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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Midnight Reviews


JenniferL
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If you are getting TGS tonight, you may post your reviews (or a link to your site where you posted it) here. No timezone restrictions.

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This is not a midnight review however, I figured I could still post it right?

 

Quick note this review contains major spoilers.

 

I really enjoyed this book, thought it was one of the better ones of the series. I thought that Brandon moves a bit faster in his pacing than RJ but was mostly still written in the same style. In terms of the characters, I thought most of them were spot on. However, I thought that Nynaeve was different than she has been, more mature. That was in my opinion an improvement.

 

The other character that was written differently was Rand. In previous books his was the POV that I enjoyed reading the most. However, in this book he completely changes emotionally. It does make sense because of the events in the story but after those events I just did not like his character.

 

Moving on from characters, I think that this was probably the best book in the series in terms of plot progression. I thought that the Seanchan attack on the tower and the reunification of the Tower was very well written. The other major plot that is somewhat resolved has to do with Rand. Despite his spending most of the book basically emotionless at the very end he finally laughs like Cadsuane wants him to. This was extremely cruel of Brandon because now there is the interminable wait for the next book to see what comes of that. The ending was the strongest part of the book.

 

There was one thing that really annoyed me though. i can understand why they are not in the book considering the book was already some 700 pages, but there was basically no mention of Taim, or Elayne.  Granted Elayne's major part in the plot was finished up in the last book, but still some mention would have been nice. As for Taim though, I really wish that he was in there in some way, at this point we have no idea of what he or the Red sisters are doing. This part confuses me because now we don't know what the implications of that will be. I would have thought it would be in this book.

 

This was acutally the first book I have bought in harcover, usually I just buy paperback because of the price. However, I was not disappointed at all and would encoruage all of my friends (that is if any of them actually read books)to get this book. I am waiting eagerly for the next two.

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I'm still reading the book.

 

First, the first half of the book has been really, really good.

 

Now that I'm in the last half of the book ... I hate to say this, but it is becoming very cringe inducing. Especially the sections with Mat around the time he meets Verin. What kind of dialogue is this? I had to set the book down after Mat used the word "saidared".

 

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

 

That is horrible. The characters and the story deserve better than the dialogue in this section. What a travesty. This book started out so good that I thought I could forgive what behavior/dialogue that seemed incongruous with the characters. But Mat's sections are getting to be a real mockery of what his character is.

 

I needed to get that off my chest.

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I'm still reading the book.

 

First, the first half of the book has been really, really good.

 

Now that I'm in the last half of the book ... I hate to say this, but it is becoming very cringe inducing. Especially the sections with Mat around the time he meets Verin. What kind of dialogue is this? I had to set the book down after Mat used the word "saidared".

 

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

 

That is horrible. The characters and the story deserve better than the dialogue in this section. What a travesty. This book started out so good that I thought I could forgive what behavior/dialogue that seemed incongruous with the characters. But Mat's sections are getting to be a real mockery of what his character is.

 

I needed to get that off my chest.

 

personally i thought that was Mat trying to be flippant as usual and trying to annoy the Aes Sedai as he does so well...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Admittedly I found Mat's dialogue contrived in this book. The use of 'saidared' was the worst example, but it was consistant--the worst part I suspect was that Brandon used modern forms of humour in Mat's banter--adjusting words for humour has never had a place in the Wheel.

 

 

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No one should be reading here who is afraid of spoilers, but just in case:

 

MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

 

From what Brandon Sanderson has said, this book contains more of Robert Jordan's writing than the final two will.  He started by working where Jordan had left the most already done.  This means that the Rand/Egwene story lines where probably more fleshed out for him than the brief bits pertaining to Mat and Perrin.  Frankly, as nothing much new our surprising happens to Mat or Perrin in this book it's hard to review them.

 

As is mentioned above, Mat is perhaps a little over the top in this book.  He's always been one of the best characters at self-deluding himself (besides Nynaeve), but I think Sanderson pushed a little too hard trying to find his voice here.  Nothing egregious was done to him, but his chapters are undoubtedly the weak point in the book.  Perrin isn't even in enough to tell how well he is written.  Masema bites the dust finally, but other than that there is no movement on his plotline.

 

The Egwene storyline was masterful.  Many of the minor character viewpoints revolve around this storyline and none of them feel extraneous.  Siuan and Bryne finally get somewhere in their relationship just as Egwene and Gawyn reunite with unexpected tension in theirs.  There are several groups plotting (all with intelligence) and it makes sense why Egwene comes out on top.  My two favorite scenes in this book both involve Egwene.  Verin makes a surprise appearance finally explaining what the h%$@# is going on with her.  The other comes when the much anticipated Seanchan attack on the White Tower comes to pass.

 

Rand's chapters, on the other hand, were painful to read.  Not because they were poorly written, but because you get to watch him going further and further down the wrong road.  Towards the end of the book, he encounters a couple people from his past who remind him of how far he is from the "good guy" we all knew in the first two books of the series.  Those scenes in particular are well done and truly wrenching.  He does make progress at the very end, and I'm hopeful that in the final two volumes we won't have to watch "iron" Rand drive more and more people away from him.

 

Overall, a worthy addition to the series and Sanderson is proving to be as skilled a substitute as could be hoped for.

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There were a few instances where I thought "wtf is this guy doing". Like I said, the majority of the book is good, but some of it... I just can't reconcile myself. Here they are. Spoiler alert, but I assume if you're in here then you're cool with spoilers. :)

 

 

 

 

1.  Mat, pretty much all of it. Working on pages of backstory? Stating that there is "good material" to work with in the 4+ pages of stuff he wrote? That is not Mat. At all. In fact, the majority of Mat's scenes (and Perrin's) seemed completely useless, unless it was all supposedly a build up to meeting Verin. Which brings me to

 

2. Verin, pretty much all of it again. She just didn't read like herself. At all. When you put her with Mat it was even more bizarre, like a parody. I expected that type of dialogue in Lucker's sig, not in TGS (no offense, Luckers ;))

 

3. Rand's "punch a woman in the face" remark. Yes, Rand was going off the deep end ... but really? Punch a woman in the face? That's what he said?

 

The rest is really nit picky.

 

When did people start saying things like, "For Light's sake" and "bloody ashes" (I believe the term is "blood and ashes"). Actually a lot of little pieces of dialogue like that just kept breaking the immersion for me. I get that BS is different than RJ and has his own style but ... at least you could keep continuity in the world and not start sprinkling new vernacular into the story without explanation and without warning.

 

Overall I liked the book though the Mat and Verin parts are enough to knock it down a few books. I'd rank this one near the bottom, above A Crown of Swords, Crossroads of Twilight and Winter's Heart. Definitely not as good as the first 6. Or Knife of Dreams.

 

I had mixed feelings on the chapter layout. Yes it seemed fast paced, but at the same time there was no story-arc feel to it, no sense of continuity, and some things that we'd been waiting to see happened off screen, or were unfulfilling. (really? Graendal is taken out that way? REALLY?)

 

Oh well, at least we get the last books more quickly.

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Admittedly I found Mat's dialogue contrived in this book. The use of 'saidared' was the worst example, but it was consistant--the worst part I suspect was that Brandon used modern forms of humour in Mat's banter--adjusting words for humour has never had a place in the Wheel.

 

 

 

I thought Saidared was pretty ok and fits with the sort of guy Mat is - he's the one who knows absolutely nothing about the One Power and really doesn't want to know. Pretty much every other POV we have is knee-deep in channeling even if they can't do it themselves.

 

The word that stuck out most for me was "akimbo" used to describe how suian is standing at one point.

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Admittedly I found Mat's dialogue contrived in this book. The use of 'saidared' was the worst example, but it was consistant--the worst part I suspect was that Brandon used modern forms of humour in Mat's banter--adjusting words for humour has never had a place in the Wheel.

 

 

 

Having now finished the book, I totally agree.

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one thing i  wished we  could have seen in the  book that yes would have added bloat would have been a silviana POV and reading about her confronting the  hall and elaida alone.

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Admittedly I found Mat's dialogue contrived in this book. The use of 'saidared' was the worst example, but it was consistant--the worst part I suspect was that Brandon used modern forms of humour in Mat's banter--adjusting words for humour has never had a place in the Wheel.

 

 

 

I thought Saidared was pretty ok and fits with the sort of guy Mat is - he's the one who knows absolutely nothing about the One Power and really doesn't want to know. Pretty much every other POV we have is knee-deep in channeling even if they can't do it themselves.

 

Saidared didn't really bother me at all either, but I do agree that his entire dialogue was a little off. Overall, Mat's dialogue was the only place, aside from a word here and there, where the difference between authors was obvious to me. And while Brandon's Mat isn't as good as RJ's Mat, I still enjoyed the Mat chapters. For the rest of the book the differences were small enough that it didn't pull me out of the story.

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Hmm.. Overall, I thought the book was amazing. I thought Rand's sections, though often dark, were wonderfully written and well executed. Egwene's sections, I loved. I loved every single bit, though some of the *revelations* were terrible.

 

I didn't enjoy many scenes with Perrin. They seemed almost frivolous compared to what was going on in other character story lines.

 

I could tell the difference in the author's voice while reading about Mat especially. Some of his phrases seemed off, and some of the dialogue didn't quite fit the WOT's previous dialogue, but it didn't really bother me all that much. I enjoyed the humor that bothered some of the other reviewers. 'bloody ashes' didn't bother me... as I can see it as a derivative of "blood and bloody ashes" which Mat frequently uses in previous books. "Saidared" did make me flinch a little, but when I looked back at it, it cracked me up.

 

Use of the word "akimbo" confused me. I'm still not quite sure about that word. I actually had to look it up, because I've never heard of it before. For those of you who felt the same :dictionary.com says "In or into a position in which the hands are on the hips and the elbows are bowed outward"

 

As I said though, I absolutely loved the book. I think Harriet chose well when she picked Brandon. I don't think that anyone else could have quite done the book justice. I commend the team for the hard work and I'm looking forward to next year already!!

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Admittedly I found Mat's dialogue contrived in this book. The use of 'saidared' was the worst example, but it was consistant--the worst part I suspect was that Brandon used modern forms of humour in Mat's banter--adjusting words for humour has never had a place in the Wheel.

 

 

 

I thought Saidared was pretty ok and fits with the sort of guy Mat is - he's the one who knows absolutely nothing about the One Power and really doesn't want to know. Pretty much every other POV we have is knee-deep in channeling even if they can't do it themselves.

 

The word that stuck out most for me was "akimbo" used to describe how suian is standing at one point.

 

My problem is that the humour Mat was displaying was witty word banter, and that's not really him. He's irreverant, but he doesn't twist language to create humour. That type of humour is too post-modern--its writer humour, not something a character would say.

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I found it to be a really really great book!

BUT...

as many people have said mats character was.. off!  not him! he didnt talk or act much like himself!  the writing was similiar to RJ's, but I felt there was not quite as much detail in it.  Although I do like that BS didnt take like 3 chapters to summarize each character when they are first mentioned in the book....

and!

WHERE THE HECK IS ELAYNE?????? Why didnt she even get a paragraph? 700+ pages and nothing!  not happy about that! 

 

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It isn't just Mat, its the entire book. Here's a quick breakdown:

 

1) Every character is the same. Its true and you know it. Tuon's lines are indistinguishable from Avienda, Min, Mat, Rand, -- everyone is the same. I have to wonder whether Sanderson ever even considered that these are DIFFERENT PEOPLE. It is literally the same person each time with a different name.

 

2) The writer. He 'broke the immersion' way more than the absurd dialogue. Its as if the Reader is attempting to be in Randland, but there is a huge, thick pane of Sticky-Sanderson-Glass in the way. You may get the occasional uninterrupted glimpse of what's going on, but for the most part you're sitting there struggling to see anything at all.

 

I hate to be the first real negative reviewer, but this has been a huge disappointment, especially after the positive reviews I saw on this site before reading the book. I kept wondering, how in the world did they miss this? I even suspected TOR of paying people off! TGS is almost on the level of some junk fantasy novel, like Eragon or Twilight. I just don't understand why no one has spoken up about this yet. The last 11 books are the only things that could ever make it worth your time. What a waste.

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My response to that is a simple plain 'nope'.

 

Mat's humour seemed contrived, but thats a minor quible. For the most part I loved the new book. Sorry dude.

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1) Every character is the same. Its true and you know it. Tuon's lines are indistinguishable from Avienda, Min, Mat, Rand, -- everyone is the same. I have to wonder whether Sanderson ever even considered that these are DIFFERENT PEOPLE. It is literally the same person each time with a different name.

 

That was my big problem as well, and it was really noticeable in the conversation between Nynaeve and Min (among plenty of other times).  It was as if he just picked two characters to be in the scene and gave them the dialogue that he wanted, regardless of whether or not those people would ever *say* that.

 

Many times while reading the dialogue, I got the impression that Sanderson was trying to imitate the writing style of Joss Whedon.  And I couldn't for the life of me figure out why.

 

Other stuff that really rankled...

 

- Having Aes Sedai say things like "For Light's sake" was just ludicrous.

- Oh yeah, and how many times did Mat say "Burn me" within a 2-page span?  15-20 times?

- Mat stays up all night to write character backstories?  WTF is that?

- Talmanes disappeared completely and became an entirely new character.  For me, I didn't think Mat was too far off (except for that stupid character back-story crap) on most of it.  However, it was all the people around him that changed abruptly.

 

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It isn't just Mat, its the entire book. Here's a quick breakdown:

 

1) Every character is the same. Its true and you know it. Tuon's lines are indistinguishable from Avienda, Min, Mat, Rand, -- everyone is the same. I have to wonder whether Sanderson ever even considered that these are DIFFERENT PEOPLE. It is literally the same person each time with a different name.

 

2) The writer. He 'broke the immersion' way more than the absurd dialogue. Its as if the Reader is attempting to be in Randland, but there is a huge, thick pane of Sticky-Sanderson-Glass in the way. You may get the occasional uninterrupted glimpse of what's going on, but for the most part you're sitting there struggling to see anything at all.

 

I hate to be the first real negative reviewer, but this has been a huge disappointment, especially after the positive reviews I saw on this site before reading the book. I kept wondering, how in the world did they miss this? I even suspected TOR of paying people off! TGS is almost on the level of some junk fantasy novel, like Eragon or Twilight. I just don't understand why no one has spoken up about this yet. The last 11 books are the only things that could ever make it worth your time. What a waste.

 

 

I perfectly agree.

Although I really do respect Mr. Sanderson courageous move in attemting to serve us fans the ending of this beloved series, it is appearent that this was an impossible task.

The world is so much more static, the characters much more shallow, the dialogue very un-WoT and sometimes up-front embarrasing in comparison with the former installments of the series; also, the narrative thoroughly lacked the subtle hints and glimpses from a world always in motion.

For the very first time it truly dawned on me: Mr. Jordan is gone.

However, I do believe this was the best - and only - option. At least we will get the ending this way. When looking back upon this saga later, the books I shall re-read is 1-11: to me the true story ended with Pevara and Tarna visiting the Black Tower.

 

This was unfortunate but inevitable, following Mr. Jordan's passing. Nobody could have told this story save him.

The world truly became a much poorer place a little more then two years ago.

 

 

 

One final point. Where was Logain? And Taim? Feels strange that Rand should not have any communication, given that TGS advances the time-line about 3 months?

Or, perhaps, what truly went on there will be the topic for ToM.

 

Well, well....

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I can definitely see the point about the characters essentially being the same with different names. I do feel like a lot of their individuality was toned waaaay down in this book.

 

One part that stuck out to me was Nynaeve's ardent defense of Mat to Tuon. I simply couldn't believe it. Nynaeve would have been much more begruding or at least much more ... I dunno ... condescending, even if she decided "outlanders can't besmirch two rivers folk" ... and that line of thought would have been pointed out to the reader that it was why she decided to praise Mat.

 

But really, she'd never have praised him that much. Or that vehemently.

 

Aside from that (and aside from the Aiel), I do think that most character names would probably be interchangeable. I thought in Mat's whole retinue that maybe Brandon got Thom and Olver tones well enough, though I think Olver had all of 1 line ... and even then Thom's exchanges with Mat seemed very unlikely. Reminiscing about training to be a gleeman? I don't think Mat ever liked to actively reminisce with anyone. And I doubt Thom would do it either.

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