April 24, 2017

Song of Susannah by Stephen King

Title:  Song of Susannah
Author:  Stephen King
Pages:  411
Genre:  Fantasy
Series:  The Dark Tower, Book 6

From the Portland Sunday Telegram, June 20, 1999:
STEPHEN KING DIES NEAR LOVELL HOME

Synopsis: Song of Susannah is at once a book of revelation, a fascinating key to the unfolding mystery of the Dark Tower, and a fast-paced story of double-barreled suspense.  To give birth to her "chap," demon-mother Mia has usurped the body of Susannah Dean and used the power of Black Thirteen to transport to New York City in the summer of 1999. The city is strange to Susannah...and terrifying to the "daughter of none," who shares her body and mind.

Saving the Tower depends not only on rescuing Susannah but also on securing the vacant lot Calvin Tower owns before he loses it to the Sombra Corporation. Enlisting the aid of Manni senders, the remaining ka-tet climbs to the Doorway Cave...and discovers that magic has its own mind. It falls to the boy, the billy-bumbler, and the fallen priest to find Susannah-Mia, who, in a struggle to cope -- with each other and with an alien environment -- "go todash" to Castle Discordia on the border of End-World. In that forsaken place, Mia reveals her origins, her purpose, and her fierce desire to mother whatever creature the two of them have carried to term.

Eddie and Roland, meanwhile, tumble into western Maine in the summer of 1977, a world that should be idyllic but isn't. For one thing, it is real, and the bullets are flying. For another, it is inhabited by the author of a novel called 'Salem's Lot, a writer who turns out to be as shocked by them as they are by him.  These are the simple vectors of a story rich in complexity and conflict. Its dual climaxes, one at the entrance to a deadly dining establishment and the other appended to the pages of a writer's journal, will leave readers gasping for the saga's final volume (which, Dear Reader, follows soon, say thank ya).

Review:  Again, I was amazed.  I'd read this story before, but I'd forgotten how magical and darkly scary it is.  I promised myself I'd spread these books out, but that promise is broken.  I've already started the next (and last) book in this series.

The synopsis gives the bare bones of the plot, but doesn't mention the wonderful character that Roland and Eddie meet in Maine.  They meet John Cullum, an older man who helps them with incredible courage and hospitality at a time when they need both.  They also meet Stephen King, the creator of their epic tale.  Pretty cool stuff.

It also left me on a cliffhanger....and longing for more of the story.

Rating:  10 / 10


U ~ Untamed

Untamed by A. G. Howard is the companion novel to the absolutely wonderful Splintered series.  It is partially a rather disturbing re-telling of Alice in Wonderland and I didn't expect to love this young adult series half as much as I actually did.

The first book, Splintered, was a bit of a trial for me, but the rest were much better.  If you can get past a bit of teen angst and love a little dark, twisted fantasy, I highly recommend this series!

April 23, 2017

T ~ The Deathlands

The Deathlands series is serial science fiction.  James Axler is a name used by the publisher and there have been several authors behind the books.  It's a look at a future of what Earth could become in the wake of nuclear war.  These books are the definition of dystopia.  They're full of guns, violence, sex and gore.  They show the best and the worst of humanity.  And they are usually just so darn much fun to read.

I've read a grand total of 119 of these books.  I have five more on my TBR list.  There are two more that I don't have yet.  Then, my 16-year love affair is over.  The publisher cancelled the series back in 2015.  I was devastated and wrote a farewell post.

I'm purposefully saving these last few books.  I can hardly stand to think that someday soon I'll be done with them forever.

April 21, 2017

S ~ Stewart

Mary Stewart wrote what is, to date, my very favorite King Arthur series.  I love the idea of the sword in the stone, the magician, and the round table.  I've read dozens of books about King Arthur and Merlin.  None of them compare to this set of five books.

The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment, The Wicked Day, and The Prince and the Pilgrim were all just wonderful.  I gave them rave reviews (and several perfect 10's).  They are the one set of books that I gave away that I wish I never had.  I will have to replace them one day.

I want to read them again.

April 20, 2017

R ~ Redwall

The Redwall series by Brian Jacques is a wonderful group of stories.  All twenty-two books are about a world filled with animals that talk.  They are fantasy books written for ages ten and up, but I read them all as an adult and loved them.

I wasn't blogging back then, so no reviews, but they are so worth the time!  I know that 22 books is quite an undertaking, but you won't regret giving these stories a try.

They are magical.

Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King

Title:  Wolves of the Calla
Author:  Stephen King
Pages:  709
Genre:  Fantasy
Series:  The Dark Tower, Book 5

"..Gilead has been dust in the wind for a thousand years."

Synopsis:  Roland Deschain and his "ka-tet" are bearing southeast through the forests of Mid-World, the almost timeless landscape that seems to stretch from the wreckage of civility that defined Roland's youth to the crimson chaos that seems the future's only promise.

In this long-awaited fifth novel in the saga, their path takes them to the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis, a tranquil valley community of farmers and ranchers on Mid-World's borderlands. Beyond the town, the rocky ground rises toward the hulking darkness of Thunderclap, the source of a terrible affliction that is slowly stealing the community's soul. One of the town's residents is Pere Callahan, a ruined priest who, like Susannah, Eddie, and Jake, passed through one of the portals that lead both into and out of Roland's world. As Father Callahan tells the "ka-tet" the astonishing story of what happened following his shamed departure from Maine in 1977, his connection to the Dark Tower becomes clear, as does the danger facing a single red rose in a vacant lot off Second Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

For Calla Bryn Sturgis, danger gathers in the east like a storm cloud. The Wolves of Thunderclap and their unspeakable depredation are coming. To resist them is to risk all, but these are odds the gunslingers are used to, and they can give the "Calla-folken" both courage and cunning. Their guns, however, will not be enough.

Review:  I had forgotten how exciting this book is.  It's an incredibly thrilling story and very sad in places.  It also leaves you in a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I've already started the next book.  I'd promised myself that I'd space these novels out throughout the year but, like Roland, I'm getting near to the Dark Tower and, really, I can't stop now.  This is especially true because I have only read this book once before.

I'd forgotten that Father Callahan (from Salem's Lot) had such an important role to play.  He came to Roland's world in 1983.  He becomes a part of the ka-tet and his story is eerily familiar to the rest of the group.  So many coincidences are beginning to happen.  It's obvious that the Tower is near.  Roland would call it ka and he'd be right.

Unlike the beginning books of the series, there wasn't much of a wait for the next novel so I didn't need to re-read it.  This and the last two books that follow it will hold many surprises for me, I'm sure of it, since I always find new things even in the ones I've read several times.

I can't wait.

Review:  10 / 10

April 19, 2017

Q ~ Quests

There's really nothing I love better than a great fantasy story, complete with knights, dragons and elves.  A great quest is usually required.  Whether it is for a ring or whether it is to defeat an evil creature, it doesn't matter to me.

I love the sweeping drama, romance and scares.  I love the fact that the fate of the whole, entire world rests with a few unlikely heroes.  I just love a good quest.

My favorite quests have been found in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson and The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, although The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is a very close second.


April 18, 2017

P ~ The Passage

The Passage by Justin Cronin is a really great story.  It was recommended to me in the tiny, little library in Melrose, Florida.  That library had the most wonderful of things -- a rack of books you could take for free and keep.  You just had to bring books you were done with to trade for the books you took.

The librarian, who I can picture clearly in my mind but whose name I've forgotten in intervening years, saw that the books I brought and the books I took were almost all either Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror.  She loved The Passage and told me about it one day.  I'm so very glad she did.  It was wonderful and scary.

April 17, 2017

O ~ One Thing

The One Thing I love the most.  Yes, of course, I love books (and dogs, and games, and many other things).  But the thing I love best I love because of my books -- my bookshelves.  It's where all my old friends and my (hopefully) soon-to-be new friends hang out.

When I move, the bookshelf is last thing packed and the first thing unpacked.  I keep my books in alphabetical order by author and then by title.  I've used stacked milk crates.  I've had bookshelves built out of used cardboard boxes and tape which I considered a real triumph of ingenuity (see photo!).

Currently, I have what I would call a 'fancy shelf'.  I purchased it at Walmart and I put together myself with a screwdriver, a hammer, and some curse words.  Sure, the books are double-stacked but I always know where to find the next one I plan to read and, when you have as many books as I do, that's pretty important!
Back to Top