Monday, 9 October 2017

Book Review: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King

A strange epidemic spreads across the world wherein once all the women fall asleep they become cocooned in an unusual waxy material. Disruption or tearing upon of this cocoon will cause the female inside to act in a homicidal manner. Sleeping Beauties focuses on the events occurring in a small town, Dooling, West Virginia, and in particular Clint and Lila Norcross, Clint being the psychiatrist in the local female prison, and Lila being the town's sheriff. One woman, however, seems to be the key to unravelling exactly what is going on...

"Sometimes you get what you want, but mostly you get what you get."

I'm going to keep my review as spoiler-free as possible, as I know so many people are still reading it. So I'll just present some overall thoughts and opinions. Okay, so, I enjoyed this book, but it's not without its faults. Part 1 was brilliant, this idea presented by the Kings is so unique and interesting and to see how it all unfolds and the effect it has on the world, and in particular, in Dooling, is really exciting. Part 2, however... oh, it was a slog at times. It reminded me of my experience with The Stand where I just thought, "Oh get on with it!!!" I feel like this book could do with some characters being cut out and a number of pages trimmed off it.

Speaking of characters, there is a LOT in this book, but surprisingly I was able to keep up with who everyone was and how they were connected to each other etc. Sometimes I did have that split second of "Wait...who's this again?" but usually within reading a sentence or two I was back on track. So yeah, there isn't too many in terms of keeping up with the characters, but in my opinion, there were a few characters who I could just have done without. King is the King of character development and creating memorable characters that you just never forget - however, I think quite a lot of the ones in here are forgettable for me, apart from Evie and Lila. The rest, meh.

In terms of the collaboration between father and son, it was seamless to me, it didn't feel like it was splintered and all over the place as the voice switches from Owen to Stephen and back again. Of course, some parts felt distinctly Stephen, and others felt non-Stephen (I haven't read any of Owen's work beyond this so I can't comment on his writing style). The first half of the book felt like a Stephen King idea to me and a current-day King read, however the second half just lacked that punch that King usually delivers.

I guess my main complaint that is I didn't really FEEL anything reading this. I felt interested, sure, but I wasn't really expressing any emotions. Each and every character could have been killed off and I'd have been like *shrugs*. I did enjoy it overall, don't get me wrong, it's a great idea, a great premise, but the second half let me down and so I'd give this book 4 stars out of 5. Which perhaps seems high after all my complaining, but that first half of the book was SO good and I still found it hard to put the book down even when I got to the second half! Overall, a decent book!



  1. This feels almost word for word EXACTLY how I feel reading this book, as I'm 75% of the way through. I felt Part One was excellent, and the slowness for me didn't start until parts of Part Two. Just uncanny reading your review that I felt these exact same things. Some characters I could do without, I'd forget who one was but then it didn't take me long to remember. Great review, Johann. The only thing I didn't get is what you thought of the ending specifically. I'm not there yet, but I'm concerned as King has a hard time with endings sometimes. Specifically I was massively in love with all of Under the Dome until the last pages when it felt flat on it's face :( So I'm worried about the end of Sleeping Beauties but overall optimistic still!

  2. Nice review and very cool about the father son collab! I don't read Stephen King much. I have never been able to get in to his writing.

  3. This is on my list to read and I'm really excited! It seems like a very interested concept for a story. I guess I'll have to prepare myself for the second half and get some strong coffee in my system before indulging! :)


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