Fans will welcome Rice’s return to the realm of eccentric immortal predators.

READ REVIEW

THE WOLVES OF MIDWINTER

From the Wolf Gift Chronicles series , Vol. 2

Second in Rice’s series (The Wolf Gift, 2012) featuring a cultured pack of do-gooder werewolves.

Reuben, a newly minted Man Wolf, has moved into the Northern California mansion he inherited from the lovely, mysterious and now late Marchent. The mansion, situated in a vast woodland, is also home to several older (in some cases ancient) men who are, when the occasion requires, werewolves. Among these “Distinguished Gentlemen” are Marchent’s uncle Felix, a giant named Sergei, the well-mannered Thibault, and the leader and conscience of the pack, Margon. The Gentleman are inducting the beginner werewolves, including Stuart, a young gay man, and Reuben’s latest ladylove, Laura, into new, immortal life. The group is preparing for a gala Christmas party they hope to make an annual tradition. The party will be followed by the midwinter rites, which the werewolves (known as Morphenkinder) have celebrated since time immemorial and which, in some packs, involves human sacrifice. Not Margon’s pack, however. His men (and women) wolves have a special instinct for sniffing out and mauling evildoers, particularly those who abuse and molest children. In fact, one night, after Reuben’s wolf persona emerges involuntarily, he rescues a kidnapped little girl, then devours most of her captor. The Gentlemen must put the public off the scent of their true identities, whence the party. But Reuben’s human entanglements pose complications. Marchent, who was murdered, is haunting Reuben, and Felix must enlist the aid of another supernatural group, the Forest Gentry, a kind of ethereal, chamois-clad tribe, to entice her troubled spirit away from the house. Reuben’s hated ex-girlfriend is about to give birth to his baby, and his father has decided to temporarily move into the mansion, where he will be the only resident who is not only mortal, but not privy to the werewolves’ secret. This complex fantasy world relies on an elaborate substructure of lore and history, and the action slows as points of exposition are repetitiously belabored.

Fans will welcome Rice’s return to the realm of eccentric immortal predators.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-385-34996-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

King fans won’t be disappointed, though most will likely prefer the scarier likes of The Shining and It.

THE INSTITUTE

The master of modern horror returns with a loose-knit parapsychological thriller that touches on territory previously explored in Firestarter and Carrie.

Tim Jamieson is a man emphatically not in a hurry. As King’s (The Outsider, 2018, etc.) latest opens, he’s bargaining with a flight attendant to sell his seat on an overbooked run from Tampa to New York. His pockets full, he sticks out his thumb and winds up in the backwater South Carolina town of DuPray (should we hear echoes of “pray”? Or “depraved”?). Turns out he’s a decorated cop, good at his job and at reading others (“You ought to go see Doc Roper,” he tells a local. “There are pills that will brighten your attitude”). Shift the scene to Minneapolis, where young Luke Ellis, precociously brilliant, has been kidnapped by a crack extraction team, his parents brutally murdered so that it looks as if he did it. Luke is spirited off to Maine—this is King, so it’s got to be Maine—and a secret shadow-government lab where similarly conscripted paranormally blessed kids, psychokinetic and telepathic, are made to endure the Skinnerian pain-and-reward methods of the evil Mrs. Sigsby. How to bring the stories of Tim and Luke together? King has never minded detours into the unlikely, but for this one, disbelief must be extra-willingly suspended. In the end, their forces joined, the two and their redneck allies battle the sophisticated secret agents of The Institute in a bloodbath of flying bullets and beams of mental energy (“You’re in the south now, Annie had told these gunned-up interlopers. She had an idea they were about to find out just how true that was"). It’s not King at his best, but he plays on current themes of conspiracy theory, child abuse, the occult, and Deep State malevolence while getting in digs at the current occupant of the White House, to say nothing of shadowy evil masterminds with lisps.

King fans won’t be disappointed, though most will likely prefer the scarier likes of The Shining and It.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9821-1056-7

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Not his best, but a spooky pleasure for King’s boundless legion of fans.

THE OUTSIDER

Horrormeister King (End of Watch, 2016, etc.) serves up a juicy tale that plays at the forefront of our current phobias, setting a police procedural among the creepiest depths of the supernatural.

If you’re a little squeamish about worms, you’re really not going to like them after accompanying King through his latest bit of mayhem. Early on, Ralph Anderson, a detective in the leafy Midwestern burg of Flint City, is forced to take on the unpleasant task of busting Terry Maitland, a popular teacher and Little League coach and solid citizen, after evidence links him to the most unpleasant violation and then murder of a young boy: “His throat was just gone,” says the man who found the body. “Nothing there but a red hole. His bluejeans and underpants were pulled down to his ankles, and I saw something….” Maitland protests his innocence, even as DNA points the way toward an open-and-shut case, all the way up to the point where he leaves the stage—and it doesn’t help Anderson’s world-weariness when the evil doesn’t stop once Terry’s in the ground. Natch, there’s a malevolent presence abroad, one that, after taking a few hundred pages to ferret out, will remind readers of King’s early novel It. Snakes, guns, metempsychosis, gangbangers, possessed cops, side tours to jerkwater Texas towns, all figure in King’s concoction, a bloodily Dantean denunciation of pedophilia. King skillfully works in references to current events (Black Lives Matter) and long-standing memes (getting plowed into by a runaway car), and he’s at his best, as always, when he’s painting a portrait worthy of Brueghel of the ordinary gone awry: “June Gibson happened to be the woman who had made the lasagna Arlene Peterson dumped over her head before suffering her heart attack.” Indeed, but overturned lasagna pales in messiness compared to when the evil entity’s head caves in “as if it had been made of papier-mâché rather than bone.” And then there are those worms. Yuck.

Not his best, but a spooky pleasure for King’s boundless legion of fans.

Pub Date: May 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-8098-9

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more