Bloomington High School North Library

Bloomington High School North

Doctor Sleep : a novel

Review by Stephanie Gano on March 8, 2016

Categories: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Horror

“Life is a wheel, and it always comes back around”. This is the sad truth for Dan “Doc” Torrance, the main character in the prequel, The Shining. He escaped his father’s wrath as a child, only to follow in his footsteps years later. The adult life of Dan is filled with a mixture of old and new horror in the chilling sequel, Doctor Sleep.
The book opens with an old AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) saying, “FEAR stands for fuck everything and run”, which has a purpose, as it leads into Dan’s current life. He is an alcoholic, like his father was. The preface takes a long time to get through, bouncing back between current times and his childhood, helping to answer questions left from the first book. Readers are also introduced to a new character, a baby girl named Abra. She has the same shining that Dan has, except she is marginally stronger. Another new introduction is to the new antagonists, a group called the “True Knot” who prey on children who have the shining.
The book then truly starts with Dan moving to a new town, captivated by a gigantic toy train. This will happen to be the first of many steps he takes to become, and stay, sober. He then becomes an orderly for the local hospice, The Rivington House. There, he earns the nickname “Doctor Sleep” because he helps the residents to pass on.
Skip ahead, and Abra is now a child. The True Knot murdered the “baseball boy” in Iowa because he had the shining, and Abra was an unwilling witness, though she assumed it was a nightmare. However, that nightmare was a reality and will haunt her in the years to come.
Skip ahead again, and now she is a teenager. She has the mail and is flipping through the junk when she sees a page of missing children’s faces. And in the corner is a picture of the baseball boy. This little picture will lead her down a dangerous path. One that will attract the attention of the group of child murderers, the True Knot.
With the help of Dan and her parents, and a few others along the way, she will take on the True in a battle of mental wits and power, taunting them all the way. Abra and Dan together just might have the power and wits needed to stop the True once and for all…or die trying.
This book enthralls the reader with telepathy and mind control. It picks up where the last one left off and connects all the dots for the reader, blending the old and new in perfect harmony to the very end. Any reader who enjoys fiction, mystery, thrillers, or The Shining will struggle to put the book down.