- Strange Weather by Joe Hill. Harper Collins 2017.
Amazon blurb: 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.
“One of America’s finest horror writers” (Time magazine), Joe Hill has been hailed among legendary talents such as Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, and Jonathan Lethem. In Strange Weather, this “compelling chronicler of human nature’s continual war between good and evil,” (Providence Journal-Bulletin) who “pushes genre conventions to new extremes” (New York Times Book Review) deftly expose the darkness that lies just beneath the surface of everyday life.
“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.
A young man takes to the skies to experience his first parachute jump. . . and winds up a castaway on an impossibly solid cloud, a Prospero’s island of roiling vapor that seems animated by a mind of its own in “Aloft.”
On a seemingly ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado, the clouds open up in a downpour of nails—splinters of bright crystal that shred the skin of anyone not safely under cover. “Rain” explores this escalating apocalyptic event, as the deluge of nails spreads out across the country and around the world.
In “Loaded,” a mall security guard in a coastal Florida town courageously stops a mass shooting and becomes a hero to the modern gun rights movement. But under the glare of the spotlights, his story begins to unravel, taking his sanity with it. When an out-of-control summer blaze approaches the town, he will reach for the gun again and embark on one last day of reckoning.
Masterfully exploring classic literary themes through the prism of the supernatural, Strange Weather is a stellar collection from an artist who is “quite simply the best horror writer of our generation” (Michael Kortya).
My review: Snapshot was a chilling, creepy story about a boy who meets “the Polaroid Man” who has the ability to take a picture of someone and steal their mind. It reminded me a lot of his father (Stephen King’s) writing. I didn’t however care for the ending. I thought it dragged on past what was needed for the story.
Aloft was about a guy who made a promise to a dying friend and then regretted doing so. He has to jump out of an airplane and is afraid to. I can understand the phobia, I would probably be glued to that plane unless something happened—which is what occurs. The weird creeps in though when he finds himself a cast off on a space ship. Everything he wants is provided and yet—he yearns to go back home. I didn’t really like this story but some might.
Loaded shows a security guard with a lot of issues who’s recently separated from his wife and son. His weapons—and he has a LOT—are taken by the courts and he finds a way to get another gun from a dying friend. He uses it in what he thinks is a terrorist attack in the mall. This earns him the role of hero until things begin to unravel for him thanks to a reporter. This one I had to consult a craft book about as in the beginning the reporter had a relative killed in a hate crime by a cop and then covered up by the police. The reason I consulted the craft book was he tells us information the pov character couldn’t have known. I looked this up and realized he used a telescoping pov that took us out of the pov character and allowed him to explain what was going on, but it was jarring. Scary tale though what this guy was willing to do because he thought he had the right.
The best story is the last and simply titled: Rain. It is about the day it rained crystal nails that kill a lot of people including the protagonist’s girlfriend and her girlfriend’s mother. The strange weather keeps happening until Honeysuckle discovers why. I won’t go into the details, it’s well worth the read for this story alone. I did have problems with how it worked out in the end however as I thought it was a little farfetched.
- Fairies: Hidden History A Collection of Stories by Horatio Grin by Paul Andruss.
My Review: It has a lot of information about the different types of fairies and even goes into gods and angels and demons at points and how they’re all connected. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and learned a lot to help me with my research. Anyone interested in learning more about fairies and the beginning of myths and such in our world should like.