I finished Under The Dome! It’s a hefty book. A friend of mine, who also just finished it, called it an investment. It is an investment, in more ways than one. Stephen King's book is over one thousand pages long. So there is an investment of time. You also become invested in the characters and the outcome of their time under the dome. It’s not just the good characters you care about either, you care about the bad ones; you want to make sure the bad guys get what they deserve in the end.
The end was fantastic. I couldn’t put it down for the last 80 pages. I just kept reading, even though I knew I should get up, until the book was done. Stephen King created some amazing, compelling characters. Their history before the dome greatly influenced their behaviour once they were under it. If you paid attention, you could see the paths the characters would follow.
I warn future readers now, no character is safe. It doesn’t matter how much back story is given. It doesn’t matter if you think the outcome hinges on them. If their time comes, they die. The first section of the book is an onslaught of death. What happens when an invisible force field is put in place and you don’t know it’s there? That is the beginning of the book. When you think the dying has stopped, someone else goes.
Dale Barbara (Barbie) and Julia Shumway are great heroes. They are regular people, dealing with their own problems and lives. Barbie was trying to leave when the dome came down. He was only minutes from missing the chaos. Barbie and Julia are the people who put aside personal concern and even safety and do what is necessary to save lives. Rusty Everett does the same thing. Though only thirteen, so does Joe McClatchey. It is people like them that should have been in charge from the beginning and I kept reading the book hoping somehow Barbie would take over and make everything better.