I don't usually review Stephen King books, because he doesn't really need the extra exposure, but what the hell.
The premise: This novel is a sequel to The Shining
in a sense, because it follows up with what happened to little Danny Torrance after the events at the Overlook Hotel?
In an attempt to drown out the shining and its unwanted visions, Dan turned to drink and drugs, eventually hitting bottom. In an attempt to sober up, he starts Alcoholic Anonymous and settles down in the Northeast, where a little girl named Abra is growing up. Abra is extremely powerful with the shining, so powerful that she attracts the attention of the True Knot--a group that feeds off of those with the shining. Their leader, Rose, wants Abra's essence, and only Dan has a chance of stopping her.
I thought this was an excellent follow-up to The Shining, because even though there are ties to that first book, Doctor Sleep is really it's own story. Yes, it's Dan, and it's cool to see what's become of him, but in the end the focus on Abra and the True Knot. The novel becomes its own entity, separate from The Shining. I guess that's why I wanted to review the book, because taking note of that is important.
Dan's attempt to blunt the shining with alcohol is completely understandable, especially since he's still being haunted by the events that happened at the Overlook. I also liked the fact that we catch up with Dan at the END of this self-destructive phase. We get enough of it to realize how bad it became, and then we get to see Dan redeem himself with AA, so there wasn't any wallowing in how low Dan went before he started to recover.
I was afraid at first that the book would focus completely on that aspect of Dan's life. Instead, it became much more with the shift to Abra and with Dan coming to terms with what he'd done during his dark times with drugs and alcohol, and with him finally dealing with what happened at the Overlook.
So, definitely a good book and a nice way to return to a loved character without simply rehashing a loved book. Doctor Sleep
is its own story, and one well worth reading.
Joshua Palmatier/Benjamin Tate