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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

#allthebookreviews: Strange Weather by Joe Hill @joe_hill @wmmorrowbooks

Strange Weather
by Joe Hill
William Morrow


Big thank you to William Morrow Books for our copies in return for our honest reviews. 

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

My Thoughts

I really wish I knew what my problems with short stories were. I realize they're one of the hardest things to write - putting in so much into a shorter stature.. but then I'm like just write MORE - give me the FULL STORY. So, going into this review, let's just realize that I'm a strange, awkward bird who just prefers the fleshed out novels more. K?

It's no big revelation that Joe Hill is a fantastic writer - I've THOROUGHLY enjoyed his full novels, NOS4A2, Heart Shaped-Box and The Fireman. When I received this copy of Strange Weather, I was ecstatic!! (If not dubious because of the aforementioned inclination to not care for short stories much.) What I DID like right off the bat was that this is a short story collection that contains only FOUR stories. YES! Hallelujah! Snoopy dance! I won't go into what each story is about as I definitely agree with other reviewers that it's best to go in blind but here's my rankings for each one which is how I came to my total ranking of 3.75, rounded up to a 4 here.

SNAPSHOT - meh... very predictable and underwhelming for my taste. 3 stars.
LOADED - probably my favorite of the four - crazy is as crazy does! 5 stars.
ALOFT - I feel like I should've loved this more than I did - humor was great but... meh? 3 stars.
RAIN - happy to have ended the book with this one - quite the interesting premise and OUCH - 4 stars.

So there you have it - if you'd read this collection and would like to discuss, please come talk to me!!


Jessica's Thoughts

Ever since reading NOS4A2 I've loved Joe Hill's writing. So when I was sent a copy of his newest release STRANGE WEATHER I was very excited to dive in! I have always loved short stories. As someone that isn't a writer, it always amazes me that authors can really pack a punch or truly creep you out in a small amount of pages (as opposed to a 400+ page novel). This one was a collection of 4 short stories and I don't think there was I didn't like. There were a couple standouts, though.
I don't want to give away too much about each story - since they are short stories I don't want to ruin too much of the plot! We have SNAPSHOT which brings us to Silicon Valley. A man known as The Phoenician is terrorizing a teenager - he has in his possession a Polaroid camera that has a dark power. With each snap of a photo, it erases your memories. Next up is ALOFT. A man is experiencing his first parachute jump - as if that isn't terrifying enough to me - he ends up stranded on a solid cloud. Being a castaway up in the sky and not being able to get down. RAIN is more of an apocalyptic story. Starting in Boulder, Colorado the sky opens up with a downpour of nails. What will the population do as this phenomena spreads across the country, and then the world? Finally, we have LOADED. Definitely a more current topic of conversation - a mall security guard bravely stops a mass shooting from happening. But being in the spotlight begins to take a toll on him - not only his is story falling apart, but so is his sanity. He will soon have one last day of reckoning when he reaches for his gun once again. 
Joe Hill does an incredible job weaving these stories and characters in such a short amount of time. Each story pulls you in and doesn't let go. This is one of those authors where I'll always buy their new books, and I'm never disappointed!
Overall, if you want unsettling and great intellectual horror stories, then you need to pick this one up! Four very different horror stories and all quick reads. Obviously, if you love Joe Hill, then this is one you need to get, without hesitation.
I give this 5/5 stars!

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