Victoria McQueen is a badass artist with a badass talent that goes beyond her artistic abilities. She has the ability to cross any distance with her 'shorter way' bridge to locate missing things. The bridge comes into existence with the combination of her strong, creative mind and transportation, not just any transportation, but a vehicle that chooses her,
a Raleigh Tuff Burner in her youth and a Triumph motorcycle in adult years. It's magic, and all magic has it's price.
Victoria finds she's not the only person in the world with special talents similar to hers, she finds two others, Maggie Leigh who can find answers to questions by the use of scrabble tiles and Charlie Manx who travels in a Rolls Royce Wraith
that can transport him to other dimensions in a world of his own creation.....his creation is called Christmas-land, where it's the happiest time of the year all year round (for Manx anyway.)
What good is an amusement park called Christmas Land if there are no children to fill it? None. So Manx goes about the country in his magic car kidnapping children, for their own good he believes,(what child wouldn't want to live in a place where it's Christmas day everyday?) with his sidekick, Bing. Bing doesn't have any special abilities other then being uber creepy.....seriously, he's the true stuff of nightmares.
One day Charlie Manx crosses Victoria McQueen and that is where the fun begins.....fasten your seat belts, keep hands inside the ride at all times, and for goodness sake don't get out of the car until the ride has come to a complete stop.
I grew up in the town that has the BEST amusement park in the U.S. and most likely the world. I got a job there as an artist as a youngster, and then continued to work in many parks all over the country for twenty plus years. So this book has much that appeals to me.
I always found amusement parks to have an underlying creepy factor, especially after close and all the rides have shut down, the shops have closed and it's quiet. Being a manager I would have to stay later than most on occasion, and trust me, it was a speedy walk to the car on those nights. I like that Joe Hill has touched on this, but I feel he's just taped a well that could go much deeper.
NOS4A2 is filled with memorable characters (my favorite being Lou, Victoria's baby daddy) and I hope to spend some more time with them in the future.
I listened to the audio book and I have to say Kate Mulgrew did a fantastic job! A book can be ruined by a bad performer and made even better by a really good one. It also made me smile when he gave a shout out to Firefly and threw out a few references to some worlds his dad has created.
As seen on Shelfinflicted