Overview (No Spoilers):
I can’t believe I’m already five books into the Dark Tower series! Coming off of the action packed Wizard and Glass I was eager to see what adventures King had in store for our Ka-tet, unfortunately the building momentum seemed to stall in the Wolves of Calla along with their journey toward the Dark Tower. Pausing to assist the citizens of the Calla, Roland, Eddie, Susannah and Jake all undertake and face some of their own demons within this book, while simultaneously attempting to discern what evil has been plaguing the Calla area for generations. The revelations and self assessment undertaken by our protagonists proves fascinating, however it felt more like moving pawns than an active progression of the story. Additionally, King introduces Father Callahan who was a key character in Salem’s Lot, whereupon he weaved together the two stories with a heavy hand in contrast to his other rather subtle connections. As it has likely been over 15 years since I’d last read Salem’s Lot, I was surprised how much of Callahan’s story I’d remembered. Overall, the Wolves of Calla was an intriguing continuation of the Dark Tower series, despite serving better as a building of the foundation in this literary realm in preparation for the last big push toward the conclusion, in contrast to its active, action packed predecessor.
On a side note, when starting this audiobook I was disappointed that the narrator had changed. For the most part, the difference wasn’t all that noticeable, however the voices were not as uniquely distinct as I’d grown attached to, and specifically Eddie Dean’s distinctive voice was lost in the transition. Multiple times, usually when Eddie was speaking, I’d find myself lamenting the change puzzled as to what would prompt either the publisher or King to replace Frank Muller. When listening to King’s Afterward I unexpectedly found out the tragic, heartbreaking answer, at which point I felt guilty for my aforementioned annoyance. Muller had been involved in a motorcycle accident in between narrating Wizard and Glass and the Wolves of Calla. Whereupon he was hospitalized for the remainder of his life, eventually passing away six years later.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- What were the robots doing to the children to have them return so changed? Why would they return them at all? What happened to the kids that were not returned?Were they also doing something to the people of the Calla to make them more apt to produce twins?
- Where did Susannah go? What will happen to her if she has the ‘child’? How will Eddie, Roland, and Jake find her?
- Just when I was thinking the King was getting soft in this series by not killing off any of the main characters he breaks all of our hearts by killing Jake’s friend Benny.
- Why did Eddie kill Andy so fast after he unlocked him? He could have asked Andy all the questions that had been locked away regarding the Wolves and what they were doing with the children.
- Will Father Callahan come with the ka-tet on the remainder of their journey?
- It is an interesting twist that Father Callahan finds Stephen King’s book called Salem’s Lot recounting his story. How will that factor into the bigger picture.
- Where will they go now that Mia/Susannah have the Black Thirteen and have closed the door? What did Susannah find in the lining of Roland’s bag?