Tuesday, August 13, 2013

REVIEW: Duma Key by Stephen King

Duma KeyDuma Key by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would actually rate this 3.5 or maybe even 3.75 if GR allowed fractions.

I haven't read any King since I threw The Stand across the room several years ago, but thought I'd dip my toe back in the water when this one fell into my lap.

Technically it is serviceable, but King has never been known as a literary master of style; he's loved for his substance. Unfortunately, I never quite understood what the ancient evil was that had been awoken. Yet even that would have been ultimately acceptable except I never felt King really understood it either. His heroes seemed to telepathically receive instructions on what to do next and then carry out the orders without anyone (character, reader, nor, I fear, author) ever quite knowing why.

Also, there weren't any truly terrifying moments. And it wasn't until about page 400 (!) that a sense of dread began to grow. After that slow build-up, the ending seemed to happen rather fast. Which, unfortunately, put me back in mind of The Stand, which had an excruciatingly extended build-up and then (literally--in every sense of the word) pulled the ol' Deus ex Machina.

Finally, why I deducted two stars (or 1.5) is because I found the dialogue really lacking in character. Despite the fact that one character did employ lots of pidgin Spanish, nearly everyone seemed to sound alike to me. I felt there was a real lack of character in the various voices.

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