Firstly, I can say that I found the whole thing engaging and captivating. There was a huge break between publishing The Drawing of Three (book 2), The Waste Lands (book 3) and Wizard and Glass (book 4). I can definitely see why.
The Drawing of Three brings in more players in the story from our world. Seeing the cross between the dying world that The Gunslinger set up, and our current world, and how Roland sees things is a pleasure. The book read really fast, and I found myself on the edge of my chair and rooting for the characters. This even though I didn’t like some of them.
The Waste Lands was exhausting and a large story in and of itself. Any Stephen King readers know that the books are no lightweights when it comes to page count. Watching Roland and Jake reconcile their obstacles left me tired and worked up. The idea that a story can be told well enough to exhaust me is impressive.
The other joy in such a long story is to watch the continual growth. In a good book the characters grow, they are dynamic. Well, in this series the characters grow pretty continually and are very dynamic. In Wizard and Glass, Roland learns to feel again, and we are introduced to his past. Not only is he feeling, but he’s able to admit it. Learning about his past and his ghosts gives an even greater depth and added mystique to a rough stone-like man. I cannot contemplate composing 2100 or so pages of text while maintaining any kind of mystique.
Still, all this reading and taking a break and I feel tired again here after Wizard and Glass. It’s a long journey, not only for the characters but also for the reader, and I’m glad I won’t be able to get my hands on the rest of the books for a little while. The 7th book won’t be published until late September. The Dark Tower series is excellent, if you ask me, but certainly something to pace yourself through. Granted, I need multiple inputs and read several books in the same time frame (though haven’t while reading this… the multiple storylines were engaging enough that, supplemented with some online reading, I was fine).