Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Dan Torrance grew up to be an alcoholic, just like his father. But now he's in recovery and working in a hospice where he uses his Shine to comfort people when they die. But what is his connection to a young girl named Abra Stone? And what does The True Knot, a traveling group of RV people, want with her?
After all the glimpses shown in NOS4A2, I knew I'd be reading this one hot off the presses. Was I disappointed? Well, I don't think it was a home run.
I loved the story of Dan Torrance, recovering from his experience at the Overlook with his parents in
The Shining, only to become an alcoholic just like his old man. His road to recovery was well done and I loved how the connection to Abra Stone unfolded. Dan's friends were well done and I found myself dreading which one of them would die at the bloody conclusion, as is the fate of many Stephen King supporting cast members.
There were some nice Easter eggs in Doctor Sleep. Charles Manx, Castle Rock, the Dark Tower, and probably a few others I've already forgotten.
Another thing I loved was the True Knot. I love the idea of a bunch of psychic vampires riding around in RVs, draining kids of their Shine to rejuvenate them. Rosie the Hat was pretty vile and her compatriots were almost as bad. I almost feared for Abra Stone's life.
Almost. My main problem with the book is that Abra was too damn powerful and I never thought for a moment that she wouldn't survive. When she outmaneuvers the bad guys at every turn, there's no sense of jeopardy. The ending was straight from the Nerf factory. I don't remember another Stephen King book where so many of the good guys survived the final encounter.
Still, it was a fun read and there were some tense moments. We'll call it a 3.5.
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