Monday, 11 January 2010

Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susanna - Stephen King

Wow, okay, it's been a bit since I read this.  Book 5 in the Dark Tower series, it's a bit of a shift from where it seemed the other books were going, well, at least 3 and 4.  It did keep up the story-book atmosphere from book 4, only this one was more comic-bookish.  The gunslinger's party goes to this town, which is supposidly a representation of a town in Maine? and they're about to have half of their kids abducted by mechanical wolves.  So the basic story is about the gunslingers checking out the town, deciding whether or not to help, and then planning the battle.  It's a big lead up into the fight, and then they leave the Calla.

Book 6 is about Susanna and Mia, a demon who becomes mortal and possesses Susanna so she can steal her baby, who is half demon.  I've never been a fan of Susanna, but King did do some developing of her character finally in this book.  During the battle in book 5, Susanna makes an agreement with Mia to stay in control of her body, and once the battle is over, Mia whisks her away through the Unfound Door and viouala, we're back in New York, and Susanna now has legs.  I'm not sure what he used to explain this, but Mia is apparently taking over her body, literally?  Anyway, it's a lot of them getting around the city and walking into a nest of vampires and other dark creatures so Mia can have her demon baby.  Finding out about the baby was a bit of something that made me hit my head on my desk, but that's kinda how book 6 (and book 7 so far) turned out.  The rest of the party splits up, one part is supposed to go back to Maine and one is supposed to go after Susanna in New York.  Deus ex Machina (aka ka or fate) switches who goes where, and Jake and Callahan end up going to New York while Eddie and Roland end up in Maine.

I forget where exactly the book left off, cause I'm part way into 7 already, and I didn't have to ride the trains most of the last month so I haven't been reading at all lately.  I will say, though, that I liked 5 better than 6.  4 is still my favorite, and I don't like where 6 and 7 went.  The writer is already very much in any story, and it bugs me a little when the writer makes a character of himself and sticks it in there.  It ties the worlds together nicely, but I almost didn't want them to be tied together.  He's already got the Dark Tower and the beams tying the worlds together.  I didn't like how he put himself as the writer of the story into the story.  I can follow it, and I'm sure some people really liked it, but it took away alot of the books' believability for me.  Part of the reason I can get into fantasy is because it's fantasy.  It doesn't have to be rational or justified.  I don't like that he justified his fantasy by putting himself in the story as the writer of the characters.  He is the writer of the characters, but, okay, I'm doing a bad job of explaining what he did. He's got a character called Stephen King in the story.  This character wrote all of his books, and he's part of one of the beams holding up the Dark Tower.  Characters that he created, and hasn't created yet, come and talk to him and he sends them messages in the future, and it really smacked of deus ex machina - which gives the Dark Tower series two really big ones.

I don't dislike the series because of it, but it did kill a good bit of what I liked about the series.  It's not bad, but I thought it could have been better, even had he just left the worlds untied as they were.

Anyway, we're now between classes and everyone wants to tell me about their holiday, so I should go.

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