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The Dark Tower VII by Stephen King

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series The Dark Tower

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower
Publisher: Donald M. Grant/Scribner; 1st Trade Ed edition (June 8, 2004), Hardcover: 432 pages, Language: English, ISBN-0-7432-6679-X

 

This book is the final book in the series and it pulls all the storylines together.  It starts out with an exciting battle scene where Jake and Callahan are fighting against the Crimson King’s minions in order to find and save Susannah. Meanwhile Roland and Eddie are attempting to save the selfish writer, Stephen King.

This is the seventh book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he has plans for an eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which he plans to write at some point in the future.  Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, and this book certainly does have aspects of horror in it, it also falls into the fantasy genre and sometimes it can be considered a western.  In fact this book is closest to horror of all the books in this series. The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on the characters who are on the quest to find and heal the Dark Tower.

They are all Gunslingers and they are Roland Deschain of Gilead (from time unremembered,) Eddie Dean of New York (from 1987) and his wife Susanna Dean of New York (from 1964) as well as their adopted son Jake Chambers of New York (from 1977.) The story has also added Pere Callahan from one of Stephen King’s previous books, Salam’s Lot and Stephen King himself (from 1977,) is a character in this book.  The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. Most of the books in the series take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become weird.  Some of this book takes place in our world in 1999.

This is the darkest of the books in the dark tower series. It also has the most horror in it. The story is sad at times and brought tears to my eyes, yet it also brings joy and hope to the reader.  The ending is unique and somewhat ambiguous, in some ways it is a beginning and not an ending. By the end of the book, Roland is truly a different person. This was a series that I did not want to end and found myself turning pages to look for more.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to follow Roland on his journey, but please read the prior books first as this book is not really a stand-alone book.  If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you should enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.

 

Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Seventh Book in Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series
Publisher: Jove (Electronic Edition: December 2002), EBook: 382 KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-2906-7

This book starts out with Anita reviewing all her various scars, and there are a lot of them, then she is asked to help solve another super natural case involving a psychic fire starter.

This is the seventh book in the series and to date there are a total of 20 books. This book falls into the contemporary, urban fantasy genre with Anita Blake as a necromancer by trade and a sometimes vampire slayer known as The Executioner. There are vampires and other supernatural beings living together with humans in her world.  The book also falls into the romance genre with plenty of graphic sex. The story is told using the character narrative with Anita’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

She gets dragged into helping Jean-Claude with his political Vampire problems. She is also drawn into the wereleopard pack because she killed their former leader in the previous book and they desperately need someone to protect and take care of them.

There is lots going on and the story is interesting.  Anita and Richard are learning what the triumvirate can do for and to each of them and learning it with them is fascinating.   Anita is becoming closer to Jean-Claude and yet she still does not trust him or feel completely comfortable with him.  Anita is now only dating Jean-Claude but she is still involved in Richard’s life. There is the introduction of new, sexy vampire called Asher, whose power is sex.

Once again I enjoyed reading Anita in action. We are given more information about the world she lives in and it is interesting to learn about her growing powers while she is learning them. Richard is becoming more irritating and the less we see of him the better. Throughout the book Anita is solving problems with plenty of action. Sex plays a much larger role in this book and it is very graphic.  I like that the story had a good conclusion and I am still curious to see where this series is going, so I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

If you enjoy reading contemporary, urban fantasy that deals with vampires and werewolves and includes a strong female lead then you will enjoy this book.  If you enjoy reading romance with graphic sex, you will enjoy this book since sex is a large part of Anita’s new powers.

 

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The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Sixth Book in Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series
Publisher: Jove (Electronic Edition: August 2001), EBook: 377 KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-3227-0

In the usual Anita Blake Vampire Hunter style there is plenty of action and Anita comes close to death several times, but pulls through. There is a contract out on Anita’s life.  Anita now has a mystery to solve as to who wants her dead.  She also gets pulled into dealing with another deadly necromancer.

This is the sixth book in the series and to date there are a total of 20 books. This book falls into the contemporary, urban fantasy genre with Anita Blake as a necromancer by trade and a sometimes vampire slayer known as The Executioner. There are vampires and other supernatural beings living together with humans in her world.  The book also falls into the romance genre. The story is told using the character narrative with Anita’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

We get to see how and why Anita is dating both a werewolf (Richard) and a vampire (Jean-Claude.) There is a fair amount of sexual tension and jealousy which makes things very interesting. The book also deals with Richard and his pack problems. Anita starts to understand that Richard is not the perfect man, but rather she gets a better idea of what makes him tick and it is not pretty. She starts to really see his flaws and there are a lot of them. A lot happens in this book including the forming of a triumvirate between Jean-Claude, Anita and Richard.  This is where they can link with each other and by doing so become much more powerful than they are individually. Anita once again has the first mark of Jean-Claude and is now magically linked with both Richard and Jean-Claude.

Once again I enjoyed reading Anita in action and I am left wondering where the storyline is going, so I will definitely be reading the next book in the series. Throughout the book Anita is solving problems with plenty of action. The characters are interesting and diverse. It is fun to read about this alternate universe with a multitude of supernatural beings. I like how Anita deals with the various problems that she faces. This is a stand alone book that resolves the issues by the end of the book, but it is also clearly part of a larger story.

If you are going to read this series, then I recommend that you read the books in order since the story builds with each book.  If you enjoy reading contemporary, urban fantasy that deals with vampires and werewolves and includes a strong female lead then you will enjoy this book.  If you enjoy reading romance with graphic sex, you will enjoy this book since Anita and Jean-Claude become lovers.

 

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Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Fifth Book in Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
Publisher: Jove (Electronic Edition: March 2004), EBook: 311 KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-4578-X

In the usual Anita Blake Vampire Hunter style there is plenty of action and Anita comes close to death several times, but pulls through. She also needs to deal with her men problems and it is not easy dating a master vampire.

This is the fifth book in the series and to date there are a total of 20 books. This book falls into the contemporary, urban fantasy genre with Anita Blake as a necromancer by trade and a sometimes vampire slayer known as The Executioner. There are vampires and other supernatural beings living together with humans in her world.  The book also falls into the romance genre. The story is told using the character narrative with Anita’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

The book starts out with Anita being sent out of town to raise a graveyard full of old bones, it is a job that no-one else can do without a human sacrifice. As the story progresses, things get interesting and Anita quickly gets involved in solving a series of supernatural murders and disappearances. Anita and Jean-Claude’s relationship has a big turning point; she now thinks of him as a person and not a monster.  Richard just keeps pushing himself further and further away from Anita, his self-hate comes through by back-lashing Anita with very nasty behaviour. Larry, Anita’s assistant, has a bigger role and Anita takes on the responsibility of mentoring him.

The book is interesting and well written. I enjoyed reading about Larry and Anita’s interactions. We learn more about Anita’s past and her relationship with her mother which gives us more insight into Anita’s character.  Anita’s powers are growing as she is able to do things that were previously thought to be impossible.  She also solves the mystery by the end of the book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

If you enjoy reading contemporary, urban fantasy that deals with vampires and werewolves and includes a strong female lead then you will enjoy this book.  The book also has a very definite romantic slant with Anita dating both a vampire and a werewolf.

 

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The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Forth Book in Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
Publisher: Jove (Electronic Edition: March 2004), EBook: 311 KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-4578-X

At the end of the last book Anita was freed from Jean-Claude’s vampire marks, but did she really want to be free of him? Once again Anita is pulled into solving supernatural murders and dealing with her love life.

This is the fourth book in the series and to date there are a total of 20 books. This book falls into the contemporary, urban fantasy genre with Anita Blake as a necromancer by trade and a sometimes vampire slayer known as The Executioner. There are vampires and other supernatural beings living together with humans in her world.  The book also falls into the romance genre. The story is told using the character narrative with Anita’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around.

This book surrounds problems within the lycanthrope (shape-shifting) community. We learn a lot more about the shape-shifters, specifically about Richard and his own personal demons. Edward, who is a fellow vampire slayer and always fun to read, also wants her help. Anita agrees to date both Richard and Jean-Claude and this causes a few problems. Anita’s feelings for Jean-Claude are deepening, but she still does not trust him.  She is also conflicted about her relationship with Richard. 

At times I find Richard to be trying and his internal conflict gets boring real fast. As usual there is lots of action in the book and the problem was solved by the end of the book. Once again I enjoyed reading Anita in action and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

If you enjoy reading contemporary, urban fantasy that deals with vampires and werewolves and includes a strong female lead then you will enjoy this book.  The book also has a very definite romantic slant with Anita dating both a vampire and a werewolf.

 

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Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series The Dark Tower
Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla
Publisher: Donald Grant/Scribner  (Electronic edition 2003) EBook: 960 pages, Language: English, ISBN-0-7432-5510-0


Roland and his ka-tet (all the protagonists who are on the quest) have been delayed in their path to the Dark Tower with the need to save the town of Calla’s children from being stolen and then returned “roont” (ruined both mentally and physically.)

This is the fifth book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he is currently working on the eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which will be released at some point in the future.  Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, but this book does not fall into that genre.  Instead it is in the fantasy genre and it is sometimes considered a western.  The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Roland Deschain of Gilead.  Although at times it also focuses on some of the other characters who have joined Roland on his quest to find and heal the Dark Tower. They are all Gunslingers and his fellow questees are Eddie Dean of New York (from 1987) and his wife Susanna Dean of New York (from 1964) as well as their adopted son, Jake Chambers of New York (from 1977.)  The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. These books take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become inconsistant.

This book deals primarily with the Gunslingers working with the towns people in the hopes of saving the children of the Calla from the “Wolves”.  Once a generation the “Wolves” come to steal half the children and send them back “roont”.  When the children are returned,  they are mentally retarded to the point where they can barely do much for themselves.  They also grow to become giants and in the process they suffer great pain.  They have short lives and when they pass away, they also suffer great pain.

While they are working on a plan, there is derision and divisiveness within the town. We get to know the town folk and we learn more about our characters, although there is not a lot of character development.  But there is a climax building up to the point of the arrival of the wolves and the story Stephen King weaves is told very well and it is extremely interesting.  There are also a couple of other storylines going on simultaneously which keeps things intriguing.

It is interesting to note that the main character from Salam’s Lot, Callahan reappears in this book as a preacher known as the “old fella” and this book ties Salam’s Lot to the Gunslinger’s quest in a very interesting manner. I really enjoyed reading this book as well as all the previous books in this series.  The story is masterfully told, it was particularly touching to read about Jake’s challenges between his loyalty to his new friend and his gunslinger duty.  It is fun to read how the people of this town talk with “the thank-ye big, big” (as they say in the Calla.)  The big battle scene at the end was exciting but pretty straight forward without any surprises.

Although this book did a good job of resolving the Calla’s problem with the wolves, it did not do a good job of resolving the other story-lines which were unfolding at the same time.  This book ended with a cliff-hanger.  I personally prefer a book that ties up all the story-lines by the end of the book, so in this area the book fell short for me. For this reason and for the way the wolves were dealt with at the end of the book I gave the book a 3 Treasure Box rating.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but please read the prior books first as this book is not really a stand-alone book.  If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you will definitely enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.

 

To Purchase: “Wolves of the Calla” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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Wizard and Glass by Stephen King

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series The Dark Tower

Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (2003), EBook: 672 pages, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-1758-2

Roland and gang continue on their dangerous quest for the Dark Tower in a world that is shutting down. This book picks up where the Waste Lands ended off and it quickly resolves the cliff-hanger.  Then the book focuses primarily on Roland’s back story, just after he first became a Gunslinger and why he started on the quest for the Dark Tower.

This is the fourth book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he is currently working on the eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which will be released at some point in the future.  Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, but this book does not fall into that genre.  Instead it is in the fantasy genre and sometimes considered a western.  The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Roland Deschain of Gilead.  Although at times it is also told from the other characters who have joined Roland on his quest to find and heal the Dark Tower. They are all Gunslingers and his fellow questees are Eddie Dean of New York  (from 1987) and his wife Susanna Dean of New York (from 1964) as well as their adopted son, Jake Chambers of New York (from 1977).  The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. These books take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become weird.

First, Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy (Jake’s intelligent, taking pet) all are on the crazy, sentient train known as Blaine, who has threatened to kill itself and the gang unless they can give it a riddle that it can not solve. So far Blaine knows all the riddles that Roland knows (and he knows a lot) as well as all the riddles in Jake’s book. They are close to the end of line going 800 miles an hour.  If Blaine is not stopped soon, they all will die.

The crazy train has now transported the gang many miles across the wasteland and when they arrive at their destination they are no longer in Roland’s Mid-World and no longer on the path of the beam.  Instead they have arrived in a deserted version of Topeka, Kansas in 1980, but it is not Eddie, Jake and Susannah’s world.  Close by is a Thinny, this is a thinning of the fabric of reality between worlds and it is a very dangerous thing.  This Thinny reminds Roland of his past and is the catalyst for him telling his story. The majority of the book is a recounting of Roland’s beginning and gives us a good insight into his enigmatic character.

We learn a lot about what happened to Roland and his boyhood friends when they were 14. This was just after Roland became the youngest gunslinger.   There is also a love story between Roland and his first and only love, Susan.  This story of Roland’s past takes place a few years before the fall of Gilead, which was the beginning of the end. The world had already started moving on but now time became weird, which is why it is now 1,000 years after the fall of Gilead and Roland is still searching for the tower.  It also explained how and why Roland started to search for the Tower.

Stephen King is phenomenal in his writing style and he delivers very well, and I say thank-ee (as they say in Mid-World.) The story is very interesting and very intriguing. This book is intrical in the development of the story as it outlines where the story is going and why. It does a great job in showing Roland’s character development. We really come to understand and love Roland after this tale. This book also completed all the story-lines it was following in this book and brought them all to a satisifying conclusion, although it is still clearly part of a larger story.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but please read the prior books first as this book is not really a stand-alone book.  If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you will definitely enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.

To Purchase: “Wizard and Glass” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

 

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The Waste Lands by Stephen King

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series The Dark Tower

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (2003), EBook: 2,023KB pages, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-3754-X

This book starts out with an exciting battle against a gigantic, crazy, cyborg bear who has been defending his forest for thousands of years.  The bear is now at the end of his existence and it is up to Susannah and Eddie to put him out of his misery before he destroys all of them. The story continues several weeks after Roland has joined up with Eddie, who is from our world in 1987 and Susannah who is from our world in 1964. Roland realizes that the bear was one of the Guardians and he deduces that if they go back to his lair they will be able to follow the beam of the portal which will lead them to the Dark Tower. This is the closest Roland has ever been in all his long travels to reaching the Dark Tower. Soon after they start on this new adventure many things occur to distract them along their path.

This is the third book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he is currently working on the eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which will be released at some point in the future.  Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, but this book does not fall into that genre.  Instead it is in the fantasy genre and sometimes considered a western.  The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Roland Deschain of Gilead.  Although at times it is also told from the other characters who have joined Roland on his quest to find and heal the Dark Tower. They are all Gunslingers and his fellow questees are Eddie Dean of New York  (from 1987) and his wife Susanna Dean of New York (from 1964) as well as their adopted son, Jake Chambers of New York (from 1977).  The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. These books take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become weird.

I really enjoyed this book, I loved reading about these people and their adventures as they work their way towards the Dark Tower. More light is put on the world they live in and why the world has moved on, why things are wearing out and changing for the worse.  We learn that these problems not only affect Roland’s world, but all worlds because there is something seriously wrong with the Dark Tower and the Dark Tower is at the centre of all existence in all the worlds. We learn that all the worlds are inter-related and can be access through various mystical doors as well as through the Dark Tower.  We find out that the Great Old Ones discovered the Dark Tower and found a way to access to it by creating twelve interconnected portals known as the Guardians.

Eddie and Susannah fall in love and under Roland’s tutelage truly become gunslingers. Due to Roland changing events in our world in 1977 in the previous book, Jake does not die but instead is drawn to join again with Roland in this book at a different time and place. There is a very interesting, exciting and frightening unfolding of events which allow this happen. The group continues onto a dilapidated city that is ruled by gangs and cruel crazy people.

There is lots of action and excitement once they arrive in this new location.  However, the story did not come to a conclusion; instead it ended in the middle of the story, which I do not really like and for this reason it lost one treasure box rating.  The good thing was that the next book was available for me to pick up and read so I was able to see how the story ended in the next book, Wizard and Glass. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but please read the prior books first as this book is not really a stand-alone book.  If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you will definitely enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.

 

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Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes

Third Book in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series: Circus of the Damned  

Anita is a tough, sexy, caring person who raises people from the dead for a living and slays vampires as required.We see a new side of Anita in this book, her relationship with her girl friends. It really shows a different side of her personality that I found it to be interesting. Anita is asked to betray Jean-Claude to the Humans First group.  She must decide if she should do this and what the consequences would be both for and against such an action.

This is the second book in the series and to date there are a total of 20 books. This book falls into the contemporary, urban fantasy genre with Anita Blake as a necromancer by trade and a sometimes vampire slayer known as The Executioner. There are vampires and other supernatural beings living together with humans in her world.  The book also falls into the romance genre. The story is told using the character narrative with Anita’s voice and thoughts as we follow her around

Anita is once again dragged into solving a supernatural murder by Dolph the leading police detective on the case. While trying to solve this case Anita once again meets up with Jean-Claude to seek his help in solving the murders.  During this book Anita comes to realize that vampires are not all bad and she is starting to care for Jean-Claude. One reason could be because Jean-Claude keeps seducing her in her dreams. Richard the werewolf is first introduced in this book and Anita has a date with him. We also meet Edward, he too is a vampire slayer known as Death and he is scary and intriguing.

I liked this book and I enjoyed reading the interactions between the characters. I really like Anita’s character and how she solves the supernatural  problems plaguing the city. Once again, I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series. This is a stand alone book, where all issued are resolved by the end of the book. 

I recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary, urban fantasy that deals with vampires and werewolves and includes a strong female lead. This book is clearly part of a series where the story builds from book to book so it is best to read the books in order.

 

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The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes  

Second Book in the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series: The Laughing Corpse

It is fun to read about Anita and how she deals with situations. In this book she is called to solve a supernatural murder and she needs to defend herself several times against attacks. I like Anita and I like reading about her. 

We learn more about the world she lives in including other techniques to capture souls and perform necromancer activities. While investigating the murder she meets up again with Jean-Claude, who she now has two of the four marks that are needed to make her his human servant. He is putting pressure on her to be his human servant but she is resisting since he is a vampire and she is a slayer.

I enjoyed this book and I liked getting to know each of the characters on a deeper level. I an looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

 

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