Normally I start off a review with the positives then point out the few negatives unfortunately in this case, I felt the book was a disappointment so I’ll start off with the negatives.
In the first part of this book there is a lot of jumping around between the True Knot (the villains), Dan Torrance and Abra which leads to a dislodged structure and there is far too little on Dan Torrance. Perhaps even more serious this jumping around sometimes isn’t even showing an important event just a snapshot of where they are at. The next biggest problem is the portrayal of Dan. When last we saw him in The Shining he seemed alright but now he has taken to drinking to negate the shining which I’ll accept but we don’t get a vision of his downfall just hitting rock bottom so I felt it harder to care. Perhaps if the villains were menacing it could save the story but for the most part they’re not. The True Knot are essentially vampires that feed on the shining (a lazy idea in my opinion) and have pirate like names which makes them seem childish like Rose The Hat, Grampa flick and they call Abra the bitchgirl. Tension is severely lacking until the end as there isn’t a confident setting like The Overlook and Abra bests the Knot in all the initial battles which while a nice twist makes it predictable she will win in the end. In addition there is a reveal about Dan’s family but it comes out of nowhere and has no effect on the plot. The reason for most of these problems is probably because King wrote this book over 30 years after the original when his life outlook has changed (no drug/alcohol problems for starters) so the story is a lot different than it would have been in the 1980s.
However there are some positives. There are several Shining references to Mrs Massey (the woman in the tub) etc. The dialogue like all of King’s stories great with dialects and captures the different decades (1980s through to modern day). The change in tone and society from 1980s to modern time is well wrote and the best example of this is how Dan has to be careful siting with a teenager Abra to how Dan was a five year old walking with an elder black man. The end battle was tense with several exciting reveals but unfortunately it couldn’t save the rest of the book.
Overall there are several major flaws with this book, lack of plot, tension and but like all King’s books it was well written. I can’t help but wonder what the book would have been like if he wrote it in the 1980s.