Friday, 12 January 2018

Book Review: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

In this father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men? 

All around the world, something is happening to women when they fall asleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed, the women become feral and spectacularly violent...

In the small town of Dooling, West Virginia, the virus is spreading through a women's prison, affecting all the inmates except one. Soon, word spreads about the mysterious Evie, who seems able to sleep - and wake. Is she a medical anomaly or a demon to be slain? 

The abandoned men, left to their increasingly primal devices, are fighting each other, while Dooling's Sherriff, Lila Norcross, is just fighting to stay awake. 

And the sleeping women are about to open their eyes to a new world altogether...

I don't usually have a bad word to say about Stephen King's novels. I'm a huge fan. I've read most of his work, from IT to The Shining, and loved them all. But Sleeping Beauties just fell short of the mark for me. I don't know if it's due to Owen King's involvement in the novel, or whether Stephen King just produced a dud as, I'm sure, most authors do from time to time. I mean, you can't please everyone, right? But judging by the reviews of Sleeping Beauties on Goodreads, I'm far from the only one feeling like this far from Stephen King's best work. 

Coming in at over 700 pages, this is a hefty tome of a book. It's daunting, and it really didn't need to be that long. There was far too much unnecessary information included in the novel, and this caused the story to be dragged out far longer than was necessary. By the midway point, I was thoroughly bored, and no longer invested in the story, at all. I also found that were way, way, too many characters. I wound up getting them all confused, which made the reading experience that much harder. 

Honestly, it was a real hard slog to get through Sleeping Beauties. I was so excited to read Stephen King's latest novel, a collaboration with son no less, but was left feeling thoroughly disappointed in the end. 

Rating: ***

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