- Megan Bingham
Sleeping Beauties begins in a small Appalachian town where the main source of income for households is working at the women's prison. Doctor Clint Norcross works tirelessly as a psychologist for the prison, trying to create a better environment for the disturbed prisoners. His wife, Sheriff Lila Norcross, takes care of things in the sleepy town smoothly, and always without a hitch.
But, things begin to change. When Lila gets word that a large meth lab has blown up in the hills and there are two dead bodies, not killed by the blast, but instead murdered—the little town begins to fall apart into a strange decedent of madness. Apparently, the devastating fire and murders have been caused by a newcomer: a woman who goes by the name of Evie Black, and who's walking around in a t-shirt, with no pants or undergarments.
At the same time on the national news, word has gotten out that an epidemic is taking over the female population of the world . . . after laying down for a nap, mothers, daughters, aunts, and sisters succumb to darkness after a milky white substance form over their faces. At first, it's as if they're dreaming in a place that's far more pleasant than their realities. However, if disturbed, the women attack violently, filled with supernatural strength and rage, causing terrifying hysteria across the nation and around the world. Is there a cure? Is there any explanation of what this curse—now called Aurora—truly is?
Meanwhile, in the Norcross' town, men are trying to get used to a world without their women, while the women are lost in their wonderful dreamworlds. But there's one who hasn't fallen to the epidemic . . . the mysterious newcomer and murderer, Evie Black. Is she the cause or the answer to Aurora? And why does she know so much about the Norcross' secrets—in fact, everyone's secrets?
Sleeping Beauties is the first collaboration between father and son, Stephen and Owen King. In its epic 700 pages, Sleeping Beauties in a masterpiece of modern horror fiction. With over thirty characters and well over a few subplots, Sleeping Beauties echoes the early works of Stephen King, such as The Stand and 'Salem's Lot. The audiobook is read by Marin Ireland, who embodies the twang of the Appalachian dialect but terrifies with her deep, melodic voice. While the mystery unfolds at a moderate pace, it's done deliberately. Like the dreamworld the women are in, the nightmare world the men are experiencing is eternal unless a cure can be found. Read Sleeping Beauties as a cautionary tale—next time you fall asleep, you may not be able to wake up.