If you have read my past reviews of the series you will find that my views on the series have taken a lot of turns from being dismayed by how bad it was in the first book of the series to becoming a storytelling masterpiece in the next 3 books and then just taking a nose dive into the dull story garbage graveyard . Going into this book , I was very much dreading what might be in store for me , I ‘m glad to say however I have come out of this reasonably happy.
Series : Dark Tower / Pages : 1050 / Genre : Fantasy , Sci-fi , Western , Horror
The seventh and final installment of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower saga is perhaps the most anticipated book in the author’s long career. King began this epic tale about the last gunslinger in the world more than 20 years ago; now he draws its suspenseful story to a close, snapping together the last pieces of his action puzzle and drawing Roland Deschain ever closer to his ultimate goal
What I Liked :
The things that worked for me starts off with the fact this book unlike the previous 3 books was very smooth in transition and kept a good pace going forward .In fact for the first time in the 7 book series the story the journey to Dark Tower actually looked to be moving somewhere .
“And will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live.”
― Stephen King,
One of the problem with the series was also the fact that I didn’t care about any character but one , this booked fixed some of them as I actually started to feel things for a couple of more character . In fact most of the primary character at the end of the series came out really well developed and honestly around 90% of that development took place in this very book.
There were also plenty of events that made for some real onslaught of emotions and I don’t really like to go into spoiler territory so I won’t go into details of what those emotions were or how they came about , but I gotta say that they were done really well and It really felt like this was missing from this series for a far too long a time.
There is also a detailed epilogue for the ending and many people can actually feel that this epilogue ruined the whole series but for me that epilogue made a lot of sense and really made me enjoy the end
What I didn’t Like :
King often gets too wordy, He needlessly went about describing stuff that really didn’t need to* and made the reading really difficult and dull at times . This problem has been present almost since the book 3 of the series with King describing some real mundane stuff for lengths . And to top it off there were plenty of unnecessary side quests that made the story seemed temporarily derailed at times.
*There was one whole chapter dedicated to how they ate raw kidneys and made hides and how they felt and appeared and that chapter was 50 pages long so you do the math.
“A coward judges all he sees by what he is.”
― Stephen King,
I was pissed at treatment of many side – characters , there were characters created 2 books or a book ago or even in this very book* that really had no job , they didn’t have any influence on the story , had absolutely no impact on any character , definitely didn’t put an impression on me as a reader and I was just annoyed at the uselessness of these characters (specially Callahan,Probably THE worst character I have ever read ).
* in fact there were tons of new characters created in this book , and worse off we had to read their POV chapters , and of course those POV chapters were yet again needless and made no impact on the story .
At the same time the fates of character or presence of myths and creature were left unexplained What was the war on Jericho hill ? why did it happen? How did the Gunslingers lose that batte? Why were so many characters created in this book ? what was the purpose of most of them ? What are the mannies ? How did the Taheen and Hume came to be ? what are the Taheens ? Argh!
“never’s the word God listens for when he needs a laugh.”
― Stephen King,
Next up on my long list of grievances – ka , The Fucking ka and it’s related words . This is the final book of the series and I think i still can’t explain much of Ka related words , apart from ka-tet and ka . And to complicate matters more King probably coined 10 more Ka related words in this and absolutely failed to explain the meaning of most of them .
The fate of many villains was very underwhelming as well , I mean they are supposedly scaring the whole universe for 6 books and they end their roles in a page with no involvement or minimal involvement of Roland and his mates .In fact most times I couldn’t even take those villains seriously , and in my defence it’s hard to take your villains seriously when they are described to be having diarrohea and letting lose inaudible smelly farts
Then there was the complete lack of reasons and motivations behind many characters and their respective actions . For example .
- why did Pimli want to destroy the Beams …. because….nah it’s not necesarry it just wants to
- why did Mordred want to kill Roland but not the Red King … because… nah , not necessary he just wants to
- how did Roland know bout a future arrival of a seductive and apparently busty woman in front of King to divert his attention … again not necessary he just knew
and I can list plenty of such unexplained plot convenience devices in the book
But my biggest issue with this book is probably the countless – Deus EX machina
moments and for those who don’t know what that is –
I have said it in a few reviews before , I ‘m not a fan at all of Ex machina moments. I think they are there so that authors can escape from mess they have created in the story and are lazy enough to actually think of a way out of it . This book and in fact this whole series was full of them and it just annoys me that the solutions to problems just happen to be there for the characters to use out of nowhere .
In earlier books I always thought that it was not ex machina and there was probably some reason behind it that we will learn in later books and I never moaned about it . But alas King was actually embracing and championing himself for the ex machina moments . Sorry I am not having any of that . I simply hate the Ex machina and I consider them to be lousy excuses in a story.
I know I have ranted a lot in this review and believe me I think I still have a lot to say but I refrain . In the end I think this book was a much better installment than the previous 3 and a proper send off to the series as a whole . In the end this will not be a series that I’d recommend with emphasis to a lot of people and I definitely don’t think the hype over this series as one of the finest fantasy book is justified . That said if one does want to try some unorthodox fantasy with genre blending than this is the book to experiment with and If you have time and patience I do approve it .
Check out my other reviews from the Same series:
- The Gunslinger
- The Drawing of the Three
- The Wastelands
- Wizard and Glass
- Wolves of Calla
- Song of Sussanah
Have you read the Dark Tower ? do you plan to?
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