The literary world is quite familiar with the name ‘Stephen King’. With every new book, the author brings a whole new level of excitement to the horror readers. With the name ‘Sleeping Beauties’, your attention is drawn towards the epic fantasy written for children, but beware because this book is actually quite scary as far as the concept is concerned.
What if someday women disappear from this world? In Sleeping Beauties, women from all around the world start falling asleep to never wake up again. The moment they sleep, a cocoon-like gauze envelops their bodies. If anyone tries to disturb or damage the cocoon, what wakes up is not the same woman, but a feral creature that is purely a killing machine. The pandemic soon starts spreading and a fear begins growing among people. No one knows the cause and all appear to be hopeless as no cure surfaces until a mysterious women Evie begins to gain the limelight. Apparently, she is the only woman who can wake up after sleeping and she knows a lot of things.
The sole problem with the book is the long list of characters that are mentioned at the beginning of the book itself. For many readers, keeping a track of over 70 characters might become a bit difficult especially when not all play an important role in the overall plot. Reading their back stories and following through the character development seemed pointless when at the end they simply did not matter. These useless characters, if removed, could have made the entire narration crispier by eliminating about a hundred pages.
Apart from that, Stephen King and Owen King have done a great job coming up with such a unique concept that also imparts an important message. As more and more women begin sleeping, it creates an unrest among men. They start acting crazy to an extent that merely a rumor that suggests that the infection is contagious is enough for some men to start burning the cocoons. The way it has been narrated is horrific and shocking.
When you reach the end, you realize that the father-son duo has basically tried uplifting women through the complex storyline. It all narrows down to how men are extremely comfortable at waging wars to solve anything while women are who bear the burden and make sacrifices. You question yourself – What if your kids are raised in a world full of women? Would women be able to create a better world?
Overall, Sleeping Beauties is a bit stretched and overflowing with characters, but the concept and the climax make it worth your time.