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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.

 

Song of Susannah by Stephen King

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series The Dark Tower

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
Publisher:  Donald M. Grant/Scribner; 1st Trade Ed edition (June 8, 2004), Hardcover: 432 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 1880418592

As the name implies this book deals primarily with Susannah and it is her path as she journeys through pregnancy with a demon child. At the same time she is possessed by a creature of the Crimson King who has been given the care of the child. 

This is the sixth 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, 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 Susannah Dean of New York.  Although at times it is also told from the other 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. But most of this book takes place in our world in 1977 and 1999.

Book V, The Wolves Of The Calla, ended with Susannah and Mia (the being who is possessing Susannah’s body,) escaping into our world in 1999 with the evil, magic Black Thirteen. Now Eddie is frantic with worry over Susannah and wants to find her as soon as possible. With the help of the Manni, the door between realities is re-opened, not once but twice. This is good since the gang has several pressing items to deal with.  First they must find Susannah and save her from the demon child and second they must also save the spiritual rose which is growing in the middle of Manhattan. Eddie wants to save Susannah but Ka has a different plan and sends him and Roland to Maine, USA in 1977 to try and save the rose and through the rose the tower.  It is Jake, Callahan and Oy (Jake’s faithful, highly-intelligent, talking  “pet”) who are sent to New York, 1999 to save Susannah. 

 The ka-tet is separated, which weakens them as a whole but it makes the story interesting since there were two plot-lines going on at the same time with an interlocking thread between them.  There was a heavy duty action scene in the beginning when Roland and Eddie first arrived in Maine. This was the only real action in the book. I enjoyed this book although I did not think the overall story really made much progress. It did not seem that much happened, although the cliff-hanger hints of things to come.

I thought it was really interesting the way that Stephen King himself became a character in the book and is tied into what happens to the Dark Tower. Once again the story has 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 lack of excitement within the book I gave the book a 2 Treasure Box rating. This was my lest favourite book in the series todate.

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.

 

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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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The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series The Dark Tower
Book Review: 4 Treasure Boxes
The second book in the Dark Tower Series
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (August 2003), EBook: 656KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-3750-7

 

We found at the end of the first book that he caught up to the man in black and they had a ten year long parlay during which time he learned many things. During this time we learned that the man in black was not what Roland was really seeking but that he had some answers that would help Roland reach the Dark Tower, his true destination.  We are still not clear exactly what the Dark Tower is or why Roland so desperately wants to reach it. All we know is that the Tower stands at a kind of power-nexus pulling all of existence together.  Perhaps it is all of existence? We know from the first book, since both the man in black and the oracle tell Roland that he will meet or draw three people to help him in his quest. This book tells the story of Roland’s quest as he meets or draws each of these people. The doors are the keys to finding these people.

This is the second 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 potential Gunslingers and his follow 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.

There is a rather gruesome beginning to this book.  After Roland is attacked by the lobstrosites things are looking very bleak until he finds a mysterious, magical door in the middle of the beach. I thought this book was extraordinary.  It was exciting and hard to put down. I really enjoyed the story as it was imaginative, with a surprise at the ending. Once Roland passes through the first mysterious door things really start to get interesting. I really enjoyed reading about Roland’s journey as the story melds Roland’s world with our world.  It is interesting to experience Roland’s view of our world. Each of the people that Roland draws have flaws and it is up to Roland to work through these flaws.  It is interesting to meet and get to know these new characters. I enjoyed reading how each of these people met with and worked through their challenges.

Although this book  is clearly in the middle of the series where Roland’s goal is the reach the elusive Dark Tower, it was also a complete story unto itself as the title so aptly implies. I am anxiously looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but please read the prior book first as this 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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The Gunslinger by Stephen King

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series The Dark Tower

Books Review:2 Treasure Boxes
First Book in The Dark Tower Series
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (June 2003), EBook: 591KB, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-3721-3

This book starts out with the Gunslinger following the Man in Black. All we really know is that the Gunslinger is good and the man in black is evil.  The chase is occurring in a land where humanity is winding down and there is very little good left in this post-apocalyptic world.  We are not sure why the chase is on or what motivates the Gunslinger. I found this book to be intriguing from the first page.  We do not even know the actual names of the characters, however, as the story unfolds we get drawn into the Gunslinger’s tale. It is told from the gunslinger’s point of view who we eventually learn is Roland Deschain.

This is the first 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.  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.

During Roland’s travels we get glimpses into his past and so we are slowly introduced to the character. The writing draws us and makes us care about him and his quest and in typical Steven King style the writing is very descriptive. There is a very gory part where the gunslinger is defending himself against an entire town. During his defence we get an idea of how and why he is a gunslinger. There are also sad parts throughout the book. Stephen King drops hints during the story as to what could be coming up later on. By the end of this first book we have a better idea of what the gunslinger is searching for and why he wants to find the man in black.  We also find out who and what the man in black is.  I found the ending to be very compelling and I will definitely be reading the next book in the series to see what is going to happen next.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story and is in for a long tale since you will read all seven books if you read this first 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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