This, the 6th book, in a 7 book series by Stephen King, is liberally spiced with colored illustrations. The Dark Tower series continues as Roland moves closer to his destination.......as does Stephen King. He has suggested that once the 7th book has been completed he may retire from writing for good. He will make that decision while we patiently await book number 7.
Not bad, but not very satisfying. Readers will hate the ending; it kind of leaves us hanging like the end of "The Wastelands". Do read it, it's not a bad book and advances the storyline, but be prepared to grit your teeth, that's all.
When Susannah Dean is transported via a magic door on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis to New York City in the summer of 1999, the "demon-mother" who possesses her, Mia, has only one thing on her mind. She must give birth to her "chap" at a predetermined location in Manhattan's East 60s, as instructed by the henchmen-or "Low Men"-of the evil Crimson King. Pressed for time, Father Callahan, preteen Jake and talking pet "billy-bumbler" Oy follow Susannah and Mia's trail in an effort to prevent an act that would quicken the destruction of the Dark Tower and, in turn, of all worlds. Meanwhile, gunslingers Roland and Eddie travel to 1977 Maine in search of bookstore owner Calvin Tower, who is being hunted down by mobster Enrico Balazar and his gang, who first appeared in Eddie's version of New York in The Drawing of the Three Avid readers of the series will either be completely enthralled or extremely irritated when, in a gutsy move, the author weaves his own character into this unpredictable saga, but either way there's no denying the ingenuity with which King paints a candid picture of himself.
Here the ka-tet faces three challenges; keep the chap from the Crimson King, save Susannah, and get Tower to sell the vacant lot to them. Eddie and Roland head to Maine to find Tower, and Jake, Pere, and Oy pursue Susannah to NYC.
I enjoyed reading this book in spite of thinking I shouldn't. I really enjoyed the song aspect of the book with each chapter ending with a stanza of the commala song, and I also enjoyed the development of Susannah's character, something I've been waiting for ever since she was introduced in the second book. The action sequences were also tightly written and give just the right amount of chills.
On the other hand, I knew I shouldn't like the book because of the whole part where King writes himself in as a character, and not just any character, the Crimson King's polar opposite. Everything he writes is vitally important to the quest!! How egotistical is that?! Also it made it much more difficult to suspend my disbelief and believe these worlds actually exist. It's one thing to let yourself get lost in the idea of parallel worlds; it's another to believe, even for a moment, that some writer in Maine who you *know* is a real person is important to the activity in them. What possessed King to do that?
Still, I scampered over the bits with King in them quite quickly and got back to the beloved ka-tet. I think I've grown so attached to them that that attachment gets me through the rough patches of the books.
In the end, I think it's a worthy entrance in the series that moves the characters forward and moves us ever closer to the Dark Tower. Just don't say I didn't warn you about the King parts.