I love a good Stephen King novel, and while I had heard that his son had made a foray into the writing sphere, I had yet to read any of his novels. I was eager to read this one not just to knock off a 2018 reading challenge item (a book by two authors) but to also try out an Owen King novel.
What if one day, when women around the world fell asleep, they became ensconced in a cocoon like substance, unable to be awoken? This becomes a reality when what quickly becomes dubbed ‘the Aurora virus” sweeps the globe. In the small Appalachian town of Dulling, North Carolina not only are it’s residents succumbing to the sleeping virus, but a strange women has appeared from seemingly out of nowhere; one who can sleep and wake at will, one who knows things she shouldn’t, and has an uncanny ability to have animals do her bidding. As the town scrambles for answers while the female population slowly succumbs to the virus, the sleeping women must forge their own way in a new world where they all end up once they fall asleep. Can the men of Dulling save their women from the other side, and more importantly, do the women want to be saved?
While I really enjoyed the entire premise of this novel and the array of complex and interesting characters, it was a tad too long for me. It could easily have been trimmed by a hundred pages or so and had the same effect, not loosing anything in the plot. Nevertheless, I would definitely recommend this read to any of my thriller/strange/Stephen King lovers as it delivered on substance.
As you can imagine, a world run by men quickly devolves into chaos and violence while the women not only survive in this strange new world beyond their cocooned bodies, but they thrive. They work together, problem solve, and build lives while the men pick off the weak and attempt to domineer those left. The men devolve into their baser instincts, the women flourish.
In addition to the action and drama that follows such an interesting conflict, there are some really potent underlying themes as they relate to women’s rights and the societal disparity between men and women in a number of arenas, the often unjust and punitive nature of the prison system which often continues to victimize versus rehabilitate it’s occupants, and police brutality/implicit bias that occurs between those with power and those without.
Definitely a solid read, one that I would encourage you all to check out!
Until next weeks friends…sleep easy….