King of father and son teams creates epic novel


Shelby Foster

“Sleeping Beauties” tells the story of an Appalachian town in the center of a global crisis where women no longer wake up once they fall asleep. Published on Sept. 26, 2017, this novel was co-written by Stephen King and his son Owen King.

Ian Fertig, Staff Writer

Published on Sept. 26, “Sleeping Beauties” is the latest Stephen King novel. Dark, fantastic, and deeply relevant today, this book is special because it is a collaborative work between Stephen King and his son Owen.

With almost only men left, our sophisticated world becomes a place of violence and chaos.”

— Staff Writer Ian Fertig

In our modern and sophisticated present day, a frightening virus spreads. Across the globe, this disease creates cocoons around the bodies of sleeping women who are no longer able to wake up. Any attempt to remove the cocoons will cause the women inside to become incredibly violent. Within days, over ninety percent of the Earth’s population of women is asleep and trapped in cocoons. With almost only men left, our sophisticated world becomes a place of violence and chaos.

The disease, nicknamed the “Aurora Virus” after the sleepy Disney Princess, does not just put women to sleep. In the small Appalachian town of Dooling, where a women’s correctional facility is the major source of employment, the sleeping women find themselves in another world: a world without men. As these displaced women struggle to survive in their newfound world, the remaining men fight in ours for the fate of Eve Black, the mysterious woman who may be the secret to this strange disease.

This provocative and thrilling fantasy was written by Stephen King and his son Owen King. Owen King is an author just like his mother and father. He previously wrote the novel “Double Feature” and is the coauthor of “Intro to Alien Invasion.” His father, Stephen King, is one of the best-known authors in the world today, having written over ninety books in his lifetime.

Together, these two are quite the team. Their process for creating a 700 page novel together was for one man to write a section of the book and hand it over to the other, who would write the next section. One author would pick up where the other left off, and over time the story came together beautifully. Throughout the process, their independent writing styles blended into one so that the book almost feels as if a completely different person wrote it. Funny enough, most of the book’s cliffhangers and tension arise from one of the authors intentionally leaving his section on a cliffhanger so that the other would be challenged to write a way out of it.

“Sleeping Beauties” has all of the best qualities you may expect from a King novel. All the characters, from the heroes to the villains to even a common fox, are masterfully created. Their thoughts, motivations, and desires are all as important to the story as the plot itself. These characters simply feel real. Stephen King has always had a special ability to write about ordinary men and women and how they react to extraordinary situations. In “Sleeping Beauties,” the removal of women from the world causes ordinary men to turn to violence, sometimes for those they love, other times for malevolent purposes.

Readers can expect an adventure into the minds of these common people as they react to the same cataclysmic event: women disappearing from the Earth.”

— Staff Writer Ian Fertig

“Sleeping Beauties” also contains an extensive cast of characters, allowing the story to be told by criminals, convicts, teenagers, parents, good men, bad men, and everyone in between. Readers can expect an adventure into the minds of these common people as they react to the same cataclysmic event: women disappearing from the Earth.

As can be expected, this novel features an abundance of commentary on men and women and their relationship to each other in the world today. Husbands and wives, mothers and sons, and fathers and daughters will be separated. Some characters see this separation as a curse, while others will view the loss of one gender as the dawn of a golden age for the other. These gender-based themes are unsurprisingly appropriate for our world today. Many characters in the story learn to appreciate what they once took for granted and readers may feel inclined to do the same once all is said and done.

Fans of Stephen King will be pleased to discover that his talent has not diminished with age. As for Owen King, they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the metaphorical tree. Readers will be ready to see what the future holds for this author. Suspenseful, exciting, and thought-provoking, “Sleeping Beauties” is a story that will capture readers and keep them enthralled until the very last page.