In 1984, horror master Stephen King teamed with another conductor of creep, Peter Straub, to pen a novel by the name of . Almost twenty years later, the novel was continued by the duo with the 2001 release of Black House which featured the character of Jack Sawyer, The Talisman’s young protagonist, now grown and once again battling the forces of darkness.
In , however, Jack Sawyer is simply a boy of twelve. With his mother dying of cancer, Jack is determined to find a mystical item known as The Talisman, which may or may not be able to save his mother from the grip of cancer. The only problem is, in order to find said artifact, Jack must travel not only cross-country, but also through space and time.
Determined to find the talisman and, in turn, save his mother, Jack finds himself in a parallel world known as “The Territories.” There he befriends a young werewolf who, while good-hearted, has nothing more than the mind of a child. The two become companions as Jack struggles against forces who want nothing more than to stop Jack from finding the fabled talisman.
The Talisman is one of King’s longest novels to date and, unfortunately, is a bit difficult to dive into at first. To truly be rewarded, the reader must be willing to stick with both King and Straub as they attempt to set up the history and story of Jack Sawyer and the quest to save his dying mother.
While is not one of King’s greatest efforts, it’s also an amazing story at the same time that not only ties into his popular Dark Tower series, but also makes a nice introduction to the characters and world of Black House, which might just be a bit more involving than The Talisman.
is a brave undertaking by both critically acclaimed authors and if the reader can stick with it, they will find a collaboration that grows in its confidence as the pages tick by and that is fully formed by the opening of the duo’s next novel, Black House.
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