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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Reminded Me of Under the Dome...Not a Good Reference Point

Sleeping Beauties: A Novel - Stephen King, Owen King

I don't know what to say here besides this new Stephen/Owen King mash-up was disappointing. I read "Under the Dome" eons ago and I really wish that my Amazon review had been pushed to Goodreads. I recall that I was flabbergasted that no one had reigned in King since that book was 1,074 freaking pages. I read that over two days back in 2009 when I was traveling to Afghanistan for work and recall that at one point I was awake for two days just reading this book and wondering what in the heck had I read. When I had a chance to get settled, I re-read parts of it and realized, nope, still didn't like it. So this book wasn't as long as "Under the Dome" but it had similar issues, way too many characters, too many sub-plots to keep straight, a really really dumb main plot (sorry it was dumb to me), not a lot of great resolutions for the main characters, and very little horror I found. 


"Sleeping Beauties" takes place in the town of Dooling, part of a fictional Tri-Counties part of Appalachia. The town seems to hold secrets, but none start to come out until the women and girls in this town and all over the world start to fall alseep. A cocoon encases their faces and then the rest of their bodies. Scientists and doctors dub this "Aurora" because no one apparently has any imagination in this fictional world. The authors follow some characters (the Norcross family, the Geary family, a woman named Evie Black, the prisoners at a prison that Clint Norcross works at, etc.) who are doing what they can while the women around them start to fall asleep. A mysterious woman named Evie Black is on the scene and it appears she may be behind the sleeping sickness, which of  course leads some men in the town to defend her and others who are hell-bent on murdering her. Yeah there are shades of "The Stand" here too. 


So I didn't really like anyone in this besides the kids honestly. The adults were either terrible, ineffective, mean/evil, or just dumb at times. There were some characters I just felt indifferent to which I don't know if that is worse that I didn't get worked up about them one way or the other. Clint Norcross and Lila Norcross were at times in the ineffective or dumb category. I could not get over that dumb sub-plot that King and King cooked up. It read like a "Dear Prudence" letter. I got nothing else besides that.


I disliked Frank Geary from beginning to end. I felt for his wife and in the end I think we are supposed to think she's some type of harridan.


Angel Fitzroy I was indifferent towards along with Michaela Morgan. 


The mysterious Evie Black made me roll my eyes. I don't even want to get into the fox, rat, and tiger mess (yes this is real, no I didn't write this). 


I don't know what to say about the writing. Everything was too long. The Kings dedicated this book to Sandra Bland and I was totally confused at how she tied into this and then you get to the end of the book and I just hard cringed. It was so ham-fisted and I don't know what else to say. I want to give points for intent, but the execution was not there at all. And the book at a higher level was supposed to be saying something about women and men and it felt like a freaking reach. Don't get me started that a bunch of mostly white women supposedly deciding for the whole world about something. Once again, I get the intent, but the execution made me shake my head and mutter a lot to myself. 


The flow was a joke through this whole book. We just bounced back and forth between characters and you don't really get a chance to just stay with anyone for longer than a minute it felt like. And once we get to the part of the book when "Other Place" comes into play my brain wanted to just purge this book as fast as possible. 


The setting of Dooling is not as memorable as Derry, Castle Rock, or even Salem's Lot. I get that this was supposed to be a collaboration between the Kings, but I got nothing about why Dooling was going to be the last stand for humanity. 

The ending was a whole bunch of WTF to me. I don't know how I was supposed to fell about how most of the stories ended up, my number one emotion was relief that I was done with this book. I didn't connect to anyone really and I can promise you that I won't think about these characters again after I finish with this review. Which is a whole other issue. Even in my least favorite King books I can tell you the names of the characters like Clayton Riddell (Cell); Michael Anderson (Storm of the Century), etc. 


If I had to rate my least favorite King books this would be towards the top along with "Cell", "Duma Key," "Dreamcatcher," "Storm of the Century," and "Black House."