Wait, wait, wait… Is this a non-music type of post? Yes, I finally found the motivation to write a blog post which is not related to music at all. I finished Sleeping Beauties several months ago and I wanted to post a review of the book but I never did it. I decided it’s about time a make a change from the regular music type of posts and finally get to it. I also discovered a really interesting and entertaining book podcast called “What should I read next” which gave me the extra push of motivation I needed. Check it out if you are interested and let’s get to my quick review.
Sleeping Beauties is the first collaborative novel of two genius writers – father and son – Stephen and Own King. The book came out in September 2017 and it immediately jumped at the front of my to-be-read list. Nevertheless, it was an entire year later when I finally got my hands on it and decided to put everything else on-hold and finally immerse into the world of the post-apocalyptic what-if dark fantasy novel.
I have to be honest, I usually do not like collaborative books (don’t judge me) since I think it is extremely hard for two authors to find a compromise in their way of writing and expression and produce a good final result which would satisfy the reader. However, the plot summary of the book and the fact that it is a collab between two family members gave me some hope and I am really happy I gave it a chance.
The review is spoiler free. The goal is to show you what I think about the book in general and give you an idea of whether you should consider it or not in case you are in doubt.
Typically for Stephen King‘s repertoire, the book is a thriller (also classified as horror, but I strongly disagree) at its core and is a great mix of realistic human characteristics (good and bad) reaching their peaks in extreme conditions and supernatural elements to create an immersive and extremely interesting novel.
A bit about the story
When people ask me about the book I describe it as a what-if type of book. What if all the women in the world fell asleep and got wrapped up in a cacoon and got extremely aggressive if woken up? A simple question at first glance which gets developed to a terrifying degree exposing the nature of men, and humanity in general, in a very interesting and quite scary way. One which only Stephen King and his son are able to achieve. While women go to dire means to stay awake and not fall victims of the mysterious phenomenon men are faced with a chaotic and harsh reality which they have to survive in. The appearance of mysterious characters in the weirdest of times makes things even more intense.
The highs and lows
What I loved
- Interesting and unique storyline which at first sight looks like a combination of several stories from other King books. A combination which creates a completely new world with great development and characters.
- A steady and well-moving pace of development which does not get boring with unnecessary and irrelevant details.
- Incredibly interesting characters and great development to almost all of them. The characters in the book were what kept me on the edge of my seat and made the experience even more enjoyable. I love character development and Sleeping Beauties shows that there is always room for imporvement and progress both in good and bad ways.
- The novel exposes the negative sides of human nature and the danger each of us possesses deep inside ourselves as well as the terrible consequences there might be if we are not careful with our actions. However, this is perfectly balanced with enough emphasis on the good nature of people and how hope, determination, and good will can play a decisive role in human relationships.
- The book is a total page-turner – written in a compelling and super interesting way, which for me is a huge plus considering it is a collaboration. There were some inconsistent parts but in general, the story is intense and makes you want to read one page after another.
What I didn’t like
- My concerns that the book will not be completely coherent since it is a collaboration were partly true. Even tho, it was times better than the other collabs I have read there were several parts where it was obvious the book is a doing of two different people. There were some parts where the narrative stopped in a weird way and took a strange turn in a not so smooth way.
- Furthermore, there were several parts where I think the authors couldn’t find the right way to include background information which they considered relevant and just randomly put it into brackets in the middle of the narrative.
- Even tho I think the book gave enough background information for the main characters I feel like a huge part of the main story was left unexplained (which might be intentional but still I found it a bit annoying that some things were left unresolved especially considering there is an epilogue).
- There were a few parts where information was contradicting to previous chapters.
Should you read it?
The short answer to the questions is definitely yes!
The book is super interesting and exciting with lots of story and character development. If you are a fan of thrillers, mild horror, post-apocalyptic, or what-if type of books this is a must read. I also have to say that a very good thing about the book is that it explores the situation in the world before, during, and after the crisis of the weird disease. And this was super interesting to observe, I am disappointed to say most books of this type don’t pay attention to the before and after and only focus on the time of the crisis which is a bit unsatisfying. As you already read there are only a few negative things I can point out and considering the bigger picture they are not a big deal. I definitely recommend the book and I believe it is worth the time and attention.
Thanks a lot for reading another one of my posts, I hope you found it interesting. Let me know what you think about the book if you read it!