This is only the surface of what is happening and also only one third of the book. So one can see who complicated this can get. Jake does get into Mid-world where he joins Roland, Eddie and Susannah to continue their journey to the Dark Tower. At first the journey has been made simpler by the finding of a beam which will lead them straight to the Tower and the promise of a supersonic train. The beam brings them through a dangerous town where the inhabitants are at war with each other and the train turns out to be completely mad.
Crazy stuff, but this is Stephen King, so what else do you expect? And as crazy as it may sound, within the world it does make sense. What also counts is that however weird the world King has created may be, the characters are completely believable and likeable. I really felt like I got to know Roland, Eddie, Susannah and Jake, also their characters stay in motion. This is what I always find very strong about Kings work, the characters. You can very easily identify with them and he always gives you the feeling that he knows all of his characters, however minor, through and through.
The Waste Lands gives us the first signs of the vastness of the world King has created with his many books. They all pretty much come together in the Dark Tower series. The Stand being the most important one in this book. We see signs that Randall Flagg has been here and also the virus that killed nearly everyone in that story. So some knowledge of Stephen Kings other works makes the reading more enjoyable, but not knowing them isnít a problem.
As said before The Waste Lands is a real page turner. Thereís a lot happening for a book that isnít even that big. Downside is that you might miss details that will prove to be important later on. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and I suggest you not to read it before going to sleep, you will find yourself still reading in the morning. As for the missed details, you can always read the book a second time, itís good enough for a re-read.