Book Review: The Dark Tower by Stephen King, (Series, #7)
Roland and his ka-tet face their greatest challenges yet. First they must successfully save the rose in NYC. Then they must find each other, and Susannah and Jake need to escape the low men who would harm them. Also on their list before continuing to pursue the Dark Tower is to stop the breakers who mean to destroy the beam, thereby leading the worlds to ruin. Can they save the beam? Will Roland reach his beloved Dark Tower with his ka-tet whole or shattered? Will he reach it at all? The Dark Tower looms with a far greater presence than ever before, calling to both Roland and reader commala-come-come.
Now I understand why people who’ve read the entire Dark Tower series rant with showers of praise about it. This final entry in the series totally blew my mind. The settings were perfectly drawn and easy to visualize. The multiple plot lines were all complex and yet simultaneously easy to follow. I cried multiple times reading this book, including in public, and those who know me know that I generally don’t cry at stories. All of the characters of the ka-tet are treated with full-formed character development. They are richly drawn, but it is also easy to see how they have grown and changed throughout the series. The multiple, inter-locking worlds of Roland and his ka-tet suddenly snap into place in the reader’s mind, and suddenly everything is nearly as clear as it probably is for King.
This book is quite long, but it didn’t feel like it. I wanted to read it nearly constantly, yet I had to put it down periodically due to the emotional wringer King was bringing me through. It’s been so long since I read a series that wasn’t either a trilogy or a serial romance that I’d forgotten how emotional it can get to have a long, fully realized tale told with characters you’ve grown to know and care for. These people read as real people, and the world feels real. It makes me want to go look for my own unfound door to journey to a parallel reality. Even though at first I kind of laughed at the idea of a rose and a tower and beams somehow controlling and seeing over multiple worlds, at some point I bought into it. I suspended my disbelief, and that’s exactly what a spinner of tales is supposed to be able to help his readers do.
What made me truly fall in love with the story and make me want to instantly start re-reading the series over again from the beginning is the ending. I wouldn’t give it away and ruin the experience of discovering it yourself for anybody, so just let me say, it totally blew my mind. I did not see it coming. It made my perspective on the whole tale change, which explains why I want to re-read it so much. (Maybe next year). I can also say that the ending makes reading the rest of the long series entirely worth it. Definitely don’t give up on the series part-way through. Continue all the way to the end.
If you’ve been reading the Dark Tower series and are uncertain about continuing, absolutely do. I don’t hesitate to say that the last entry in the series is tied for the best and will totally blow your mind. I highly recommend the whole series, but I especially encourage anyone who has started it to finish it. It’s well worth your time.
5 out of 5 stars
Source: Harvard Book Store