The Shining is one of my favorite books by Stephen King, but for some reason I held off on reading this for such a long time. Trepidation that this wouldn’t live up to the original novel? Whatever it was, I’m glad I finally rectified the situation. Doctor Sleep is an incredible work of fiction, and I fell even more in love with this installment than I did the beloved first novel. King somehow managed to outdo himself with making me care about the characters and wrapping me up in the events of the story.
This novel takes place many years after what happened in The Shining, and finds Danny Torrance (now called Dan) struggling with alcoholism. Drinking helps numb his “shining”, but after he hits rock bottom, he moves to a small town and starts working at a hospice while attending AA meetings. While he’s in this town, though, he starts receiving messages from a young girl named Abra who has an abundant amount of “shine”. What they don’t realize is that there is a sinister group of creatures called The True Knot who feed off the “steam” of children like Abra, and she’s in grave danger. He makes it his mission to protect her, no matter the cost.
I absolutely fell in love with the cast of characters, and was disgusted by The True Knot. Dan is a relatable character who has flaws and has made mistakes, and I grew to care deeply for him during my time with him. The attention to detail is astounding, and I felt like I was there with everyone. This isn’t as scary as The Shining, but it’s much more emotional and magical. The five hundred-plus pages flew by, and I can’t wait to see the film adaptation.