Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Title: Doctor Sleep
Series: The Shining #2
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner (September 24, 2013)
Genre: Horror

Format Read: Ebook
Length: Novel
Source: Purchased

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

Teasers: There came a time when you realized that moving on was pointless. That you took yourself with you wherever you went. [10% Ebook. A bit depressing, but very true.]

Then, with no reason why, he added: “We’re all dying. The world’s just a hospice with fresh air.” [12% Ebook. As the teaser above, depressing, but a bit true.]

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. [15% Ebook. Love this point originally from Poe.]

We thought we had an intruder in the house, only what kind of burglar stops to play a little Beatles before grabbing the silverware? [20% Ebook. This made me laugh.]

Review: The demons from the old Overlook Hotel are child’s play compared to the ones coming in Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep.

The characters shine in this novel. Danny Torrance has grown up, but his troubled past shoves him toward rock bottom. Whether it is luck, coincidence, or a higher power, he makes his way north and toward his salvation in the form of a little girl name Abra Stone. Abra is an intelligent, hard-headed, and loveable girl. I loved how we watched her grow into her shining abilities. Dan’s friends Billy and Doctor John give him the support he needs to do what he needs to do.

Although I typically like to keep the monsters of horror novels more in the dark until it’s time to shine the light on them, King wrote the villains perfectly. The True Knot has their areas of gray. They live. They love. They torture. They murder. They are the villains we know well without really knowing them at all.

Some of the beginning seemed a bit slow and unrelated to the ongoing plot, but like a turn of a wheel, the novel had a delightful circularity to it and by a third into the book, I found there was no turning back. King creates an amazingly complex plot to go along with the complex characters. And there are revelations that made me gasp and produced goose bumps along my arms. The ending brought tears to my eyes and was just perfect.

Whether you’ve read The Shining or not, I highly recommend Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.

Five Bookworms = I loved it!