It’s been over thirty years since The Shining introduced the world to Danny Torrance and the ghosts of the Overlook hotel. When Stephen King announced last year that he would be writing a sequel to the cult classic, fans like myself waited eagerly for its release. The novel, Doctor Sleep, debuted this month and follows a grown up Danny as he learns to control his powers and forget the horrors of his past. But when a band of immortals emerges from secrecy, seeking children with the shining, Danny must confront his past to help protect a young girl with a shining even stronger than his own.
The Shining is one of the most terrifying books I have ever read, and Doctor Sleep cannot compare to the chilling terror evoked when reading it; but the sequel explores a more deeply-rooted fear because it is focused so much on the inner demons that drive and haunt us all. When secrets are suppressed and memories are repressed, human beings can become monsters. Dan is doomed to repeat his past unless he can finally confront it, and his struggle is more frightening than any of the ghosts that reappear throughout the tale. While there were moments of pure nightmarish imagery, what kept me reading was Dan himself, and wondering if he would survive his own personal demons, or if he would be consumed as his father was before him. If you are a fan of The Shining you will want to pick up a copy of Doctor Sleep and find out for yourself.