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This excellent series is finally getting into the meat of the King novels. Having read the first one when it came out initially many years ago, a lot of this is new to me but stirs some faint memories (as Roland would say "deja view"). We are now at the point where Roland meets Jake, the young man who died on the streets of New York, and has appeared (who knows how) in mid-world.
Roland is reluctant to have Jake join up with him, for he knows that those who become close to him have an uncanny way of dying on a regular basis. Jake is interesting, though, because he has already died and, apparently, been reborn. Thus Roland takes Jake with him in his search for the Man in Black, across trackless deserts and impossibly high mountains.
Jake is captured by a succubus, and Roland rescues him, promising to return once Jake is safe. He's as good as his word, and we get an eerie scene in which the succubus gives Roland a foretaste of what is in his future, including three people that will be involved with his quest. That's all that he learns, but it doesn't help him in feeling that there is grave danger for Jake, and also, of course, for himself, but the quest goes on.
I do have a vague memory of Jake's future, but that is to be told in the next installment in this most excellent series. If it takes in the whole of the Dark Tower stories, my bookshelf is going to be groaning under the weight of all those volumes. Who cares, they are fantastic!
This collection is a great jumping on point for readers that have not been following Roland's quest. Some nice flashbacks from the previous collections with a few touches to fit with the story of this volume. This picks up back in the farmers cottage before heading out into the heat and fits since Roland has already left the farmer in The Journey Begins. But for those that have the knowledge of Roland's Quest and its endless journies it fits nicely with Kings vision. We finally get Jake as a main character and he brings a lot to the story. He reminds me of a young Eddie Dean that hopefully will be a peace down the beam from now. For fans of the series if you look closely you will catch a Easter egg of Kings newest entry into Middle Earth The Wind Through the Keyhole in one panel. As I turned the last page I was sad to see it end because it ends right when the story picks up speed. All in all this is a great addition but only gets rolling and sucks you in like the banshee tries to seduce you into her stones. It only leaves you begging for more but until the next collection you always have the books. This collection ends a little over halfway through the novel so the next collection The Man in Black should finish up the The Gunslinger novel. I read wondering if they will ever change something that will break the circle and each volume is highly anticipated! Until then pleasant days and long nights.
This Series I purchase to send to my grandson in Afganistan. He looks forward to them and shares them. His friends ask if the new one has arrived and when he will be finished, so that they can read them.