Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King


Paranormal MysteryScience FictionWolves of the Calla by Stephen King

Wolves of the Calla
Stephen King; Tandem Library 2005

The Dark Tower V

Roland, Eddie, Susannah, and Jake are on a quest to find the Dark Tower and save the Universe. They have recently crossed through to another where/when – one that’s new to them. And yet they continue to find portents, signs, and “coincidences” that relate back to what they’ve done, where they’ve been, who they’ve met, and what they’ve seen. They realize that everything on this quest ties together somehow.

In the small town of Calla Bryn Sturgis, Tian Jaffers receives a visit from the very old robot Andy. Andy tells him that the wolves are coming in a month – and Andy is never wrong when he brings this prophecy. The wolves come about once a generation, take half the children from the town, then bring them back changed and mentally deficient a few weeks later. No matter how the citizens try to hide their children, the wolves seem to seek them out. Four of Tian’s five children are in danger of being kidnapped. He saw what happened to his twin sister and doesn’t want that to happen to his children.

At a town meeting he calls for people to help him fight the wolves. Father Callahan, the local priest, tells the citizens of the gunslingers he knows are heading their way. Although many don’t want to try to fight the wolves again – usually those who don’t have children in the danger range – a small group travels to ask the gunslingers if they will help fight off the wolves from Thunderclap and save their babbies. Roland’s group listens to the Father as he makes the plea, then after much discussion, decide to help the people in Calla Bryn Sturgis.

Their own quest doesn’t stop, though. Susannah has been acting strangely. Jake and Eddie are traveling to New York City together in their dreams, reliving Jake’s last visit to the important empty lot and the rose alone in it. Roland begins to understand that this stop in this farming town is part of their quest and has a piece they need. They also meet someone who may join their ka-tet.

There are numerous stories tied up in Stephen King’s Wolves of the Calla. They are all intertwined yet each is its own line as well. Father Callahan (from King’s Salem’s Lot) has his own story that meshes in with theirs and helps them with their visits to New York City as well as helping the people in Calla Bryn Sturgis. Jake has a chance to be a child as well as the deadly gunslinger he is. Roland has to face his own mortality while trying to hide it from the others. Not only do they have to help this community, but they have to watch the time as they travel to New York City to protect events there – they need to take their own actions there on a timetable that runs differently from the place/when they are. Eddie feels most responsible for there – and is able to prove his strength to himself despite the memories of his old life. Susannah – her secret is eventually revealed, but is then put off for the next book in the Dark Tower series.

Do not read Wolves of the Calla if you haven’t read the earlier books in this series. The Calla Bryn Sturgis story line is complete, but the rest of the book relies on everything that has happened in the first four books. At times I got frustrated with King’s novel because things dragged in the stories the characters told.

What Roland thinks to himself near the end of the book is true – it takes all this build up and preparation for about five minutes of action. Wolves of the Calla has a lot of build up with the people of the community, but the final showdown with the wolves takes only a small portion of the book.

For good epic alternate science fiction, read the Dark Tower series. Although wordy, Wolves of the Calla is a welcome addition to King’s story.

Notice: Non-graphic violence, Strong language, Suggestive dialogue or situations

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