Book Review: Later by Stephen King
Author: Stephen King
Published: March 2, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 28- May 5, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine – as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.
Later is Stephen King at his finest, a terrifying and touching story of innocence lost and the trials that test our sense of right and wrong. With echoes of King’s classic novel IT, Later is a powerful, haunting, unforgettable exploration of what it takes to stand up to evil in all the faces it wears.
Jamie Conklin is our narrator who starts from 4 years old to now being 22 years old. He has a unique ability: He can see and communicate with recently deceased people. They appear to him how they died; wearing what they were or were not wearing, and the cause of death still apparent. Also, if Jamie asks them a question then they must tell him the truth.”
This is an interesting premise and Later shows what happens when Jamie’s abilities are used by various people for a variety of means. But what happens if Jamie interacts with the wrong newly deceased person who decides to not go away? This is where King’s story happens.
Jamie lives with his single mom and her girl friend who is also a detective. This detective is important in many ways to the story, as much as the dead who make appearances.
This is not one of King’s best works, leave that to 11/22/63, The Green Mile and The Stand (which one day I WILL read!). The reason I picked Later up is because it was written by King and I inhaled his books as an older teenager. Later is just average for me. I was expecting a horror novel, Jamie himself even states throughout the novel that “Remember this is a horror novel” but in actuality it is far from that as it is not scary. When I got to the tipping point about halfway through I thought the horror element was going to come in full force, but it did not. And then there is a twist towards the end that I had figured out.
Overall, I would say to read King, but maybe one of his other novels.