Book Review: The Waste Lands

THE WASTE LANDS | Stephen King
(The Dark Tower #3)
05.03.2016 (first published August 1991) | Scribner
Rating: 4/5 stars


Warning: Potential series spoilers ahead

Several months have passed since the events of THE DRAWING OF THE THREE. Roland has trained his Ka-tet members, Eddie and Susannah, to be gunslingers in their own right. Each have given up something from their previous lives and are ready to embrace their new journey. Despite all of this forward progress, there is something holding the group back and slowing eating away at Roland’s sanity. He made a choice to kill a man in another world and in doing so, he saved the life of someone who has already died in his own world. Roland is experiencing double memories that can only be stopped by being reunited with someone he thought he would never see again. On the Path of the Beam this group of travellers will find a way to solve Roland’s issues and carry themselves closer to the Dark Tower.


THE WASTE LANDS kicks off with an exciting introduction back into the lives of Roland, Eddie, and Susannah. We find our ka-tet continuing their journey to the Dark Tower, which has led them straight into the not-so-loving arms of a massive mechanical bear! This encounter immediately grabs the reader and fully throws them back into the action, which was something I really loved about this story. Sometimes I find it hard to get back into the groove with a series, but King didn’t give me the chance to feel awkward settling back in with this trio. King also spared the reader any awkward reintroductions, which is something I’m always cautious of in series reads.


I don’t want to give away too many details from the journey itself because it’s in my opinion an experience the reader should take on blindly. What I will say is: be ready to be reunited with an old favorite, open your mind to a lot of weird things, and generally just have fun with the journey! There were times when I felt this volume dragged, but ultimately King picked things back up later in the story. As with previous installments in this series, there are a ton of interesting characters that the reader will meet along the way. King’s creativity with these support characters never fails to impress me! Just wait until you all meet Gasher and the Tick Tock Man! 

I can’t close this review without giving a shout out to the new love of my life, Oy! I have never wanted to own a fictional character the way I want to have a billy bumbler join my family! Oy is the cutest, sassiest, and most fearless companion this group could ask for!

This series is weird, but completely fun and I’ve having a great time reading through it even if I keep failing to hit my #KeeperofKing buddy read deadlines!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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