4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A mature sequel and development of "The Talisman",
This review is from: Black House (Hardcover)
Hurray! The magic of the Territories is evoked again in "Black House".
Beware! Jack Sawyer has grown up; his perception of their magic has changed, is coloured by the violent world he inhabits.
Stephen King and Peter Straub first return us, in a cacophany of transition and bewidered arrival reminiscent of Thomas Covenant's to Illearth, to the tattered vestige of a Territories hospital. In this book the Territories are a more cynical mirror to this world than in the Talisman, and it is just that they be so: this world's hero has lost - has hidden? - the innocence of childhood. He is no pallid re-vamp on fast-forward. The authors bring Jack Sawyer to maturity with a congruity that avoids the disappointment so often felt in such instances. This, one feels, is how he would have grown.
Yet still in the maze of all possible worlds the unearthly beauty of the Territories sings louder than the harsh cawing of hideous reality. Still the escape route beckons. Now, however, it seems the more real for its fragility, for the responsibilities it asks of its refugees.
A serial child-killer, catalyst in this world for Jack's re-discovery of the Territories, is a symptom of that fragility. The whole structure of the web of worlds was changed by the flowering of the Talisman "when Jacky was twelve". Its integrity is under threat. Its Beams are being broken. The Breakers are a by-product of this sick earth we inhabit.
King and Straub have matured their initial concept flawlessly and succeed in disturbing our dreams of escape disturbingly well. If the surface story is a little loosely woven it is easily forgiveable. The strength of almost all the character portrayal and the complexities of mood the authors bring us more than compensate.
More good news? The book clearly will have a sequel, and clearly it will be in the Territories. Any worries? Tighten up that story line a little, please. Well, I know you will, and prove it was that way from the start for good reason.