Thursday, November 14, 2013

Horror Pick: Doctor Sleep (The Shining, book 2)

Doctor Sleep
by Stephen King
528 pages

Spooky, scary and creepily grotesque doesn't begin to describe the terror of Doctor Sleep. Somewhere out there on America's highways and byways, you might see a convoy of Winnebagos driven by baby boomers and elderly retirees. You may not think anything of it, unless you've entered the terrifying world of Doctor Sleep.

Dan Torrence (the child in The Shining) is now all grown up. Having survived the nightmare that was the Overlook, Dan has spent years lying to himself and relying on the bottle for solace. He finally turns to AA for help, and the shining is quiet for a little while. He is still in touch with the Overlook's cook Dick Hallorann who has helped him understand the shining and his powers since childhood. When Dan is summoned by a young girl named Abra, he turns to Dick again for help.

Abra has the shining, too, and it's strong. That's what attracts Rose and her group of life-sucking vampires who feed off the shining from children. The True Knot travels from campground to campground feeding off the shining of tragedies. When 9/11 happened, they fed well off the steam of the dying. Since then, their canisters of saved "steam" is dwindling, and Rose is getting nervous. What will happen to her band of paranormal gypsies if there is no more steam? She will lose her power and die. Rose can't let that happen. She feels a strong presence somewhere on the east coast and sends her scouts out to search for this young beacon of hope.

Dan and Abra are connected, and she reaches out to Dan though messages on a chalkboard and later, she is able to connect telepathically. Sometimes Abra feels someone else besides Dan is in her head and she is afraid. Dan teachers her how to set traps and scare to intruder off, but Rose is powerful. Abra has a vision of a young boy she calls "baseball boy," and she knows he is somehow the key to destroying the True Knot.

As the True Knot moves closer to Abra, Dan and Dick hatch a plan to save her and unravel the True Knot (yes, pun intended) and destroy them. It will take all three of them...and then face the demons and win. Like The Stand, Doctor Sleep is the ultimate good versus evil battle.

Doctor Sleep is King at his masterful best; no one can build suspenseful excitement and fearful anticipation like King. He even takes a playful jab at fellow horror genre writer Dean Koontz--just for grins.

Highly, highly recommended for anyone who loves a great story and every Stephen King fan grade 9 and up. Language, mature situations, violence, alcoholism, sobriety issues.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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