Top critical review
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on 15 March 2013
Well, this was...strange. I have enjoyed the Dark Tower series so far, but felt things went in quite an odd direction with this installment. Which is not so say it was bad. There was some fantastic writing here, with character development and detailed world-building and suspenseful plotting and all the good things we expect from a Stephen King novel.
But for me, the device of the author appearing in his own story was just a step too far, I found it self-indulgent and a bit cringe-worthy. I appreciate the cleverness of what King was trying to do in weaving together the real and the fantasy worlds, but it was taken too far in this book and was offputting and distracting for me. I would have liked more of the 'world' of Gilead instead. For me the most engaging part of this series has been the well-told, suspenseful and emotion-filled adventure stories set in Roland's world.
I'm still looking forward to starting the final book. This has in many ways been a wonderful series, very unusual, ambitious and rich, and I have enjoyed the journey right from the first appearance of the lone gunslinger on the edge of the desert. However it has been flawed and frustrating in places, and many of those places were found in this book!