Book Review–Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King



This is the 85th book from my 114 in 2014 Reading Challenge.


Picture Source:
Picture Source:

Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King
Published September 24, 2013 by Scribner


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.





So I had a kind of long review going on and then my computer decided to turn off without warning. So I’m going to summarize my initial thoughts because there is no way I am re-writing all that.

The beginning started off strong, got a little boring/slow, and then went to being awesome and exciting not too far from the halfway point. So if you start to feel the story is getting boring, keep going!

The character development was very strong. I originally didn’t care much for grown up Dan, but ended up loving him by the end. Abra is probably my favorite “good” character, though I also liked Billy Freeman, too. Most of the villains were also well written and had a likable edge despite their awful actions. I especially liked Rose the Hat and Snakebite Andi.

There’s some neat twists in the book. I especially liked the twist with “the baseball boy.” The final battle scene isn’t nearly as anti-climatic as a scene from earlier, but still very enjoyable. Also loved the guest character who makes an appearance.

The ending was so incredibly sweet that it brought tears to my eyes.

Overall, a wonderful sequel to the original. Would definitely recommend to horror fans, Stephen King fans, and especially <i>Shining</i> fans. I’d love to see a movie adaptation just to get a better picture of the characters, especially the True Knot ones.

Make sure to check out the beautiful illustrations that are in an out-of-print version by Vincent Chong:










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