Sleeping Beauties by Steven King

Sleeping Beauties

Sleeping Beauties; co-written by Owen King has a very interesting plot. All the women of the world, when they fall asleep, stay asleep. They are cocooned in a something like silk. If you try to wake them they turn into crazy monsters and kill you.. then they go back to sleep. As the world turns, more and more women fall asleep.. you can only stay awake for so long.
Set in a small Appalachian town, which has become ground zero.. for the story anyway, when a young woman: Evie Black arrives. She falls asleep normally and wakes up normally. She also has supernatural powers that land her in a women’s prison.

The story has a lot of characters. I didn’t have any issues following along but be prepared to deal with an entire town’s worth of people. It annoyed me that nothing about the plague was explained, but this is a horror novel not a science-fiction novel. I found myself trying to come up with some explanations while my eyes glazed over the Kings’ prose. When the ladies fall asleep they wake up some years in the future: maybe 100+ years. The women try to rebuild civilization. Back in the present the men revert to anarchy. This is lame: men bad, women good.

Why does Evie show up in Podunk WV? The plague starts on the other side of the world. I fantasize the earth was hit by an alien bioweapon that hit in ? and came out in West Virginia. The supernatural tree grows on both sides and there are two Evies/or Adiam, two white tigers, two snakes, two of everything; one on each side. Except moths, apparently there is no limit to moths.
If all the men die out and women die out.. in the future, then the Evie and Adiam could colonize our planet without firing a shot. In the Kings book the men would kill each other first and probably the cocooned women too.

I was disappointed. The story could have been much better if they switched the sexes, if the plague went on longer. It would illustrate the theme better: that men built civilization.. for women. A 100+ years into a future without people, all technology would fail. Any attempts to restart it would fail. The women (or the men) would need to step back far into the past (say 1800) before they could find a foothold. From there people could accelerate civilization using knowledge stored in books.. assuming there are any books left. This would be a more interesting story than the one the Kings told.

721 pages

Amazon Book Preview of “Sleeping Beauties


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