SALEM’S LOT by Stephen King
Stephen King’s novel about vampire’s invading a small New England town is actually a rather dull book. There are a few spooky parts, but as usual with the few King books I’ve read, King is very long winded and tends to go into extensive detail into things that really aren’t that important to the story. Why give us a detailed look into a character we’ve just met’s backstory, only to have them die two pages later? And speaking of such, the main characters are not very engaging and our vampire villain is very generic. That and characters do some really dumb things that put them into perilous situations which could be forgiven if at least those situations where exciting or chilling. SPOILER…
Overall it’s a slow paced and gloomy book that never gets all that interesting or involving and ends on an equally gloomy note when all it would have taken to end it once and for all would be to arrive at the vampire’s nest during the day instead of 5 minutes before sundown. Again dumb actions by supposedly intelligent characters to move the story along. I liked the 70s TV mini-series much better. King is one of the most famous authors of the modern age yet, my delving into his work so far has left me unimpressed.
BELOW by Ryan Lockwood
Below is a fun and fast-paced nature run amok story from Ryan Lockwood. It has a likable cast of characters that are very human and sometimes flawed, such as alcoholic hero Will Sturman who hasn’t gotten over the death of his wife. And it has an engaging threat and a very grounded reason why this people-shy ocean predator suddenly turns toward humanity as a food source. And I think that is one of the things I liked most about this book is it never gets too fantastic or strays too far from reality, but presents a natural threat with realistic reasons for it’s altered habits and increased aggression. It makes the chills more chilling when it seems very plausible. That and we like the characters and equally root for them to save the day as we do for our emotionally damaged hero to hook up with the feisty and pretty oceanographer Valerie. Not a great book, but a real entertaining one and one that has me looking forward to what comes next from Ryan Lockwood. Would make a fun movie if given a decent non-SYFY treatment with a solid script and a good director.