I tend to stay away from the horror genre due in part to the fact that I read Halloween when I was a preteen and never quite recovered ;)When I picked up NOS4A2 I thought it would have more of a fantasy bent than a focused horror flavor. Then I discovered that Joe Hill was none other than Stephen King's son and let's just say I knew that I was in trouble! *cue psycho music* There are bad guys in this book and really bad things happen but especially worse because they involve children. Hill twists up the innocent with malevolent intent and it produces shudder inducing scenes that are the stuff of nightmares.
Vic McQueen is our heroine that you can't help but root for. Despite her troubled past and questionable choices she wants to be happy and do right by those she loves. Manx is obviously the head creeper in this story but I have to say that if anyone gives me nightmares it'll be man-child, rapist and all around psycho, Bing. His complete indifference to human suffering was almost worse than Manx's soul sucking since Bing reveled in hurting and continuing to hurt his victims. In the end this was more scary because of the fantasy or psychological component than the pure horror aspect of it and I think that I enjoyed it more for that very reason.
Hill is an amazing storyteller and while I can't say that horror will be my new favorite genre, this was an satisfying foray into something different!