Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King. I was so excited to receive this book for Christmas last year, took me a little bit to actually get around to reading it, but I definitely wasn’t disappointed. In my opinion, you can’t really go wrong with a Stephen King book. He’s a good writer and he writes suspenseful novels that are real and sometimes unnerving. I’ve never read anything by Owen King before, but I thought their collaboration was seamless.
Sleeping Beauties is about a small town, Dooling, in Appalachia. A disease starts spreading around the whole world. Women fall asleep, they get wrapped in a cocoon like substance, and don’t wake up again. They call it the Aurora, hence the title. It is not a good idea to try and open these cocoons, the women you wake up will not be themselves and will not be able to control themselves. You can imagine the panic that ensues. There is one woman though, and for some reason, she can asleep and wake up whenever she wants. Is she a woman to be trusted? Does she know more than she is letting on? The men need to decide, do they protect her or study her? Is there a way to get “their” women back, alive and well?
I personally did not find the book scary, I know King’s book are always placed under horror, but I found it more suspenseful then anything else. There were moments that were cringeworthy and moments of surprise but nothing I would classify as terrifying. It pops around to a lot of different characters, some just for a second, some you always go back to. There are things to love and hate about all the characters, the King’s do a great job making the characters well rounded. I love characters that are realistically flawed, and most of these characters have issues, but in a way where you understand why, even if you hate/love them for it.
Some of my favorite quotes:
–“Hicks was examining the paperbacks Maura had culled from the shelves: Peter Straub, Clive Barker, Joe Hill. ‘These are all Horror Stories!’ Hicks exclaimed.” (Pg. 297)
You’ve got to appreciate an author who puts other great horror authors in his books, including his son, Joe Hill.
–“Tiffany would ask herself, ‘Is so-and-so a bigger asshole than Truman?’ Few could compare- in fact, so far, officially, there was only Donald Trump and cannibals.” (Pg. 24)
Everyone knows Kings “feud” with Trump, and it is not disappointing to see him calling Trump out in his book, calling him not only an asshole, but throwing him in the same sentence with cannibals.
— “It was funny, when you thought about it; what were all these men rioting about? What did they think they could accomplish? Maura wondered if there would have been riots if it had been the other half of the human race who were falling asleep. She thought it unlikely” (Pg. 231)
The thing I absolutely love about the book, was the head on approach to women’s issues. The difference between men and women, and a realistic look into what would probably happen if women disappeared off the earth. It hit on some hot topics and wasn’t afraid to look at the ugly things women have to deal with. I recommend Sleeping Beauties to those who need a good read, if you don’t like a little gore and ugly topics, maybe not the book for you. Other than that, I highly recommend.