Does Stephen King need my review? Probably not, but I will provide one anyway. No mincing words: I loved Doctor Sleep. While I couldn’t say the novel was scary (after all I’ve been reading horror since I was a kid – and that was a long time ago – so I may be jaded to some degree), Doctor Sleep was gripping and thrilling. The villains in the story, the True Knot who are vampire-like inhuman creatures that survive on the life-force of kids who have the gift of “the shining”), are a devilishly creepy creation. Their presence in the story infuses the story with a very palatable sense of dread and danger. More importantly, however, is our chance to find out what happened to Danny Torrance who survived the hellish events in the Overlook Hotel many years ago. King develops a true flesh and blood adult Dan Torrance, and King does not coast along with a rosy picture of a favorite hero from one of his best works. Dan has had a difficult life and has numerous emotional and behavioral scars to prove it. His dirty laundry is described for everyone to read. Yet, he is a beloved character in a King novel, so he must learn despite all of his flaws to survive in a tale inhabited by the unthinkable. The story is taut and hair-raising with a plot that will not let you go.
Anthony Hains is a horror & speculative fiction writer.