This post contains affiliate links. I like many of Stephen King’s book. But to me, it seems that he has two distinct styles. The first style is the one I like. He writes a story that is mostly based in reality but has some other worldly elements. Examples would be 11/22/63, The Institute, and Finder’s Keepers. And then there are the other books. These books involve some surreal sci-fi. I usually try to avoid those types because they’re not my favorite. Later by Stephen King starts out like the former, but then turns into the latter.
About Later by Stephen King
Stephen King has begun writing books under the label Hard Case Crime. I like this new twist to his stories.
In Later, Tia is a single mother raising her son, Jamie. However, Jamie is no ordinary child. He sees dead people. But Jamie, the narrator, is quick to reassure readers, “I see dead people. As far as I can remember, I always have. But it’s not like in that movie with Bruce Willis.” He sees dead people, but they disappear within three to five days. Jamie can talk to them, and since they are dead, they have to respond by telling the truth.
Jamie’s mom doesn’t like his talent, and she warns him not to tell anyone. Jamie does as she asks; Tia is the one who tells her friend, Liz, about Jamie’s skill. Soon, it isn’t long before both Tia and Liz are using Jamie’s unusual talent for their own gain.
My Thoughts on Later
I loved the first 2/3rds of this book. I was fully immersed in the story, and I enjoyed Jamie as the narrator. But then the book introduced some crazy supernatural element that I had a hard time believing. That persisted throughout the remainder of the book.
In addition, I really hated the ending of the story. The resolution to one issue came out of nowhere and was not that believable for me.
If I was rating this book prior to the introduction of the supernatural element, I would give it 5 out of 5. However, I’m rating on the whole book, so I rate it much lower.
I give Later by Stephen King 3 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.