Release date: October 24, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Horror/Sci Fi/Fantasy
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.
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.
This book would not be something that I would normally read, but after having heard from SO many people that Hill is a fantastic author I knew I had to give him a try. A collection of short stories seemed like the perfect way for me to acquainted with his work and overall I’m pretty impressed even though I didn’t love every single story.
I’m going to start with my least favorite and end with my favorite so I can end on a positive note! Snapshot had some parts that I really liked, Michael is an adult and is recounting a series of incidents from when he was twelve in the eighties. I love books set in this era so that was really cool and I liked the conversational style it had. I felt like a friend was telling me a crazy story from their past. I was pretty underwhelmed in the end, I found it predictable and the resolution was meh.
Aloft follows Audrey, an early twenties man who goes skydiving with some friends after one of them passes away to honor her memory. He is the sole focus and I found him to be well drawn for such a short amount of time spent with him. This had such a weird premise, it was pretty out there for me and while I liked it, I didn’t love it.
Rain focuses on an end of days type of event in Colorado and is told by a woman named Honeysuckle. I love a good apocalypse novel and haven’t read one in forever, so I was pretty into this bizarre tale of crystal spikes falling from the sky. This was dark and atmospheric and I really liked Honeysuckle and was invested in her. The ending left a bit to be desired but overall an entertaining read.
Loaded was the strongest in my opinion, maybe because it was so timely, but I thought it was extremely well done. It had a brief period with different timelines, present day, then back to the early nineties and I was impressed by how well this worked in a story that’s only a bit over one hundred pages, I’ve read full length novels that can’t pull this off as well! There are several characters in this story and they’re all linked by a mall shooting and the way things were plotted was smart and came together smoothly in the end.
If you like short story collections and don’t mind supernatural elements in your thrillers, give this a shot. I liked that I could easily read each section in a single setting and appreciated the great sense of place and atmosphere in each story, they were all highly original and engrossing.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.