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CBR5 #12: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

I entered into this book with a little hesitation -- sequels are always difficult, particularly when the original story is as iconic as The Shining. However, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Years after the events that took place at the Overlook Hotel, Daniel Torrence's life has gone off the rails. He's a drifting, aimless alcholic, spending his days drinking to try and dull the nightmares of his past. He uses his unique gifts to help ease the passing of hospice patients, earning him the nickname "Doctor Sleep." As it turns out, though, the universe has a plan for Daniel, and despite his efforts to resist, he will once again have to stand and fight an ancient evil. This time, however, he will have allies, some of whom are even more powerful than he is.

While this story doesn't necessarily have the terrifying power of its precursor, it's a good, solid story with likeable, sympathetic characters. Daniel Torrence is a wonderful protagonist, and Abra Stone has a special charm. The villain could have been fleshed out a little more, and I would have be interested to know more about the history of "Rose the Hat," but on the whole I was pleased. And the ending wasn't stupid, which for Stephen King (as much as I love him) is not always a given.

This is definitely not a stand-alone book--you really need to read The Shining to truly understand Doctor Sleep--but I recommend it for fans.

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