The only book I have read by Stephen King is Carrie. I read it at a time when I was new to the “horror” genre and was recommended to pick up books by who they call the “King of Horrors” in the literary world. I remember it being so engaging and how the scenes kept playing in my head long after I finished the book. As I was recently caught in the spell of horror books again, I decided to pick up the recent book by Stephen King – Later. Maybe not his best work, but still engrossing enough with some quote worthy monologues.


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The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine – as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.




  • you enjoy only light spooky element in your horror reads
  • you love Stephen King’s writing and pledge to even read his grocery list if given the chance.
  • love books that include a super natural element


  • Ability To See The Dead
  • Light Horror


Carrie by Stephen King
{Writing Style , Supernatural Ability, Spooky Element}

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
{Light Spooky Element}


  • Lesbian Character
    {Mom’s Character}


  • You are just jumping on the Stephen King Hype Train. This is not his best book and I have only read one other book by him.
  • You aren’t easily spooked out and looking to pick up a horror story. The spook level is 2/5 according to me and I am easily scared.


{SPOILER } Click to See
  • Incest
  • A scene about graphic images of a gang rape victim being found by a child kept as a keepsake by the rapist.



Stephen King has this unique ability of crafting a story with a very distinctive premise making you flip the page faster than usual to see what happens next. The main character – Jamie Conklin has the ability to see the dead and the dead have been quite graphically described to create a vivid image in your head leaving your brain to get creative when you think about ghosts. I loved the idea of how the dead wear the same clothes that they wore when they died or how they have to answer with only the truth. I guess, these details made even the dead characters seem quirky and fleshed out apart from the main cast of the story.

“There’s always a later, I know that now. At least until we die. Then I guess it’s all before that.”

Later, Stephen King

As Jamie is looking back on his past as an adult, there is a sense of philosophical touch to his otherwise quirky monologue, giving it enough thought worthy moments to keep the book from becoming an entirely creepy novel. The dry humor also adds some light moments in this book which deliberately made me forget I was reading a horror novel.

The characters that interact with James and his nostalgic memories of them give them that touch of kindness and adult voice while he talks about them which was very realistic to me. Precisely, the way he talks about his Mom and his neighbors. Not every character is “good” and you eventually get to see the human monsters that play a part in shaping his outlook towards the world. Again, this aspect of the book was absolutely well done and a delight to read keeping in mind this is a book with a paranormal theme.

With regards to the crime aspect, I found the detective rather annoying and unnecessary. I felt the premise had so much more potential to be terrifying or gruesome with regards to a police investigation or meeting dead characters that died due to different crimes. I would have love to see how Jamie, tried to find their murderer or something on those lines. It probably wasn’t the intention of this book as it emphasizes more on Jamie’s backstory than the crimes that takes place.

“I think that people who say life is all about the choices we make and the roads we go down are full of shit. Because check it, stairs or elevator, we still would have come out on the third floor. When the fickle finger of fate points at you, all roads lead to the same place, that’s what I think. I may change my mind when I’m older, but I really don’t think so.”

Later, Stephen King


Needless to say, the story was engaging and did do a good job at arriving at the plot twist. Although, for as much as I adored Jamie’s monologue and the whole theme of how he can see the dead , the climax felt flat to me. I love Stephen King’s writing and I am definitely going to pick up more books by the author. However, that ending was absolutely not needed as the justification for his supernatural ability. It just ruined the whole thing for me. Clearly, I am not a fan of this particular kink.

RATING : 2.5/5.0

Overall, Later felt like a coming of age ( with adult themes) novel with a super natural element to it. It was a easy read and I was definitely intrigued by the premise. Did it give me nightmares? No. IS THIS A HORROR STORY? Yes.

I do not want to discourage people to read this book , as I wasn’t the right audience for it. In conclusion, I wish the horror or the crime element was explored more in depth.


Pages : 248
Genre : Horror, Supernatural , Crime
Published On : 02 March, 2021
Publisher : Hard Case Crime

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