TITLE: Sleeping Beauties
AUTHOR: Stephen & Owen King
CONTENT WARNING: death, yeah….
WHERE DID I RECEIVE THIS: HachetteNZ sent me a physical copy in exchange for an honest review
In this spectacular father-son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?
In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is wildly provocative and gloriously absorbing.
So, my first, inital thought on this book? It was…. okay. It wasn’t over;y engaging, but it was a smart book that dealt with important topics.
This book follows a LOT of characters (so many, there is a cast list) while the world endures an epidemic. There is a ‘sleeping sickness’ of a sort, that effects only women, putting them into a sort of coma, and covering them in what is essentially a disgusting cacoon. Men try to wake them, but that turns out to be a bad idea when the woman wake up crazy. This story occurs in a small town, and mostly stays there, following the two main characters of Chris and Lila, the town Psychatrist, and Sheriff respectively.
Right off the bat, I’m going to say it, I didn’t enjoy this novel. It dragged SO much, and honestly, it wasn’t very engaging. While the messages underneath, and the ideas portrayed were smart and amazing, I just couldn’t will myself to keep turning the pages (well, obviously I did, but you get what I mean) I feel like something that could’ve really improved this book alot, would be if a decent amount of pages were trimmed out, and some characters were removed because boy did this take forever for me to read.
In books written by two different authors, you can often feel the difference in their writing quite obviously but surprisngly, you couldn’t always tell in this one. Which was one of a few positives. The transitions were pretty seamless, but at some points it felt very stephen king-y and others, I wondered who even wrote this book.
Overall, this wasn’t a scary read, more of a slow going whimsical fantasy, thing? There were references to eve from the bible, weird animals talking to the women, and the age old, people fight to protect one evil person because they have to, and the others attack them trope
So, what did I like? I have to admit, I liked the weird animals, their magic intrigued me, and they were one of the few highlights. I also enjoyed the undertones of this book, what ideas it tried to show & push. That gender roles are dumb, and that honestly, we need both men and women to survive on this world, no one gender is better than the other.
But I didn’t like the cast of over 70, yes, S E V E N T Y. It was far too overwhelming and honestly switching between so many characters left me very confused. I also did like how much this dragged, there were so many scenes were things were explained in detail, that didn’t need to be and I think that’s why it’s SUCH a long book.
Overall, this is my least favourite Stephen King book, and I’m sad about that!
If you’re a fan of descriptive works, that are long and time consuming. That might not be super entertaining, but hold interesting ideas, then this might be for you.
Until next time,