Monday, April 14, 2014

Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King

Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Scribner
Series: The Shining series, Book 2

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Dan Torrance witnessed many horrors as a child, but the worst took place at the Overlook Hotel. The memories and ghosts from that traumatic experience haunted Dan throughout his adolescence.Though his closest friend, Doc, taught him how to cope with some of the monsters, there were many left which drove him straight into becoming an alcoholic. After reaching his "rock bottom," Dan found himself in a small town where he battled his demons and came to terms with some of his past.

A young girl with an impressive "shining" stumbled into Dan's life and into the path of the True Knot, a group of wanderers who seek out those children with the shine and take it from them. Dan did his best to pass down the knowledge given to him by Doc, but when her own life was threatened by the True Knot members, Dan must face down everything from his past in order to keep her and others like her safe.

Books by Stephen King were among the first books I ever read on my own and will continue to find places upon my shelves. Many of his books are among those I consider my favorites. This book was definitely a treat to read. Not only did it answer many of the questions surrounding the fate of Danny and his mom after the events of The Shining, but it also maintained its own edge and relation to the current generation while visiting the past.

It was a bit difficult to get close to a few of the characters in this book. Some were written with sharp edges like many of the True Knot members. Others were decent people in the core of their being but had made so many bad decisions that the consequences wrapped around them like a thick, prickly skin of sorts. Most of the time, I was rooting for Dan despite the erratic behavior and the dumb decisions. Over the course of the novel, he proved time and time again that he was much more than a guy with a little something extra.

I think a lot of the True Knot members were interesting as well. There's no telling what they would have been if their natures hadn't been destroyed by their "turning" and assimilation into the wandering gang. Many of the members had unique gifts of their own. Rose was the most powerful and possessed many gifts including telepathy, locating others with her mind, invading a person's mind and charming others into doing what she wanted. Snakebite Andi was able to put people into a deep sleep whenever she wanted. Like a traveling carnival of horror, they possessed nicknames and gifts to suit their needs.

For much of the book, there was the typical back and forth between characters in different locations that I've come to expect with King's work. Within one chapter, there might be four or five mini-chapters and the actions of the characters in one affecting the characters in another. It was a little confusing during the middle of the book when there was a lot going on both with the characters and in the world itself. But things became much clearer as the story continued to unfold. The action and steady pace of the novel kept me turning the pages even when I needed to stop!

Overall, this was a really good book. It held many answers for lingering questions as well as new questions for the future generation to answer. I truly hope that we might see one more appearance from Dan Torrance before it's all said and done. If you love a story that's a little more out there than usual or filled with weirdness one expects of Stephen King, don't hesitate to pick up a copy of this book.

Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King is currently available for purchase at many retailers, both in-store and online. It can be purchased in a variety of formats including hardcover, paperback and Kindle. Click the link below to visit the book's page at Amazon.
Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King

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