When I found out that Stephen King was publishing a sequel to The Shining, I immediately pre-ordered it so that I could read it the day it came out. I got it in my hot little hands and put it on my ‘currently reading’ shelf. I read page one, two, three – young Danny and his mom . Good. Then I got a little further (basically when it switched to someone else’s POV) and it got weird. A few more pages, still weird. Several more and the book then went onto my ‘on hold’ shelf for about a year and a half.
Writers who have such a successful book that is well-known and almost revered (heck, The Shining was even featured on an episode of Friends as the scary book Joey had to keep in the freezer) run a major risk when they try to write a sequel years later. Doctor Sleep suffered because it was tied to The Shining. And, honestly, there just isn’t a comparison. From the good guys to the bad guys, the locales and the story itself, it doesn’t stand up. Danny, the good guy, got on my nerves and I didn’t care very much about him. The bad guys were too caricature-y and I never really felt scared for our main characters.
Is it a good book? Yes. Will I ever re-read it? I highly doubt it. There were moments that stuck with me. However, almost all were because of Shining flashbacks. Redrum. Danny’s dad and his struggles.
If I’m being fair, it’s probably a 4-star read. But, still a disappointment so it’s getting 3-stars. Sometimes you should leave well enough alone.