Book Review: Under the Dome

“Close your eyes and click your heels three times…because there’s no place like Dome.”

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3 star

Under the Dome was an extremely long journey that I was apprehensive to take at first. I heard some good things and some bad, but I tried going into it with an open mind. I was sorely disappointed that it didn’t live up to some of the good reviews that I’ve read. Overall I’d say the book was pretty mediocre compared to King’s other work. The book starts out with an overview of a typical fall day in a fictional Maine town… shocker! Things start to go awry when an invisible forcefield falls around the town line, slicing animals in half and killing some of the townsfolk pretty quickly. Things continue to get worse as the Dome secludes the town from any law enforcement, other than its own. Society starts to collapse as power hungry ‘cops’ are led by an evil town selectman. All while his psychotic, murderous son wreaks havoc throughout the town.

 

So, while the concept of this book is pretty interesting, I think it lacked the capability to keep me ‘sucked in’ throughout the whole book. The violence and brutal punishment the townspeople go through under the ‘reign’ of Jim Rennie just gets to be too much at times. I just kept thinking “here we go again.” I enjoyed the book, but the actual science fiction aspect of it really only comes in towards the end. I was really looking forward to that added element in the story, and I wish King could have explored that concept even more. I actually really loved the ending overall, and think it was the best part of the whole book.

 

Sometimes it felt like a chore to pick up and read, its length made it feel never-ending. I usually love a long book with lots of characters, and I know King likes writing his some of his books like that, but I just could not keep track of everyone.  It was hard for me to ever truly get a good visual representation of most of the characters. It just seemed as if too much time was spent on character development with characters that I never really cared about. I hated Rennie and the gang plenty, don’t get me wrong. I do have to give it to King for making characters I absolutely despised! I just think the plot could have been done a bit better, and the whole aspect of what’s behind the Dome could have been explored further.

 

I can’t say you’ll like it if you’ve liked King’s other long, character-driven stories. I loved The Stand so much but Under the Dome doesn’t even touch it, in my opinion. I think if you like King’s more recent crime fiction novels that you might enjoy this more than I did. I still think it was a decent book. You can tell that a lot of time and effort was poured into the novel, and I can respect that. If you’re just looking for a random King book to read, I wouldn’t choose this one. If you’re a Constant Reader, and long-time fan, it might be worth it for you. In the end, I’m happy I read it but I probably wouldn’t read it again.

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