As usual when reviewing any series of books, I won’t include the blurb but will plunge straight into a spoiler free review, so even if you haven’t read the first book, The Gunslinger, you will hopefully feel enticed to start after reading this.
This is my favourite book of all eight Dark Tower novels for many reasons, it’s where this reader felt that the quest truly began, and questions start to have their answers tantalisingly revealed, it’s a superb and strong addition to the series.
After a fairly relaxed beginning, the story builds up to become a tense thrill ride in its last half. Not only do we see some strong character development, and our understanding of the rules of this universe – and of time’s malleability – solidify, but the journey’s locations and their inhabitants are a pleasure to discover.
What holds the attention and the delight of the reader is the way in which the world is created, it feels ancient, decayed, and being torn apart, but there is always a tangible and logical nature to everything encountered. It’s memorable and mysterious, glimpses of things familiar can be seen and much is left untold, and this is what gives the world its enchanting power over the reader.
The highpoint of the book – and this is a book I can’t really fault for what it is and what it does – are the visuals that King gives us. There is so much to appreciate all throughout the story. As with The Gunslinger, the imagery is gripping, at times it borders on the epic, and a variety of genres are melded into one another to always keep the readers wonder levels at maximum.
The Waste Lands is impressive in its creativity and the reader who has committed this far will be left wanting more of the quest and will certainly speculate on what the Ka-tet may encounter next. The ending of this book will make the reader want to dive straight into book four, Wizard and Glass, of which a review will be up soon.