Man can Joe Hill write. These stories often didn’t go where I thought they were going to go, it’s great when you can just go where the novels take you.
Strange Weather is comprised of four short novels, Snapshot, Loaded, Aloft and Rain. Loaded and Snapshot were my favorite out of the four.
Snapshot I rate 4 stars, it’s about a camera that can steal your memories, and a crazed camera bent on that. This one felt the most Stephen King-ish (with Joe Hill being his son). It had an overweight protagonist and the Phoenician (or cameraman) is terrifying in dialog alone. This story is one that I really went with there was a point where I go okay where is this story taking me, other reviewers seemed bored of the long ending, but it does have an ending and it is beautiful.
Loaded I rate 5 stars, it’s amazing storytelling at it’s finest. The novel starts off as a vignette of peoples interaction with gun violence, then he connects all these stories in a master stroke. The Main character is Kellaway a mall cop with a thing for guns, only problem he’s not aloud to carry any. on the day of a mall shooting he stops with a gun, but not without casualties. Loaded has a lot of Shakespearian references with the lead character playing a hybrid of Iago and Claudius. This story seemed ripped from the headlines about gun violence. It doesn’t pick a side in the battle of for guns or against guns. The ending is so good, please don’t let anyone ruin it for you, I read that story two days ago and can not get it out of my mind.
Aloft I rated 2 stars, it was that story I connected with the least, and the ending didn’t really pull it together for me. Aubrey Griffen is set to skydive for his friend June who passed away with cancer, he is accompanied by June’s two brother and Harriet Aubrey crush who constantly keeps putting him in the friend zone Harriet and Aubrey are also accompanied with two instructors that are attached to their back. Aubrey gets cold feet and doesn’t want to jump after everyone else jumps the plane starts to have engine trouble and he jumps the instructor and Aubrey land hard on a cloud in the sky, he detaches from the instructor as he’s blown of the cloud with the chute. The cloud is magical and can read his mind making everything so he will be comfortable and not want to leave. This novel also has flashbacks about his relationship to June and Harriet which I enjoyed but it just didn’t connect for me the way it should have.
Rain I give 3 and a half stars, in the afterwords section he calls this story a spoof on his novel the Fireman, that’s why I did not like this one because it felt to similar that I had already read this novel, it does have some nice surprises and reveals to still give this such a high rating. Rain is about Colorado, being struck by a rain of crystal nails that impale everything they touch. Terrorist take blame, cult are formed, and relationships are torn. I like the relationships and biblical proportions, but then again that’s what I liked in The Fireman.
Joe Hill is one of my favorites, his stories rarely go where I think they will go and am constantly surprised how fast I can care for a character in his stories. I recommend this collection of stories for a fan of horror and just great storytelling especially Loaded, so good! for the whole novel I rate it 4 out of 5 stars.