The Gunslinger -The Dark Tower Series – Stephen King

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So first I must tell you, in case you didn’t know, Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. I have a few whose books I will devour whenever new ones come out, and I am always searching for older ones I may have missed. My first journey with Stephen King was Pet Sematary – to this day I look under my bed before sleeping. Kidding, but you get the idea. I have read everything I can by Mr. King, and have thoroughly enjoyed most of work. My favorite will always be The Stand; however, each book is like finding a long-lost friend.

It is because of my love for him and his works that I write this with unwilling fingers. The Dark Tower series, for me, just isn’t interesting. I tried and failed to read this book many times over the years, and just couldn’t get into it. I finally finished it, and to be honest, don’t think I missed much. However, I am told it all makes sense and it all comes together when you read the rest of the series. Since I know Mr. King, and have had a hard time with some of his earlier work (Salem’s Lot comes to mind), I will continue to try this series out.

To the review though:

It starts with Roland chasing the Man in Black. Anyone who has read any novels by King will instantly recognize the Man in Black as Randell Flagg or the Dark Man. Roland is the last of his kind, a Gunslinger and from what I gather, his home has been destroyed. The world they live in is like our world, but it is either a parallel world, or many years in our future. They know things like Bible and the Beatles, but don’t have any knowledge of skyscrapers for example. King never comes out and says parallel or future, but I am sure the next books divulge deeper into that.

Along the journey to meet the Man in Black and in his search for the Dark Tower, he meets some colorful characters that sometimes confuse more than help the plot line. It spans a massive dessert and goes into pitch black caves. The descriptions were great, as was the character development. I personally just didn’t care if Roland ever met the Man in Black. HOWEVER, I feel this is all me and not Mr. King’s writing or the story itself. I must emphasize that because as I said, I love his writing and most of his stories, so when I come across one I don’t like I know it must be me.

Anyway – this got off tangent – I would recommend this book (and series) to anyone who likes adventure, science fiction, alternate universes, maybe even westerns. I think it could be a very enjoyable book to anyone familiar with his work.

 

The Young Elites – Marie Lu

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I love a good series, and this one promises to be one. I read her other series, Legends  and really enjoyed, so I already knew I would like her writing style.

The Young Elites takes place after a horrible sickness has taken over the land and killed or disfigured many people. Some people were lucky enough to live without being marked. Those that weren’t so lucky are called malfetto and are seen as something to be embarrassed by. Fathers have a hard time marrying off their malfetto daughters.  Adelina Amouteru is more than just a survivor and a malfetto she is also one of the children that is now in possession of a special gift. She meets up with others like her and they have a plan, put a stop to rein of the King and put the rightful King in his place.

The story takes place in a world like ours, but slightly different and it a time much like our 1400’s…which takes a bit getting used to if you aren’t used to reading fantasy novels. I liked this book (and will of course be finishing the series) because of the strong female lead, the rich descriptions and the character development. I feel like it was well done and keeps the reader engaged. I didn’t feel like it dragged in any parts.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series and seeing how things turn out for Adelina and her friends.