Drawing Battle Lines | Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King BOOK TALK


Illustration by Vincent Chong


In the quest for the Dark Tower, the gunslingers are drawn into a conflict where a town is being terrorized by wolves from the land of Thunderclap. Our heroes are reminded of the humanity they are fighting for and the terror that lies at the end of their journey. Spoilers ahead.

Justice at the End of the World (Ep. 74) | Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King


Album art from Come-come-commala


This is a mesmerizing entry into the Dark Tower series. Roland Deschain is asked to save a town from a horrible fate, and he can no more deny these people than forget the face of his father. There is an impending sense of doom and betrayal and more loss as the gunslingers must keep their own ka-tet from breaking as they face insurmountable odds against the emissaries of the Crimson King. Spoilers ahead.

This amazing song about the people of Calla Bryn Sturgis transported me to the night Roland danced the Commala. It speaks of hope and fear and the fate of many resting in the hands of the few.

REIGNFALL – Journey to the Dark Tower Movie


Stephen King may be known for his horror novels, but over the span of his career he also shaped a very different type of story, one as ambitious and sprawling as the great fantasy epics of the 20th century.

The Dark Tower series, now being adapted for film in 2017, follows the gunslinger, the last of a line of men who stood to defend a world that has moved on. He now wanders the lands of Mid World in search of the Dark Tower.

We tackle this eight book series before the movie and TV series debut.

Love, Loss and Exile (Ep. 73) | Wizard and Glass (Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King


The original ka-tet: Cuthbert, Roland and Alain 

This entry into the Dark Tower odyssey offers some of the most tense and fascinating exploits in Roland Deschain’s journey to the Dark Tower. It is in fact near the beginning of a journey that will span Roland’s lifetime  and it shows a boy in a trial to become a man. The game of Castles he plays with a band of desperadoes, a town hiding a mystery, his first love, and an unbreakable bond with his ka-tet — Cuthbert and Alain — make this one of my favorites of the 7-book series. Spoilers ahead.

REIGNfall – Star Wars Aftermath – Readers Hate It, Listeners Love it


The Star Wars movie franchise is back and strong with the Force. So are the new “official” novels any good? Fans are divided, and it’s clear that the format of the book matters. Before Rogue One arrives in theaters, check out another band of rebels in “Star Wars: Aftermath” by Chuck Wendig laying the hurt on the Empire so that they can’t get back up.

Dreams of a Better World – The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin BOOK TALK



Seriously good fantasy fiction ahead, light spoilers included.

The end of the Earth is happening, again, and maybe for the final time. Some humans, who are more than human, are realizing they may have the power to change their planet’s fate, but it is an odyssey filled with pain and uncertainty. Ancient truths from dead civilizations are starting to surface and a war waged for eons may finally be nearing its end.

A Lifetime of Running, Then a Revolution (Ep. 72) | The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin



The humans of this world carry so much pain and sorrow with them. They are under perpetual threat of death by their own planet and must take on a resilience to survive threats that upend whole parts of the world. Yet there is hope, and it’s through the strength of one family that humankind may be restored, or destroyed. 4.5 stars



Gritty Good Fun | Star Wars: Aftermath Life Debt by Chuck Wendig BOOK TALK




Does it keep with the Star Wars spirit? Yes. Is it Empire Strikes Back good? No, but it could have been.

Han is still a scoundrel, the new crew earns their keep, and the intrigue with the empire continues. But there are missed opportunities in the liberation of Kashyyyk, Chewie’s home planet and one of the best parts of Star Wars lore.