Book Review

LATER by Stephen King

Rating: 4 / 5

I read LATER by Stephen King with a group of King fan friends in October. There aren’t many King novels left that I haven’t read so it was nice to get two new ones this year (the other book being BILLY SUMMERS).

LATER follows a young boy named Jamie who can see ghosts. These ghosts generally linger with their dead body for a short time before moving on. As a kid with no idea what is happening this is horrifying – especially passing by tragic accidents and seeing the maimed ghosts hanging around.

Jamie’s single mother doesn’t believe him initially. Soon he has enough information he couldn’t otherwise know to convince her, but still she prefers he keep quiet about it. Over time, Jamie feels a bit more comfortable with his “gift”, but when people in his life take advantage of his ability, he winds up in harms way. Not all ghosts are temporary and harmless and soon his life is in danger.

This wound up being my favorite October read. It felt like classic Stephen King horror from the outset (the narrator himself says this is going to be a horror story). This is a short novel for King, more like one of his “short stories” but it manages to develop a great character in Jamie and build up the ghostly world gradually to a big finish. Though I wasn’t always the biggest fan of Jamie’s mother, there are some great side characters in this one as well! As is often the case, the big bad isn’t always just from the supernatural world. The living are sometimes just as scary.

This was a fun, fast horror read! It does have a few really gory moments so I do caution you for that if body horror isn’t your thing, but otherwise this is a great novel I’d recommend!

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