, depending on your preference.

    3 Stars

    Reminded me of The Sun Dog from Stephen King's

    . Pretty good, but easily my least favorite of the collection.

    5 stars

    A candidate for Hill's best storytelling ever. Which is interesting because it reminded me of King's

    from the Bachman Books, which I didn't care for very much.

    4 stars

    My pick for most creative of the collection. Also, this to me was the one that left the most up to the reader's imagination. It slightly reminded me of King's The Raft from

    . It is more of just a feeling than a direct comparison.

    4 stars

    This was the apocalypse story of the bunch which is appropriate as it takes place mainly in Boulder, Colorado, one of the main locations of

    . Also, at one point, Estes Park is mentioned which is the location of The Stanley - the hotel that inspired

    .

    That averages out to a solid 4 stars. This was a great improvement, in my opinion, over Hill's last book The Fireman. I recommend this to all horror/suspense/supernatural fans.

  • Paromjit

    Joe Hill gives us four intelligent short stories of varied length that unsettle, disturb, and horrify. However, none is less than riveting reading, provoke thought and entertain. In Snapshot, a young boy faces his nightmares, the menace of dementia, and the challenge that is the tattooed Phoenician, a thug with a polaroid camera, a camera which snaps and erases memories. Loaded is a story with the capacity to emotionally tear you apart. Its focus is guns and gun violence as it explores the scena

    Joe Hill gives us four intelligent short stories of varied length that unsettle, disturb, and horrify. However, none is less than riveting reading, provoke thought and entertain. In Snapshot, a young boy faces his nightmares, the menace of dementia, and the challenge that is the tattooed Phoenician, a thug with a polaroid camera, a camera which snaps and erases memories. Loaded is a story with the capacity to emotionally tear you apart. Its focus is guns and gun violence as it explores the scenarios that lie behind the use of guns by cops. A reporter suspects all is not as it should be in a mall shooting and its apparent hero. Aloft moves us into more supernatural territory, as Aubrey Griffin's fear of parachuting has to be surmounted as circumstances change drastically. He finds himself landing on a weird cloud in the sky. Rain is a shift to a dystopian post-apocalyptic time with a terrifying and killer rain that penetrates skin and has devastating effects. Honeysuckle Speck undertakes a horrifying road trip from Boulder to Denver. A collection of odd stories that grip and capture the imagination. Many thanks to Orion for an ARC.

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