Doctor Sleep. The Sequel to the Fan Favorite, The Shining
Metamorphosis of a classic
Hello again. Let me start this article by telling you that if you like The Shining, it does not mean that you will like this book. I however, am a Stephen King addict, and anything he puts to paper, in my humble opinion, is gold.
Where The Shining was clearly a Horror/Thriller with what I would call 'acceptable paranormal activity,' its sequel has evolved into the realm of Science Fiction with the introduction of an almost alien group that pursues people with 'The Shining,' for their own malevolent purposes. Only the very first chapter holds true to the original with a definite creepiness that I believe was King's attempt at a gradual transformation.
The book starts by filling you in on what immediately followed the events at the Overlook (herein lies the creepiness I mentioned). It then fast forwards to an adult Danny who has inherited certain traits from his father, yes, unfortunately Danny has followed rather closely in Jack's footsteps and struggles with alcoholism. He eventually gets a modest job at a hospital, where he uses his unique talent (with the help of a furry friend) to guide the chronically ill to a peaceful and painless slumber, ergo 'Doctor Sleep.'
The story picks up when he meets a young girl, Abra, who shares his talent, but on a much greater scale. It is this abundance of power or 'The Shining' that paints her as a perfect target for the otherworldly cult who call themselves the 'True Knot,' which is comprised of powerful beings who each have their own areas of expertise. Having been in existence for countless years without sensing a power of this magnitude, the 'True Knot' and their vehement leader will stop at nothing to find Abra.
This is definitely not just a continuation of the one character Danny Torrance, he is only a piece of the pie. It also depicts the full potential of 'The Shining' through the young Abra, who keeps the story going at a nice pace and is guaranteed to put a few smiles on your face.There is a certain feeling of adventure that also dominates the book which kept me turning the pages well into the midnight hours. The characters are all well thought out in how they each play their part in the unravelling of the story, which might at first seem to be taking a very straight course, but takes certain twists and turns that will keep you refilling your coffee cup.
In conclusion, if you haven't read the original 'The Shining,' and don't intend to, this book stands perfectly well on its own. And if you couldn't read The Shining because it was just too scary for you, then I suggest you give this one a shot, as I said, this is not a horror (except for the very beginning) and will appeal well to science fiction fans.
In my next article I will not be reviewing a book, but addressing one of my peeves; the King critic. I will be discussing certain stereotypes that people have placed on the name which keep them from even taking a cursory glance at his books when in the bookstore. Also, I will explain exactly what makes Stephen King 'The King.' Be sure to check in, and keep reading!
© 2018 Joseph B Daniel