The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands – Stephen King

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.

11 Replies to “The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands – Stephen King”

    1. The film struggled to get in most of the good bits. There is so much more complexity and weirdness in the books. I think my second time around is much more enjoyable. Its fun to spot references to his other works too.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It has elements of sci-fi, the world(s) imagined here are a mix of different genres and themes, its refreshing to have such a diversity of ideas and an unpredictability sorely lacking in many series.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. King is an effective horror writer, this series has elements of horror in it but there is so much more to it, a hint of western, a bit of apocalyptic sci-fi, fantasy, and other genres all mixed together. It’s high adventure and always unexpected.


  1. Is he finished writing this series, or how many books are in it, anyway? That’s an astoundingly ungrammatical sentence! Back soon after “The Shining” came out, my boyfriend at the time insisted that I go to see it with him, because he liked it, but was too scared to see it a second time by himself again! What really creeped him out were the twin little girls, and the ball that suddenly rolled into the hall from nowhere. To my mind the “redrum” theme was the main one, and those other things were just grace notes, but there you go, different things scare different people!


    1. The series is finished, although he does suggest there could be another book but that would be one with more backstory. I haven’t read the book, I hear it differs a lot from the film, and it is a fine film. I think the weirdness of the space in the hotel, its confusing layout was the most sinister part. I enjoy all the YouTube videos that delve into Kubrick’s direction, extremely fascinating.


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