Review: Cell by Stephen King

Blurb from Amazon: On October 1, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at 10,140, most of the planes are on time, and Clayton Riddell, an artist from Maine, is almost bouncing up Boylston Street in Boston. He’s just landed a comic book deal that might finally enable him to support his family by making art instead of teaching it. He’s already picked up a small (but expensive!) gift for his long-suffering wife, and he knows just what he’ll get for his boy Johnny. Why not a little treat for himself? Clay’s feeling good about the future.

That changes in a hurry. The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a cell phone. Everyone’s cell phone. Clay and the few desperate survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black night of civilization’s darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature…and then begins to evolve.

There’s really no escaping this nightmare. But for Clay, an arrow points home to Maine, and as he and his fellow refugees make their harrowing journey north they begin to see crude signs confirming their direction. A promise, perhaps. Or a threat…

There are 193 million cell phones in the United States alone. Who doesn’t have one? Stephen King’s utterly gripping, gory, and fascinating novel doesn’t just ask the question “Can you hear me now?” It answers it with a vengeance.

My Thoughts:

From the time I started reading, I was immediately drawn into this novel, Cell. Right off the bat in the first couple of pages when the apocalypse began, I had a really hard time putting it down. We are introduced to Clay, the main character, who was immediately likeable. As the story progresses, his character was well rounded out, struggling with internal conflict as well as struggling to survive in the new world of phone crazies. I would have like to have seen the other characters developed in more depth as well. Alice and Tom were interesting in their own right and I think more background on them would have served them better.

The zombie apocalypse trope has been done before but King comes through with a brilliant and unique take. The phone crazies have strange and interesting behaviour, flocking, they called it. Not only that, the phone crazies began evolving, adding a whole new dimension to the story. As Clay and his group of refugees travel together to get to Clay’s home and find his son and estranged wife, they experience and witness many strange events, and strange characters.

The book started out amazing, as I said, especially the first half of the story,  but I have to say the ending did me in. I wanted to throw the book across the room and if it wasn’t a library book (overdue, at that) I probably would have. I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen in the end and I had nothing. I was left hanging.

Overall, I really enjoyed Cell. Stephen King is an amazing author, his writing is always fresh and different. If it wasn’t for the ending it would be five stars. Here, I am giving it 4 stars.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

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