Nov. 2, 2010, 1:19 a.m. CST
...reading most of the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series. The first one was fantastic at setting up a decent universe, and the following 3 fleshed out the story pretty well. But after that, things started getting more and more grandiose and bloated, until there were literal chapters devoted to what seemed to be the most irrelevant and mundane things. I supposed I should have been more patient, but the literary excess, combined with how silly the women acted whenever interacting with a half-attractive male, and the (seemingly) direct cherry picking of Herbert's Dune just made me give up at book 10 or so. Honestly, the Wheel of Time seems to me an appropriate candidate for series that failed to live up to their potential. Kind of like Evangelion. Or King's Dark Tower. But to give credit where credit is due, those first 4 books were fantastic.
Nov. 2, 2010, 1:23 a.m. CST
by Unknown Canadian
... to find out what's happened to Moiraine! Gonna be locked in my house for 2 days reading this one!
Nov. 2, 2010, 1:33 a.m. CST
i was waiting until the series was about finished. i hate waiting for a next book in a series.
Nov. 2, 2010, 1:33 a.m. CST
i might give the series another shot when all books are out.
Nov. 2, 2010, 2:05 a.m. CST
...after about the thirty millionth time that Nynaeve tugged her braid. I swear, it felt like every second page had Nynaeve tugging her braid. That braid got tugged more times than a 15 year-old's pecker.</p> Then, I read George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire books and forgot all about Wheels of Time and Braid tugging and whatnot. </p> Now, I'm all in a kerfuffle, because George R R Martin has been possessed by the bloated spirit of Robert Jordan and is dragging his series on into infinity (sans braid-tugging) and will probably die before he finishes it.</p> Finish your goddamn series, George. Don't go and do a Robert Jordan on us.</p> Anyway I'd kind of said to myself I'd go back and re-read the Wheel of Time if it ever got finished, but I'm not sure I can sit through 40,000 pages of braid tugging again.
Nov. 2, 2010, 2:15 a.m. CST
...by David Hadberg...talk about blue balls waiting. I'm at roughly 27 years and counting for the continuing story on that one! Awesomely good, and unbelievably underrated scifi series that was. Not sure about this Wheels of Time stuff but I'll pick up the first book and give it a go....
Nov. 2, 2010, 2:43 a.m. CST
Nov. 2, 2010, 3:28 a.m. CST
Gotta be honest, i started reading these books soooo many years ago i have lost count and then having to re read the books when new ones came out because i couldnt remember who half the characters were...only for the new book to take place in the period of a day and for pretty much nothing to happen...except how someone put earlier lots of bloody braid pulling....But i suppose it is coming to an end, i only made it upto Winters Something or other so dont know if it picked up after that, anyone know if it is worth rereading? or am i just gonna get lots of braid pulling....i hate those bloody braids :(
Nov. 2, 2010, 4:05 a.m. CST
Martin seems to be preoccupied with everything but finishing the series. Editing anthologies, football, working with HBO, football, selling trinkets, traveling, football, making convention appearances every other month, bashing Republicans, football and generally pissing off fans who have now been waiting more than five years for the next book, which is only half of what was originally one book. This series will never have a conclusion.
Nov. 2, 2010, 4:14 a.m. CST
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Nov. 2, 2010, 4:19 a.m. CST
Go get laid, you'll feel better.
Nov. 2, 2010, 6:55 a.m. CST
It is absolutely possible to point out the moment when this series jumped the shark, nuked the fridge, whatever the metaphor of your choice is. <p> Then it dragged and dragged and dragged. Possibly only Jordan's terminal diagnosis was enough to get the man going in the right direction again. And that is a shame. Because the first 5 books or so are pretty fucking amazing.
Nov. 2, 2010, 6:59 a.m. CST
That maybe just maybe the anticipation of the final Harry Potter book might come close to the anticipation of this book????<p> Potter was a worldwide phenomenon. You can say the name Harry Potter to anyone, and they'll know what it means. Like Star Wars or Luke Skywalker. But this...this is some sci-fi crap that the majority of people have no idea what it is. <p>I could give fuck-all about Potter, haven't read a book and think there were a few good films and a slew of average and crap...but to make a comparison between these two books is either moronic or your nerd goggles have got you blinded to the fact that the real world doesn't care about this novel. <p>Carry on.
Nov. 2, 2010, 7:13 a.m. CST
I've been reading book 6 (Lord of Chaos) for two months now. I'm finally near the end. I've already read "The Gathering Storm," which I thought was very good. Yes, I books 6-12, but I don't care. I'm not going to bother with books 7 and up. I'm just going to read Sanderson's final efforts and be done with this series.
Nov. 2, 2010, 7:36 a.m. CST
about 2 months. Yeah there is a bit of bloated writing in it with the dream sequences and slow convergance of past personalities, but, man this book series kicks ass! <P> I figure at the rate I am going, I will finish it all by February. Like the Dark Tower series, I am glad I waited until it was all out before reading.
Nov. 2, 2010, 7:45 a.m. CST
Not that it matters, but I meant to say I SKIPPED books 6-12 in my last post. Also, I kinda agree with Executor. If I mentioned the name Rand al'Thor to someone, they wouldn't know what the hell I was talking about. The WoT series is only for fans, of which I am not.
Nov. 2, 2010, 8:44 a.m. CST
by dead youngling
my fav book of his--BOOK 1 of 10!!! I'll be in my fifties prob by the time it's done.
Nov. 2, 2010, 8:49 a.m. CST
Awesome that AICN is covering this. Buying ToM today!
I'm glad Sanderson has a more economical writing style. Too many fantasy (and authors in many other styles) get caught up in world building. A lot can be done with a more efficient style, like Fleming, Hammet, Heinlein (the master of self editing) or even a modern guy like Deaver.
Nov. 2, 2010, 9:25 a.m. CST
by Unknown Canadian
...you didn't wait long enough. The final book will be out next fall.
Nov. 2, 2010, 9:43 a.m. CST
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Nov. 2, 2010, 10:10 a.m. CST
Will be the next series to remain unfinished - I don't think George R.R. Martin is going to get it done before he dies.....he is a master procrastinator. But then again, making a sudden push to finish a fantasy series is not always a good thing (Stephen King, I am looking in your direction).
I really don't think GRRM has a real ending in mind. In many cases he has seemed to write himself into a pretty tough spot.
Nov. 2, 2010, 11:20 a.m. CST
is the Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. (I think it was released as a 6 parter in the States, because they broke each volume into 2 parts)<br /><br />I thought the guy had written himself into a million tight corners, but the series resolved itself brilliantly (IMO). Would highly recommend it to anyone who likes hard SF.
Nov. 2, 2010, 12:59 p.m. CST
Did not see the tag, but want to be sure. I had to order the hardcover last week from Amazon because Harriet won't release the friggin thing on Kindle for three months (down from a year...her original decree). Damned hardcover weighs more then my car.
Nov. 2, 2010, 2 p.m. CST
The text of the review says minor spoilers...but it had some pretty big ones. I'm pissed that the review revealed so much, and hope I can forget it all before I start reading.
Nov. 2, 2010, 3:21 p.m. CST
^^Thanks for your mini-reviews. I've been wanting to pick it up. A friend of mine read it and LOVED it. Now I'm just trying to decide if I want it on Kindle or hardcover.
Nov. 2, 2010, 3:21 p.m. CST
braid tugging and all, with the last book I was actually able to finish the chapters with the female characters. The second novel the Great Hunt hooked me into actually finishing this series. I gotta admit with HBO taking on Martin's Fire and Ice I hope someday some cinematic idiot actually tackles this series. Poor fool.
Nov. 2, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST
No way I can continue. The last book was 5 years ago. I'm sure I'd appreciate it by some miracle I could remember what happened but 5 years between books is a long time. What I can say for sure is that I agree with those that say the series had become bloated. Any book where it takes chapters for a single character to cross a room could benefit from some editing.
Nov. 2, 2010, 10:34 p.m. CST
As someone who has sat on the first 10 or so volumes of the Wheel of Time for the better part of a decade, simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by them, I appreciate this informative review. I might actually start reading them one of these days. But truly, I see most epic fantasy--after Tolkien and with the primal exception of Donaldson--as masturbatory rehashing of Tolkien's Elves/Dragons/Dark Lord mold. Often imitated, never topped. Having said that, as a Tolkienist, I need to correct the inference of this review that Christopher Tolkien's writing style jars with his father's. This is a fallacy that stems from the nature of the first Middle-earth work the younger Tolkien published--the highly anticipated SILMARILLION in 1977. While by his own admission the published SILMARILLION was "constructed" from his father's many drafts, Christopher Tolkien did not WRITE it and is not responsible for its style. If one explores the 12 volumes of The History of Middle Earth, Unfinished Tales, and the Children of Hurin, one can see that the difference in style was germaine to those stories, and it was THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS--the popular works published in the elder Tolkien's lifetime--whose style was actually an aberration. If one is still not convinced of their authenticity by over a dozen volumes of earlier versions and drafts, one can go to the various university libraries of the world (Bodleian, Marquette)and see the original drafts in Tolkien's own handwriting. Just sayin'. Anyway, for me, it's now just the countdown to the *truly* final volume of Donaldson's COVENANT series--a genuine example of authorial creativity and literary integrity, far more than Herbert Jr. and the Whore (KJA) and this Jordan thing.
Nov. 3, 2010, 1:18 a.m. CST
Oh yeah, the one where the hero seduces a sixteen year old.
Nov. 3, 2010, 3:59 a.m. CST
What they've done to Dune is unforgivable, to say the least.
Nov. 3, 2010, 5:21 a.m. CST
"Instead, since it had a fixed finish line, the Wheel of Time only picked up speed as the Last Battle approached." Highly questionable statement. Book 11 showed that Jordan was getting back into gear, but Books 8-10 saw the pace throttle back to a turgid crawl. Book 10 is almost unreadably slow. Agreed that Christopher Tolkien has never written anything about Middle-earth at all, he's just edited stuff left behind by his father, so the comparison doesn't wash. "But truly, I see most epic fantasy--after Tolkien and with the primal exception of Donaldson--as masturbatory rehashing of Tolkien's Elves/Dragons/Dark Lord mold." You haven't read any fantasy published in the last decade or so then? Because the likes of Martin, Bakker and Erikson don't do anything like the above.
Nov. 3, 2010, 5:34 a.m. CST
At least Erikson only has one more book to go in the main series, and I doubt we'll be waiting over five years for it. Martin doesn't seem to be any closer to finishing than he was five years ago, when he said the book was about 60% completed.
Nov. 3, 2010, 6:38 a.m. CST
in a 3000 page hard sci-fi epic, the thing that sticks in your craw is Joshua bedding a 16 year old. <br /><br />Projection much?
Nov. 4, 2010, 1:10 a.m. CST
by Unknown Canadian
...and loved it! Not as many ah-ha! moments as the last one, but a shit-ton of loose ends tied up. The Moiraine thing was a little anti-climactic IMO, but all in all a well-paced, exciting and thourough penultimate novel in a series that's been a perpetual re-read in my life for damn near 20 years now. Well done, Mr. Sanderson!