So, I finished it. I liked the ending. Well, clarify, I liked Roland's ending. The other characters' was too soft--fitting, in a way, but still too discordant with the rest of the story. I liked the story, for the most part. It kinda felt forced in some places, and I really didn't like him pulling reality into it like he did. It made it feel less real to me, but I can see why he did it, and I can respect how he did it. I don't like the use of three massive deus ex machina(s?) in one series like that. First, it was ka. I can accept that. Fate, destiny, what-have-you. I actually kinda liked it, because not only did it help the characters, it also screwed them over royally some times. So, first we have ka. Then we get the author as a character sending hints and messages to our heros (..... no, just, gah!), and in the end, on top of this, talismans, relics, etc., we have telepathy. That's not to say I didn't enjoy how some of it played out, and I'm not opposed to the use of deus ex machina (God-hand, if you will, for those of you who might not know that term), that was just too much.
So, we come to the conclusion. There was no better way it could have ended. What's in the top room of the Dark Tower? Haha, suckers, like you'll ever be able to find out. King, however, doesn't exactly appreciate the intelligence of his reader. See, Roland there, he has the horn now. He bent down to pick it up (in a time paradox that wouldn't work the way it was set up...), so I hope you get what I meant. Uh... yeah Steve, we got it without your explaining it in the afterword.
I have zero problems with character deaths, but it needs to be believable. Nobody gets shot in the head, then ten minutes later has the strength and wherewithal to pick up a gun and shoot someone else in the head. I'm sorry, nobody, not if they're human. His foreshadowing is mediocre, and by the time something happens, I kinda felt like he'd been beating me in the head with it for so long that I was just glad it was over. Honestly, the two things that kept me reading were 1) I wanted to know how Roland was going to make it to the Tower and how the end would play out, and 2) I read 6 out of 7, I'd better finish the series.
I still hold that it's a good series. On the whole, my favorites are The Gunslinger, The Waste Lands, and Wizard and Glass. Those are three I will definitely read again. I recommend it, at any rate.
That was a bit of a lame review, but I don't want to give away the particulars of what happens. There is very little focus on character growth and development at this point, so the entire book was pretty plot driven. I think the biggest thing I was pleased with was the ending. I was worried about it, not gonna lie there, but once it came, I was very pleased (until I read the "Did you get it????" bit in the afterword).
On to my next set of books! I'm currently reading Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus, finally, and I grabbed a copy of The Grapes of Wrath, because Steibeck is finally in ebook!!! I also got two books by Michael Moorcock, Elric: The Stealer of Souls, and Elric: To Rescue Tanelorn. I read Elric of Melnibone last year, and I really liked the premise. I've been told his writing has improved, which means wonderful things, because as much as the writing style was less than fantastic, I still loved the story. I can't seem to find any of the Earthsea books in ebook, which is a bit of a bummer. I might have to cave and buy a hard copy instead, because I really want to read them.
And I'm on my last stages of editing my statement of purpose. *cringe* I'm aiming to submit that tonight. I had to send my transcript requests by registered mail, finally, because nowhere faxes overseas. Ah well, hopefully that doesn't take too long. I was going to be productive for the rest of tonight, but I'm thinking it's going to be a sit down and read night... after I cook my chicken.
OH! And it snowed last night! I have pictures. I have to upload them and show. Yes, this is a big deal. We have palm trees and bugs the size of small dogs here.