Newest Review: ... book called Charlie the Choo Choo (see later). The journey through town following the purchase of the book leads Jake to a vacant lot wher... more
Keeps you interested in where the series is going
Dark Tower 3: The Waste Lands - Stephen King
Member Name: UzanTT
Dark Tower 3: The Waste Lands - Stephen King
Advantages: Better than Book two. Keeps you wanting more with a cliffhanger!
Disadvantages: Still too much New York involvement
Title: The Wastelands
Author: Stephen King
Pages: 512 (my copy has anyway)
Storyline and Summary
The beginning of the third installment starts with Roland, Eddie and Susannah travelling from the beach into a forest where they learn some skills from Roland. They chance upon a giant bear which it is discovered is cybernetic and in fact a robot. The three vanquish the bear (Shardik) and Roland educates the group about the beams and the guardians, one of those guardians being Shardik the bear.
The three head off following "the Beam" which is invisible but affects the world (such as the way the clouds move). They continue their journey but as they continue Roland finds that he is struggling with a mental paradox between what happens to Jake in book one (no spoiler) and what happens to Jake in book two (again no spoiler!). This is causing him to forget or remember differently the events of book one even though he knows what happened.
The book moves on to Jake Chambers, a young schoolboy in New York 1977. Jake too is experiencing what Roland is in that he is torn between two worlds. Jake encounters Calvin Tower and Aaron Deepneau and buys a book called Charlie the Choo Choo (see later). The journey through town following the purchase of the book leads Jake to a vacant lot where he finds a key and also a single red rose.
In Roland's world Roland helps Eddie to see what he must do to solve Rolands mental problem by burning the jawbone of Walter (he kept it from book one). The ritual reveals that Eddie must carve some sort of key which must be perfect and will open another door (much like those of book two).
Jakes wanderings in New York lead him to an old house (haunted house) at a place called Dutch Hill where he uses his key to escape the house daemon that protects the portal. In Roland's world at the same time they have engaged in a ritual to bring Jake through using a speaking ring which involves another daemon. Susannah pays a heavy price for protecting Eddie and they are successful in bringing Jake through.
The four continue to follow the path of the beam towards a great looming broken city called Lud. On the way they meet an animal, Oy, which to me is basically a dog badger! . Along the way we learn some of the history of Roland when they come to River Crossing and the people revere him as one of the last Gunslingers (the last Gunslinger?).
Once they reach Lud they encounter a war between two groups. Jake is kidnapped and Roland resolves not to lose him a second time and follows. Eddie and Susannah are tasked with finding a way through along the path of the beam. This brings Eddie and Susannah to meet Blaine....the monorail...Blaine is an artificial intelligence that has lost its sanity.
Roland, Jake and Oy vanquish their kidnappers (the tick tock man) and escape to the Cradle of Lud (the train station) and are reunited with Eddie and Susannah. Blaine is fond of riddles and challenges the group with a riddle in order to get passage on board. The ka-tet manage to get aboard Blaine but not before Blaine sets off the underground self destruct program for the city and kills everyone. The ka-tet escape aboard Blaine across the Wastelands on their way to a place called....Topeka.
Important Aspects for me
Welcome to Oy and Jake Chambers back to the storyline! I think I am going to like the relationship between Oy and Jake (something I think is going to be important).
The introduction to the beams and Shardik (one of the guardians) feels like something that needs to be put forward as an important point to note and was one of the more interesting parts which is starting to make this series feel a bit more "epic fantasy".
Quite a lot happens in this book and particularly the scene with the Daemon, Roland and Susannah smacks of some future event that is going to come back and haunt our ka-tet.
There are quite a few references to other works of SK and he seems to be trying to create some sort of alternate universe (Universess??) which is intriguing.
Opinion and Conclusion
This book in my opinion was better than the second book The Drawing of the Three. It had a much better fantasy like feel to it. I must say I am not much of a fan for the world hopping and being in New York/our world. I guess that's why I read fantasy. SK has done well to fuse the two kind of more "real life" world to this fantasy world that Roland, Eddie, Susannah and Jake live in.
Certainly better than book 2 for the storyline keeping me interested but I was still left reminiscing after the Gunslinger and a return to that more Cowboy/Western setting. I can't but help thinking that the Gunslinger is unfortunately a distant memory for SK and we are heading in a different direction.
I am really not a fan of the New York parts at all....overall the book was good and I will be reading the next.
Summary: Keeps you interested in the quest for the Dark Tower