Much like the PvP activities in Destiny, I feel like I am only reading this series to unlock some achievement at this point. I want to be able to say I read all the books and I also want the right to bitch about the fact that they were the book form of a shrug. If the word “Meh” could become a book series, it would be The Dark Tower series by Stephen fucking King.
I do have good things to say. The Waste Lands brings Jake back to us through a weird goblin house portal thing, and our “quartet” (ka-tet – SUBTLE) moves towards the train of Jake’s dreams to help them cross the waste lands, which is a vast expanse where all the midworld’s chemicals, waste, and refuse has been dumped, creating and impassable space crawling with weird, mutated creatures. The first third of the book is Jake finding his way back to Roland, Susannah, and Eddie, and it is very creepy and suspenseful. I enjoyed the first section very much, and it was fun to compare what was happening to what I saw in The Dark Tower movie previews; it seems to have drawn a lot from this particular installation of the series.
There is a bunch of boring junk in the middle that, again, made me want to put the book down. Even sitting here writing this I can’t remember what happens between Jake arriving in Midworld after a house tried to eat him and the group arriving in the city of Lud, where they find Charlie the Choo-Choo/Blaine the Pain Train who loooooves riddles. Also, I still don’t understand why I care about any of this. THIS IS BOOK THREE AND I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY ANYTHING IS HAPPENING. This is a problem for me. It’s fine for a first book to kind of hint at mythologies and histories and things but you better start infusing your plot with some exposition dialogue stat or you’re going to lose your readers (see also: Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan).
King leaves us with a cliffhanger – Blaine the Train takes them away from the city of Lud but intends to drive himself off the tracks for reasons? but they make a deal that if they can stump him with a riddle then he’ll let them live and then off himself later. I looked up when Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and it was in 1937 so I have some opinions about this plot device but again, who cares because WHY IS ANY OF THIS HAPPENING? *shrug*
So while I wait on this hurricane (Irma) I’m going to dive into book #4: Wizard and Glass with the sole purpose of finishing so I can say I finished. I know I say not to do this, and I may yet put it down and say “fuck it” but for now I’ve made it further than I ever have with it and I might as well venture into the wastelands a bit further to see if I can survive.