Monday, April 4, 2011

Wolves of the Calla - we meet again, Dr. King.

Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, Book 5)I know, I know... why do you read books from the same author one after another? It's so hard to read different authors when I haven't finished the entire series from another. Perhaps stepping away from Science Fiction or Fantasy would help with this problem, but I love these books too much. Might as well take me away from drinking Human Blood and having a healthy portion of Unicorn Meat.... don't judge me!!! Ahem, so, technically, The Stand is not part of The Dark Tower series, but Stephen King has created a tie-in throughout many of his other novels to his longest series. I'm sure that I don't have to read them to understand, but it's nice to know that characters that pop up here will never really be resolved when I reach book 7. I can't figure out if this is a great way to pursue your career in authoring, or if it's just a shrewd marketing ploy. *shrug* (must be the Kool-Aid talking).

So let's get on to Wolves of the Calla and the next chapter in The Dark Tower epic. We've seen Roland along his quest for the Tower for quite some time now. There was a point where Roland was alone in this crumbling world to the point where he's now running a new ka-tet(group of friends/comrades/helpers/etc) with varying dispositions. The journey has led them through multiple worlds while following the Path of the Beam(the way to the Tower). It's now taken them to a town in the Calla's where the children are 99% born as twins. This hasn't been a happy not for the town as the Wolves come every generation or so, take one of the twins, and return them later as Roont.... perhaps mentally challenged would explain well. Will Roland and crew help with the problem? Will they move on with their own quest? Will they even stay in this world or be transported to another? Only reading will tell....

As far as writing goes, Stephen King brings along another good continuation for his epic masterpiece. This is an easier read from some of the previous reads. He's not a sexually graphic as he can be and I've been pretty vocal about not being comfortable with that type of writing. The story itself does a decent job of being engaging through the entire 600 pages or so. There was a small part in the middle that seemed to drone on, but once you're past that it breezes right to the end. The book also feels somewhat like a filler novel. It doesn't feel like it ends up with you bring that much closer to the conclusion. The characters are definitely fleshed out more throughout this. Think M.Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable rather than The Village or Sixth Sense. This is about character development more than plot structure. Also, DON'T READ THE STAND, but pick up Salem's Lot. It helps tie-in one of the new characters. The Stand would be worth reading prior to picking up The Dark Tower series. =\ Should have paid more attention.

Rating: 6 CBs - I am now more excited to come to the Dark Tower conclusion... I'd like to know what's going to happen! It's worth the read and a little better paced than others.

Now, while I'd like to finish up the Dark Tower series, I'm going to have to put it down for a couple books. I have the opportunity to read some copies that were sent to me from PyrSF! Sometime last year I emailed them asking if I could review some of their novels (they happen to have published The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie - highly recommended and I will read again and review... can count on it). A couple months ago I received an email back asking for the blog and a couple other questions about reviewing. Fast forward to now and I've been sent three books to read and review. Very exciting news!!! I'm about 40 pages into the first novel - World's End (Age of Misrule, Book 1) - and hope to finish shortly. Between work and the baby on the way, I'm hoping that I get it out pretty quick. In the meantime, take a look at their catalogue and try out one of their books. At the moment, I highly recommend Abercrombie.