Reopening Room 217

“FEAR stands for fuck everything and run.” 

Dan Torrance escaped the Overlook hotel with his mother when he was a child, but he could not escape the shining.

Dan eventually learns to lock away the rotting corpses that haunt him, but as he grows up, he cannot lock away his need to drink. For years, he follows in his father’s footsteps, trying to black out the shining with liquor. He tries to bury the horrors and despair in bottles and pitchers.

You’d think this is when they would take him, when he is weak. When he is at his bottom.

But it is years later, when Dan is sober and working at a hospice as “Doctor Sleep,” using his shining to help people die in peace, that evil finds him again.

The True Knot travels across America’s highways in RVs and Winnebagos with cheery bumper stickers, canes and polyester suits. Looking like typical retirees roaming through truck stops and tourist traps, they scour the country for special children. Children who shine.

They torture; they maim. They slowly devour the children with shining and eat the “steam” which comes out of them when they are dying.

The steam helps the True Knot stay alive as they keep roaming and killing. They are almost immortal, until they meet Abra Stone.

Abra has a shining so great that she reaches out to Dan when she is only a couple months old. She shines right into his mind while he is sitting at an AA meeting, beginning a relationship that slowly develops as she grows older.

Though Abra makes spoons stick to the ceiling and music play in the air, her shining isn’t something to be dealt with until she witnesses a boy’s murder at the hands of the True Knot. As she watches them lick his blood off their hands, they sense her.

And once they know Abra exists, a little girl with a shining so bright they can feel it across the country, they have to have her. To eat her.

This long-awaited sequel to “The Shining” is a gruesome and exciting thriller that any reader who feared the woman in Room 217 will enjoy. Anyone who wishes for a little more REDRUM. Anyone who still dreams about the hedges moving when they are alone in bed at night.

“Doctor Sleep” by Stephen King is about what happens after the nightmare is over. Or when you think it’s over because it doesn’t really end.

It follows you home.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

“So, you’re telling me the zoo commissioned you to make a zombie panda in order to avoid a potential international incident.”

Sometimes silly, sometimes sweet and always action packed, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is a rip-roaring romp of a book.

Sam, a college dropout, is working full time with his best friend, Ramon, flipping burgers and taking orders at a fast food joint in Seattle. One day he and his friends are playing potato hockey and smash the headlight of a fancy car in the parking lot. When the owner comes in to yell at the workers for the damage to his vehicle, he confronts Sam because he can see what Sam cannot, that Sam is a Necromancer. It turns out that Sam didn’t know he could raise the dead because his mom bound his powers to protect him when he was a baby. Unfortunately for Sam, the stranger, Douglas, is a very dangerous and territorial Necromancer who is now out to get him. Suddenly Sam’s life gets a lot more complicated. He is sliced and diced in the parking lot by a werewolf, his friend Brooke is beheaded (but still functional, they carry her head around in a bowling bag to talk to her) and he is being hunted for his powers while not being able to use them. With the help of his friends, Sam must find a way to unbind his powers and defeat Douglas before he kills them all.

“Hi, my name is Ashley, and I’ll be your Harbinger today. I will be acting as an interim instructor for all your necromancy needs.” She flashed her best stewardess smile and gave a little Vanna wave.

Not only is this book a non-stop page turner; its puns, humor and lyrical references just add to the jovial tone of the book. Even when Sam is in trouble, he has a positive attitude which keeps the story light and amusing. He may be bruised, battered and have a beheaded friend in the living room, but he’ll still be crotchety at being woken up before noon.

“There were no windows in my bedroom, so I had to sit up and read my clock to figure out how angry I should be at my visitor. Eight A.M. I hated whoever woke me up. Had they come an hour earlier, I would have also hated their families and any household pets.”

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer blends light horror with lots of humor, successfully creating a fast paced fun hybrid of a story that anyone will have a hard time putting down and be greatly disappointed when it ends all too soon.