I have to say that it was great to re-read this and see the ka-tet all together again. I have issues with some of the upcoming books and heaven knows I will forever be irked by Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower as standalones. That said, this book helps set up the latter books as well as foreshadows what will become of some of the ka-tet I think. The main reason why I didn’t give this five stars was that I still loathe that whole story-line with Susannah and the demon. I just cannot with it and it made zero sense besides King doing it to set up things later. Bah. Also I think that King too often split the cast of characters in these works and this is one of the first examples of this. The whole thing with the Ageless Stranger and Quick didn’t work either. I had call backs to The Stand in my head and just rolled my eyes.
“The Waste Lands” is the third book in the Dark Tower series following Roland, the last gunslinger. Until he draws Eddie and Susannah (now husband and wife) from different times in New York. The three of them start to work as a cohesive little group even though Roland feels wrong. Due to his actions in the last book, he saved “The Boy” otherwise known as Jake. Roland is slowly starting to lose his mind and it seems that Eddie and Jake are somehow dreaming of each other and of the Tower.
Roland is starting to care again. After so many hundreds of years alone at this point he has Eddie and Susannah. He is training them in the ways of the gunslinger and is focused on his quest to get to the Tower. It seems so natural when that becomes their quest as well. In a world that has moved on it’s interesting to see how the three of them work together and how them becoming more of a ka-tet affects things.
We transitioned from this group to Jake back in New York. Jake has memories of dying, or Roland, and dying again. When Roland changed the past it didn’t just leave him in two, but Jake as well. I loved Jake the best in this series. His heart, his love, his loyalty to Roland, Oy, and the others was great. It was nice to remember all of that re-reading this.
Eddie is still a smartass, but softer, as well as deadlier too. He and Susannah fit and I recall being shocked at the time that King was pushing for an interracial marriage in his works. I think it was the first time I had read one in any type of major book at the time.
The characters they meet have significance, but you need to read the whole series to see why.
I thought the writing was good and the flow was too. Nothing felt awkward at all. King did a great job of setting this up and ending it as he did with our ka-tet ready to riddle for their lives.
Credit goes to https://darktower.fandom.com/wiki/Billy-Bumbler