Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cannonball Read 2 #2: The Wastelands (Dark Tower 3) by Stephen King

The third book in Stephen King's Dark Tower saga continues the story of Roland the Gunslinger, Eddie, and Susannah as they work their way through Mid-World, trying to reach the Dark Tower. In this story, they add two more members to their ka-tet (group drawn together by fate). One is Jake Chambers--the young boy that Roland came across and then was forced to sacrifice in book one. They manage to pull Jake through the door again and into Mid-World alive. Also, they are joined by Oy, a "bumbler" (sort of a combination of a puppy, a woodchuck, and a raccoon) who becomes Jake's pet. The group sets off again in the path of the beam. Along the way, they run across a very nasty mechanical bear, come in contact with some of the very unpleasant remains of society, and spend some very very stressful hours on a monorail that has gone insane.

This is much better than the first two books because the finally starts humming along. It seems that the group is together for better or for worse and now they have begun their quest in earnest. I really enjoy the main characters, and some of the side characters were quite entertaining, including Blaine the monorail, the Tick-Tock Man, and "the Walking Dude" whom any King fan will recognize from his role in The Stand. It is in this book where it begins to become clear that all the Stephen King universe is tied together somehow, and the events in The Stand and some of the other books have threads that run through Mid-World, too.

I definitely enjoyed this and would recommend it, though it is absolutely NOT a book that can be read on its own. I'm really enjoying this series and can't wait to get to the next book.

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