I’d like to introduce a new segment I’ll call New Fiction Friday. This is a challenge to me, to both read a new work of fiction and work on a review to share – every week! Finding quality time to read is always difficult. My excuse is having a busy three year old, but there are so many other things that take us away from what we love to do. I always try to make time to read – and when you can find a really good book, it can be more relaxing and more enjoyable than anything else! I recently finished Dr Sleep, which I had been so excited to read, and had been eagerly awaiting its release! Like most Stephen King books, this book was incredibly long, so it took me quite a while to finish it! The time spent was totally worth it, and the saga of Danny Torrance was hard to put down!
As a fan of Stephen King, I think The Shining is one of his best books. I wondered if he had some sort of plan to follow The Shining with a sequel, why he waited so long. I was so excited when I heard of the book’s release, and interested to see where King would take the story. In the first book Danny Torrence is a seven year old with amazing clairvoyant capabilities. The novel centers around his family’s move to the Overlook Hotel, and the demise of his family through the actions of his father and the hotel. What’s also important about that book is his developing relationship Dick Hallorann, who helps him to understand his precognitive abilities. This will be an important element tying the two books together.
There has been a lot of excitement about Dr Sleep, and some may want to read The Shining first. Now having finished Dr Sleep, I don’t think it’s that important to read them in order. The book begins with a very brief synopsis of Danny’s earlier experiences, but launches quickly into his struggles as an adult. His father struggled with alcoholism, his lack of success as a writer, and his inability to control his anger. Those are also some of the issues that Danny struggles with as an adult. After the dramatic end of The Shining, there was the expectation that Danny’s would have take a different path. Yet, because of his precognition, he has struggled to live a normal life. The title itself refers to Danny’s line of work, assisting the elderly move on to the afterlife while working as an aide in a nursing home.
His early relationship with Dick Ohalloran was paralleled in this book, when he meets a young girl named Abra Stone and becomes her mentor. Her powers are much stronger, and because of this she is sought after by a group known as the True Knot. This is the main element of the story – protecting Abra from the True Knot.
“‘They call themselves the True Knot. Most of them are old, and they really are like vampires. They look for kids like me. And like you were, I guess. Only they don’t drink blood, they breathe in the stuff that comes out when the special kids die.’ She winced in disgust. ‘The more they hurt them before, the stronger that stuff is. They call it steam.'”
I have to say, this book wasn’t as good as I had expected, but given the greatness of The Shining, this book had a lot to live up to. It was still a great page-turner, and some parts was so scary I actually had to put it down for a minute! It was the perfect October read!!