Back in 1977 Stephen King wrote what many consider one of the best horror novels of our generation with “The Shining.” Fans have been frothing for a sequel for over three decades but most feared it would never happen because King has openly stated that…well….he is not a fan of sequels. Now, a mere 36 years later, King gives us the sequel we have all anxiously hoped to someday get and it’s titled “Doctor Sleep.”
King lets us catch up with Danny Torrance, now middle-aged and still plagued with visions and telepathic abilities. As a young adult he fell into the same pitfalls of addiction as his Father but in Danny’s case alcohol offered him an escape from his “gift” and helped him tune out “the shining.” Now, in his late 40’s Danny is sober and working in a local hospice in Frazier, New Hampshire where he uses his “gift” to help people pass peacefully into the afterlife thus gaining the moniker of “Doctor Sleep.”
While Dan, (no one calls him Danny anymore) is going through this phase of his life he is thrown a curve ball. In a town close by a girl named Abra is born and like Dan she possesses some VERY unique gifts of her own. These gifts give Dan and Abra a conscious connection from the moment she enters this world but they also make her a target.
Abra by Vincent Chong
King introduces a new evil to literature called The True Knot and they are a force to be reckoned with. Traveling the countryside in RV’s, The True Knot are an ancient tribe of vampire-esque, immortal predators that live a very, very long time off a particular and unique sustenance. They seek out and hunt down kid’s that are endowed with “the shining” and they feed off of it, taking in what they call “steam” and draining their psychic essence in a way that is beyond gruesome. (Hey, it’s STEPHEN KING! You didn’t really think it would be all daisies and puppies did you?)
Abra’s “gift” is far stronger than even Dan’s and this has put her smack-dab at the top of the most wanted list for The True Knot. Dan becomes aware of the True Knot threat and leaves his long awaited and hard fought life of normalcy to try and save Abra from a fate worse than death itself.
Doctor Sleep provides less horror than it’s predecessor but it oozes with real-life similarities to King’s personal life, his struggle with alcohol and substance abuse and his rise from the depths of despair, much like Dan’s. As we said, King is not a fan of sequels but much like The Shining, fans will be eager to see if he will follow up “Doctor Sleep” with yet another psychic story. (Let’s hope we don’t have to wait 36 years!)
Click HERE to order your copy of “Doctor Sleep” and get lost in the mind of one of the greatest writers of our time.