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 Post subject: The Gathering Storm
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:55 pm 
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The latest of the Wheel of Time books came out on Oct 21, 2009.

I was anticipating it, but as there are two books to go, I took a couple weeks to get around to buying it, but grabbed it on my way out of the city last week and read a hundred pages or so every evening to wind down before sleeping.

I wish I liked the book better though. The series has been criticized for having one dimensional characters, limited character development, more characters than any normal person can remember and a very slow plotline, and the criticism is valid to a point. I would not see things as quite that dire though, since I have seen character development, the plotline is slow, but most of the books had sufficient action and progress to satisfy (and a couple of the books did not).

The Gathering Storm gave me the impression that as far as character growth went, the last nine books had been discarded. Every character in the book is once again convinced that only he (and far more often she) knows what should be done and the world would be a better place if everyone else in it would just follow directions. This was how every character seemed to be in the second and third books, but if nothing else, characters were developed over the series to actually learn, and I saw almost nothing of this in the latest book.

The book is eight hundred pages long and although a satisfying amount of progress is made in the last four hundred pages, the first four hundred saw almost nothing of any note. We saw snapshots of various characters, but they did not really do anything, we saw plans forming, but they did not seem to be going anywhere, and we saw a lot of angst being voiced about how the world would be a far better place if people would simply do as they are told.

There is much that is good in the book and the chapters I enjoyed, I enjoyed thoroughly, but for a book I was hoping for, it was not everything I wanted. I especially noted that a couple of events that have been foreshadowed for six books and in the planning stages for two still have not happened. It feels like there was not enough space in the book to actually accomplish anything and still get in the required amount of complaining that every character seems to require.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:10 pm 
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Damned by faint praise, Xerius. I have never been able to get into the Wheel of Time books, so I am not disappointed, although I have a lot of respect for the late Robert Jordan. Thanks for the assessment. I'm sure the fans of this series will be interested.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:23 am 
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Do you think it had a lot to do with the fact that it wasn't written by him? That's rather disappointing to hear. I was waiting a bit, since it wasn't the last & paperback is what I'd rather buy...though my husband might get impatient & get the hardback, heh.

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 Post subject: Non specific spoilers present
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:04 pm 
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Kallysti wrote:
Do you think it had a lot to do with the fact that it wasn't written by him? That's rather disappointing to hear. I was waiting a bit, since it wasn't the last & paperback is what I'd rather buy...though my husband might get impatient & get the hardback, heh.


I do not really have a good feel for a reason. The style of the writing emulated Jordan's quite well and the writer seemed very aware of the plotline.

Jordan started out the series very well, and I found his first six books most interesting, although my interest was a bit less for the four books after that, and he recaptured his original flavour for his eleventh book. As I have said in another thread, I was never fond of how he wrote women, as his world seemed to be populated with such a gender bias that I had no idea how it survived. As the series progressed though, it seemed that the characters were opening their minds to the fact that other people just might be right about something.






Possible minor spoilers to follow, in case you want to avoid any mention of events in the book.





This twelfth book jumped right into the same type of assumptions, but the characters went back to their early ways. Several characters expressed frustration that Rand al'Thor was becoming uncontrollable, with a single character noting that perhaps befriending him was more effective than controlling him. Two particular Aes Sedai are very noteable for this, one of which had changed her ways over the last few books to try to assist him rather than tell him what she thought he should be doing. The other one claimed she had studied what prophecy he should be fulfilling, but instead of guiding him, she blindly told him what he should be doing daily, in spite of being proven wrong several times.

Matt and Perrin likewise reverted to earlier forms. Both had grown greatly through the course of the books, but were back to earlier habits in this book, and it rang wrong.

As I said in the earlier post though, when the book got moving, I enjoyed it. Some issues were finally resolved, the action was solid, the writing was good when things were actually happening, since there were no long, drawn out dialogues from people who had no idea what they were talking about, but still believed their lack of information was more important than the experiences of people who were actually there.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:15 pm 
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I'd get the book, but honestly I lost the storyline around book six. :oops:

There were a TON of characters (had me several times thinking, 'who the heck is this now?' having to flip back and check), and a bit too much light vs. dark/ woman vs. man for me to follow easily.

The plot is great- nicely written. It just doesn't move fast as I'd like it to. We'll see- Maybe I'll get the rest after they've come out and I've reread the books again. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 9:46 pm 
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Yes, I brought book eleven with me last week to reread so that I would have a hope of remembering all the dangling plot lines and all the characters, although I found book twelve quite good in that regard. A couple of characters I had to look back at the previous book to remember, but for the most part, the way they were introduced in book twelve gave a good review of what place they had in the world.

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