Lessons from ‘Wizard and Glass’

I’m reading a book to review for the site of an Indie Author. For those who want to read ahead, it is The Tower’s Alchemist by Alesha Escobar. If you have Kindle Unlimited, go and snag it for free. I have to decide how I want to review it, since I like to get all Lit Crit with my reviews. I will go ahead and give my opinion so far. Good story. I find it hard to stop reading, so good on the author for keeping me engaged. I will also say, bad on the editor. Her editor did her no justice with what passes as the editing work. The tense slips in the book are constant and there is no clear delineation between what is prose and what is thought (standard even in 1st person POV is to use either quotation marks or my preferred italics). The editor should have paid attention to the need to indicate in-the-moment thought and the verb tense changes. Still, go and read it. So far, so good plot/story wise.

I’ve said something good about a book. Now I am going to say something bad. I’m sharing my review from Good Reads of Stephen King’s Wizard and Glass, which I read several years ago. I hated the book. I only gave it 2 stars because of Dave McKean’s artwork, which is as always incredible. I’ve loved him since Sandman. To give you an idea of how much I hated the book, when I read through the series the second time, upon finally being able to get the last book, I skimmed through W&G.

So why share it here? Because I am a firm believer that every series needs a W&G book. That is, it needs a book that helps fill the reader in on background behind the story. This is important, anyway, in a long series. In Harry Potter, we got it from Order of the Phoenix and Half Blood Prince. My own WIP is my W&G and I am paying special care to the lessons I learned from that terrible, terrible book. I encourage any Indie Author that is writing a series and realizing they also need *that book* to read W&G with an eye to learn. Learn what not to do. While the “present” events of the book are okay, the story of Susan Delgado and Roland goes from the ideal romance that we are sold it as being in the first three books to an abysmal failure that really only serves to set the stage for Susannah’s downfall later. Only, it does not make you sympathetic to her. It really just makes you hate her more than you would without W&G. That is a dangerous thing to do with a Main Character, especially when you are not making the Main Character a villain and are clearly doing things to try to make the MC sympathetic.

That being said, here is the review as I posted it up on GoodReads. I will share others later. Enjoy. I’ll have my review for Tower’s Alchemist up in a few days.

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It gets 2 stars because Dave McKean’s artwork is incredible.

I enjoyed the Dark Tower series up to this point. I was even willing to accept Wasteland ending in the middle of the story because I had never seen that done before. I was amazed that King did it.

I had high expectations for Wizard and Glass, and it started out just fine.

Then I had to read about Susan Delgado. In the previous books, I had one picture of her. In this, I realized that the Susan Delgado presented to us in the Gunslinger’s memory was a complete and utter lie. She ended up being the most useless character in the world. The book would have lost nothing had she not been in it or simply overlooked. That she turns out to be a shallow idiot to boot …

“OMG! That Cuthbert sure is handsome. I wish I had seen him first and not Roland!”

Seriously, King? *That* is how you set up the little Ka-romance between Eddie and Suzannah?

On the other hand, it does explain why Suzannah becomes such a useless character later.

You have to read this to understand the rest of the series. I get that every series *needs* a Wizard and Glass – that is a story that mixes the past and present to help you understand what is taking place. To my fellow Indie authors – read this book as a lesson of how NOT to write that book.

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Lynn Perretta is a contributing author for StreetWraith Press. She is the author of The Shulim Cycle Book of Dahlia and The Shulim Cycle Book of Susan. You can visit Lynn’s Blog, the Writer’s Manifest.

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