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review 2019-09-26 18:15
Follow the Path of the Beam
Wizard and Glass - Stephen King

So the main reason why this gets four stars is that it is too freaking long. I love the King, but this needed to either be edited back, or broken out into two parts. The other reason why I gave this four stars is that the stupid speaking demon thing pops up again and yes I still loathe that whole thing and what it means for our Susannah Dean. I think the ka-tet grew stronger together in this story and you can see now for all of them, there is nothing else but the Tower.

 

 

Image result for the dark tower images

 

So "Wizard and Glass" finds out band of gunslingers (and Oy) on Blaine the train and trying to figure out how to out-riddle the crazy train before he crashes and takes all of them with them. No spoilers, but I loved how King ended this whole thing and how our Eddie steps up and shows how good he really is. 

 

From there though we have Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake, and Oy realize that they are no longer on the Path of the Beam and seem to be in a Kansas that is familiar to Constant Readers (The Stand) but not to them. This is one of many Easter Eggs that King drops in his Dark Tower series that he does not follow up on in the end. Yeah, can't wait to get to the last book because I will have the biggest epic rant ever in my review about this. I also didn't really like the idea of Marten who we heard about, being the one and same big bad we heard about now only in "The Stand" but also in "The Eyes of the Dragon" and some may remember that characters from that book which I wish that King would revisit one day. 

 

So one of the reasons why this was and still is one of my favorite "Dark Tower" books is that we get to see Roland as a young man who was in love. Your heart breaks for him since we readers already know that the story he has to tell his ka-tet isn't going to be a happily ever after. I felt like King did a good job of letting us see that Roland does love his friends now and loved his friends before, but was stuck with impossible choices.

 

Eddie is the next character that King did a great job developing I thought. Susannah and Jake are here, but to me, they were not as developed as Roland and Eddie.


And from there we also focus the most on Susan (Roland's first and only love) and his first ka-tet, Alain, and Cuthbert. After Roland gets his guns and is told to leave the kingdom so that he doesn't end up killed, the three friends go to the Barony of Mejis. While there we get to see how good the three friends really were in their youth. I can see why Roland misses them still. And Susan kicked all kinds of ass and I feel sad that we don't get to see her in later books in this series. 

 

Image result for susan the dark tower images

 

So the writing was very good. King does a great job with building everything up, but have to say yes the flow was up and down and the book was too long. This bad boy is 1,041 pages (kindle version) and I stopped paying attention to the percentage marks since it was making me a little loopy that I would read for an hour and I only read around 3 pages (exaggerating, but not by much). 

 

The setting of the book is of course in a different setting than the ka-tet is used to. They are off the Path of the Beam in a Kansas that is familiar, but not familiar and realize that not all of them come from the same world. I think it was implied before, but now it's really said out loud. And then of course we have most of the book focusing on Roland after he is given his guns and forced to go to Mejis. 

 

The ending makes me happy because we know that our ka-tet is not going to stop and for all of them, the Tower is their focus. 

 

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review 2019-06-27 15:17
Ever Closer to the Tower
The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) - Stephen King

I have to say that it was great to re-read this and see the ka-tet all together again. I have issues with some of the upcoming books and heaven knows I will forever be irked by Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower as standalones. That said, this book helps set up the latter books as well as foreshadows what will become of some of the ka-tet I think. The main reason why I didn't give this five stars was that I still loathe that whole story-line with Susannah and the demon. I just cannot with it and it made zero sense besides King doing it to set up things later. Bah. Also I think that King too often split the cast of characters in these works and this is one of the first examples of this. The whole thing with the Ageless Stranger and Quick didn't work either. I had call backs to The Stand in my head and just rolled my eyes. 

 

"The Waste Lands" is the third book in the Dark Tower series following Roland, the last gunslinger. Until he draws Eddie and Susannah (now husband and wife) from different times in New York. The three of them start to work as a cohesive little group even though Roland feels wrong. Due to his actions in the last book, he saved "The Boy" otherwise known as Jake. Roland is slowly starting to lose his mind and it seems that Eddie and Jake are somehow dreaming of each other and of the Tower. 

 

Roland is starting to care again. After so many hundreds of years alone at this point he has Eddie and Susannah. He is training them in the ways of the gunslinger and is focused on his quest to get to the Tower. It seems so natural when that becomes their quest as well. In a world that has moved on it's interesting to see how the three of them work together and how them becoming more of a ka-tet affects things.


We transitioned from this group to Jake back in New York. Jake has memories of dying, or Roland, and dying again. When Roland changed the past it didn't just leave him in two, but Jake as well. I loved Jake the best in this series. His heart, his love, his loyalty to Roland, Oy, and the others was great. It was nice to remember all of that re-reading this.

 

Eddie is still a smartass, but softer, as well as deadlier too. He and Susannah fit and I recall being shocked at the time that King was pushing for an interracial marriage in his works. I think it was the first time I had read one in any type of major book at the time. 

 

The characters they meet have significance, but you need to read the whole series to see why. 

 

I thought the writing was good and the flow was too. Nothing felt awkward at all. King did a great job of setting this up and ending it as he did with our ka-tet ready to riddle for their lives. 

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review 2019-02-22 20:21
Shuffle
The Drawing of the Three - Stephen King

What can I say. This was fantastic from beginning to end. Reading how Roland drew Eddie, Odetta, Detta, and then Susannah was wonderful from beginning to end. King made everyone come alive and I still smile thinking of our initial ka-tet. I can't wait until the next book.

 

"The Drawing of the Three" follows seven hours after Roland has his palaver with the Man in Black. The last gunslinger is told that he is going to be drawing three and is warned about what is coming next. We see as Roland comes across doors along a lonely beach filled with strange lobster like creatures and draws Eddie Dean (from New York 1987) Odetta Walker (from New York 1964) and someone called The Pusher (from New York 1977). 

 

Our Roland has grown. The man we saw in "The Gunslinger" has regrets after letting "the boy" fall. He initially is reluctant to turn into a mentor or a friend, but when he draws Eddie Dean, it's Roland's first step on stepping back on a path that will lead him to his new ka-tet. 

 

I think that King did an excellent job about Odetta/Detta Walker, our Lady of Shadows. King made me sympathize and worry that Odetta was going to be lost or do something worst because at this time I had read "Silver Bullet" and a few other King works and I didn't trust him. Even though I knew the outcome while re-reading, I was still holding my breath. 

 

And what can you say about Eddie Dean? I fell in love with this character as a pre-teen. This was also the first book I ever read that had an interracial relationship. I loved him and Susannah and wanted to go on adventures with them and Roland as we traveled a world that had been burned away. 


King manages to make every character in this book stand tall and feel real. From Eddie's brother Henry, to Odetta's chauffeur, all the way to the people that Roland meets in New York as he walks alone there in 1977.


The writing is fantastic. I forgotten how well King can write action scenes. The last part of the book grabs you and you stay with it. You wait with bated breath to see if Roland will be able to defeat the third draw or come out the loser. All I can say is hang on with your breath. There are some call backs to Lord of the Rings (speaking about elephants) and of course having Roland off on his great quest to stand before The Dark Tower. 

 

The next book up is "The Waste Lands." I can't wait. 

 

book pages - 496

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review 2019-02-07 15:47
The Dark Tower, Volume 4: Fall of Gilead
The Dark Tower, Volume 4: Fall of Gilead - Peter David,Stephen King,Richard Ianove,Robin Furth

Not too much to say here. We get to see Gilead before it's fall. Constant Readers know about some of the events if you have read the other Dark Tower books. We have Roland reeling from killing his mother and Cort on his deathbed. 

 

Oh Roland. He is really a tragic figure. I know that King took inspiration from the Tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table when writing the Dark Tower. You just see more similarities in the comics than the books when you read about Maerlyn, and Stephen Deschain and his wife, Gabrielle Deschain. I am starting to see Roland a more of a Galahad at times with him and his quest for the Dark Tower. 

 

We get Roland, Cuthbert, and Alain still doing what they can to stand by Roland and Gilead. We also have the character of Aileen Ritter who would be a gunslinger except for her being born a girl and not a boy. And we follow along with Sheemie too. 

 

I don't have much to say besides I really enjoyed this installment. We know what what the Gunslingers are going to go and though you wish it could be different, it is not meant to be. We also get some backstory on the Man in Black and I maybe get the skin crawls. Reading this on my Kindle was fine. I was able to zoom in on panels. I just wish that Amazon had set it like it did the one shot comics I was reading where the panels zoom in automatically for you and then zoom out when you get to the last one on the page. 

 

The illustrations are a bit darker in this one I have to say. It was hard to read people's faces here and there.

 

 

The comic flow was a bit haphazard at times before we get to the endpoint. 

 

Looking to read "Battle of Jericho Hill" next. 

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review 2018-11-18 22:41
The Gunslinger by Stephen King (audiobook)
The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower I) - Stephen King,George Guidall

Series: The Dark Tower #1

 

I think this is a popular series but this first book really didn't work for me. It started to go downhill when the Gunslinger gets together with Alice. I'm not particularly intrigued by the mystery of the tower and the man in black seemed to just be spouting gobblygook when he was talking about the mysteries of the universe. I also definitely wasn't impressed that the last standoff consisted of sitting around the campfire and chatting. The writing and characterization felt sloppy and the fantasy setting didn't strike me as all that original, especially with the blatant misogyny slathered all over the place. I won't be continuing this series. I should note that the narration for the audiobook was pretty good, however.

 

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12 % (This is where things started going downhill)

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