Wolves of Calla (The Dark Tower #5)
Author: Stephen King
Rated D for the overwhelming darkness that finds a way to swallow a Gunslinger whole AKA a demonic baby.
Ka had come to Calla Bryn Sturgis. Ka like a wind.
Roland of Gilead and his ka-tet come to the town of Calla Bryn Sturgis while on their journey to the tower. Not only do they meet a man who’s crossed over into Roland’s world years ago, but also discover the Thunderclap; a darkness that is killing the town. The wolves of Thunderclap come and take the town’s children only to return them later on as only shadows of themselves, their innocence and childhood stripped away. While it wasn’t their plan, Roland and his friends stay to help the town prepare to protect and fight as the wolves get ready to come again. However, they discover there is more than just the wolves that they have to worry about. A dark evil is growing within one of their own, Susannah Dean, and they must figure out how to help her before it’s too late.
The Dark Tower series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 5 of 7 (technically 8, but I’m not including The Wind Through the Keyhole, though I will be reading it.)
Loaded with every nail-biting detail of a great fight, King truly delivers in each book of this series. I was blown away. I’ve yet to be disappointed. Roland comes to another stop in his journey toward the Tower. In a small, dusty town, children are taken every couple of decades. Honestly, it reminds me of a familiar horrifying clown. *shudder* I do NOT do clowns, guys. But, it seems the situation is close, except that when the kids are returned they are mere shells. While Roland would’ve kept going on his way a pull draws him in and he and his crew: Jake, Oy the billy-bumbler, Eddie and Susannah do what they can to help this town in despair.
Throughout the entire book, with vivid imagery, energy, and powerful emotion, was a journey that you got to experience the beginning, middle, and end. There were no shortcuts to be had. A complete journey within a journey. An inception if there ever was one. Of course, there have been a few of those during this series. LOL.
One of the most interesting parts of the whole series is the way Roland contemplates if this part of his journey brings him closer to the Tower or pushes him farther away from it. His mental state is dark and depressed. In each book so far, he’s been sure that he’s only getting farther away. Yet, as he and his ka-tet journey it’s unclear where they are in regards to it. It seems like they could follow the beam that leads them to it and never reach the place. It’s just the way this universe is built. It’s endless and many different worlds could be traveled and the Tower would never be reached. Then again, getting to the Tower can be achieved much like solving a puzzle. Find the right pieces. Put them in the right places in the right order, and poof, you’re there. So complex and fantastically brain-blasting.
As always, his world-building is stunning and dusty. I keep envisioning a dystopian wild west where the world had come and long gone. LOL. Like an apocalypse has swept through and been long over, leaving just this in its wake. And the characters of this small town gave way to that very enclosed, no outsiders allowed feel. They couldn’t help but reach out to Roland, giving Gunslingers and even stronger meaning of legendary. The addition of Father Callahan was very interesting. I must be honest, I haven’t read Salem’s Lot but it’s definitely been pushed up my list. I get super excited when crossovers happen and this was no different. Such a great addition and created a balance among the group.
The intensity around this battle and the darkness growing within Susannah really created a sense of anxiety. The kind you get when something dreadful grows closer and closer. Yet, the bonds created between Roland and crew between the townspeople and the emotions derived from the relationships really dug into me deep in this addition to the Dark Tower series. This brought back to the tragedy and loss of Wizard and Glass, but rather in a past sense, this was the present for the crew. The emotions felt heavier as the circumstances felt higher. So much left me hanging at the end and I can’t imagine what’s coming next. Then again, it’s been like that since book one. King is a master at storytelling, being of great complex thought that can spin you in a circle, and leaving you hanging in a dark chasm of wonder and curiosity about what may come next. And per usual, I’m left wanting to talk theories, possibilities, and the magic of this world.
“There’s a saying in Gilead: Let evil wait for the day on which it must fall.” (Roland to Eddie, p. 210)
“If we can help, we’ll help. But we won’t do it alone, folks. Hear me, I beg. Hear rem very well. You better be ready to stand up for what you want. You better be ready to fight for the things you’d keep.” (Eddie, p. 283)
“Wandering’s the most addictive drug there is, I think, and every hidden road leads on to a dozen more.” (Roland, p. 402)
“May your first day in hell last ten thousand years.” (Roland, p. 425)
“My quest—the quest of my ka-tet—is the Dark Tower, Pere. It’s not saving this world we’re about, or even the universe but all universes. All of existence.” (Roland to Callahan, p. 625)
More to come soon…
P.S. Song today? Sky is Falling by Lifehouse.
Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments below!