Review of 'Wolves of the Calla'

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King
5th book in the 'The Dark Tower' series

Roland and his fellow gunslingers are distracted from their quest to the Dark Tower when they come across a village in the Calla who are terrorized by the periodic appearance of “wolves” that take one child from every set of twins that is eventually returned mentally vacant and physically deformed. Some of the village realise that this cannot continue and decide to ask the gunslingers for help in chasing away the wolves.

In this fifth instalment of the Dark Tower series, we see Jake finally having the childhood that was denied of him. Susannah comes ever closer to giving birth - but to what, is in question. The gunslingers are also determined to protect the mysterious flower in the middle of the abandoned block in New York. But what does the owner of a book store have to do with it and will he help?

Obviously self-referencing to other books (notably “Salem's Lot” - which I have not read but is literally mentioned here) the Dark Tower is billed as King's “epic” and this truly appears to be the case as the depth of story-telling here is incredible and vivid. The pace here is quite slow, taking it's time leading up to the inevitable finale. We learn the fascinating background of the people of the village and even gain a new addition to the “tet” - Callahan who also comes from the world that Jake, Susannah and Eddie know but has been living in the Calla for many years.

Of course, you must have read the previous books before reading this one though the introduction does include a helpful précis of what has come before (which is, even to those of us that have read the previous novels, very helpful). As always, well written and getting better with each new instalment in the series. As with all other parts prior this does, of course, end in a cliff-hanger that I, for one, will be reading shortly.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2012-04-08

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 2003

Other reviewed books in the 'The Dark Tower' series:

Other reviewed books by Stephen King: