Under the Dome (Stephen King) - 7/10
I always dread reading King's latest; not out of fear of the unknown, but the fear of the quality. He's been really inconsistent, going from crap (Cell) to great (Lisey's Story) to OK (Duma Key) to disappointing (Just Before Sunset). This one, thankfully, didn't fall apart and was a compulsive read, meaning I just had to find out what was going on. Mix a little Monsters Are Due on Maple Street with some of King's older classics (a little bit of The Stand, some of The Mist, some of Needful Things) and you have this flawed book.
I just don't like his character writing much anymore. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought he used to compose with more shades of gray; now, either you're really good or you're really, really evil. And, if you're good, you tell corny jokes that everybody laughs at (and don't get me started on a sixty year old novelist trying to write "hip" dialogue for the young characters, i.e. Scarecrow Joe and his friends. Cringe inducing). If you're evil, you are automatically identified as a religious hypocrite, vote Republican and are incredibly stupid and follow orders without thinking for yourself.