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My purpose here is to comment on the book. I already said, in my above post, I don't believe I can convince most people. Guess what? I had a bit to do with convincing Mark, so it ain't impossible, bro

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And yes, Egwene and Rand's argument definitely showed a regression on her part. So cold and like an Aes Sedai; didn't she learn anything from the Wise Ones about strength and hardness and being brittle?

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The book wasn't bad, it just cheated us out of a few character moments and events that fans have been frothing at the mouth to see for the better part of a decade. Again, Bela got more screen time than the fight to win the Black Tower or Moiraine's return! How is that fair to anyone?

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First, although the setup of the conflict was clear in ToM, I had trouble with the dialogue between them at Merrilor. It was childish, it ignored about 10 volumes' worth of character development, the characters' voices were not distinctively their own: it fell flat. (I guess other people were OK with it - I'm kind of jealous of you for that!)
 
Second, Moiraine did not speak in her own voice in that scene - she mainly stuck to quoting from the Prophecies. Now, I get that Moiraine's return is something we've all been waiting for for ever and ever, and it's scary to try to do justice to all the expectations. But I really do wish that Brandon Sanderson had at least given it a shot. As it was, Moiraine simply did not appear as a character in her own right. There were no revelations; she did not have very much to say that we did not all know already.

 

THIS

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I love this series, but I won't ignore its flaws. It's like being a lifelong fan of a sports franchise that fell upon hard times. AMOL was one-and-done in the play-offs. I'll take that after the 0-16 season that was Crossroads of Twilight.

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Again, I thought the AV Club review was extremely fair; didn't agree with the grade, but the actual text of the article pretty much bore out how I felt.

 

It's fine; most of the time the ending of a series doesn't live up to expectations.

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Again, I thought the AV Club review was extremely fair; didn't agree with the grade, but the actual text of the article pretty much bore out how I felt.

 

It's fine; most of the time the ending of a series doesn't live up to expectations.

 

Leigh Butler's review was staggeringly bad. I don't even have the words to describe how she could have written that

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@papertiger: Yes, and I think all of this has more to do with storytelling skills than plotting. I doubt we'd be so thoroughly frustrated if we'd had a PoV from Moiraine during the confrontation with the DO. After all, seen from the outside, Rand was also just standing around :)

@hack n slash & other cheerleaders: You do realize that this is the thread for quality, right? It's where people discuss whether the book was any good, and why. That is the purpose of the whole thing. I agree that it's not all BS's fault; I've worked as an editor before (only non-fiction though), and I definitely think the text needed more work. But I'm glad to have a place where unhappy readers can commiserate!

@ Mr Micawber: I agree - I had trusted Leigh Butler to write a review more in line with my own reactions. Now, I half wish I'd waited for her re-read of AMoL; it looks like it has a fair chance to be more entertaining and better written than the novel itself :)

Edited by Grr Aaargh
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@papertiger: Yes, and I think all of this has more to do with storytelling skills than plotting. I doubt we'd be so thoroughly frustrated if we'd had a PoV from Moiraine during the confrontation with the DO. After all, seen from the outside, Rand was also just standing around :)

@hack n slash & other cheerleaders: You do realize that this is the thread for quality, right? It's where people discuss whether the book was any good, and why. That is the purpose of the whole thing. I agree that it's not all BS's fault; I've worked as an editor before (only non-fiction though), and I definitely think the text needed more work. But I'm glad to have a place where unhappy readers can commiserate!

@ Mr Micawber: I agree - I had trusted Leigh Butler to write a review more in line with my own reactions. Now, I half wish I'd waited for her re-read, it's probably going to be more entertaining, and better written :)

 

Bro, Leigh could think my views are one hundred percent wrong. That ain't my problem. My problem is more that her review is, well, pretty obsequious and cringing. When I read it, I nearly cried

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@Mr Micawber I think you misunderstood me! I agree with you - her review is surprisingly, um, let's call it positive. I say surprisingly, because I read her re-read over Christmas and I loved it. And then I read her review, and I got excited about the book. Now, I'm disappointed, both in her judgement, and in the book.

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@Mr Micawber I think you misunderstood me! I agree with you - her review is surprisingly, um, let's call it positive. I say surprisingly, because I read her re-read over Christmas and I loved it. And then I read her review, and I got excited about the book. Now, I'm disappointed, both in her judgement, and in the book.

 

My bad, bro.

 

I wrongly thought she would be an objective observer.

 

Her cheerleading in that review was appalling

 

"Like I said, flawless? No. Pretty damn stupendously awesome anyway? Yup."

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Not to doubt anyone's word but at this point, after seeing so many contradictory claims, I'm ready to see some real evidence before I can believe anything about which parts Jordan wrote and which Sanderson wrote.  If anyone has this information I think this thread would benefit a lot from it being linked to. 

 

Myself, I feel that Sanderson was simply a bad choice to fill this role, and I don't blame him personally for that.  I think his writing style is simply too different from Jordan's to make it work.  At his worst, Jordan could be way too micro, while Sanderson seems to err on the side of way too macro. This was a truly massive undertaking, so I have to acknowledge that getting it right to the degree that would satisfy an extremely scrutinizing fan base would have been incredibly difficult.  It had to have been a daunting task for him, but a big opportunity as well.  WoT books have been bestsellers for a long time now and because of this he's going to have his name on a much bigger marquee.  I can only assume he's also been well compensated for this project, and I hope that he has. 

 

That said, these books came out pretty quickly considering the history of the series and the immensity of the task at hand.  The guy is a writing machine, and while I was happy to see some swift movement after years of Jordan's foot dragging, but I'm not so sure in retrospect that the pace he set was the best thing for the series.  I'm very skeptical that the finished products wouldn't have been more polished if they'd been the sole focus of his attention rather split between working on several of his own projects in addition.  Speed was clearly a big priority for all parties involved and the die hard fans are obviously  the ones who suffer the most for that since their attention to detail is the greatest. 

 

Just before this book came out I'd finally talked my wife into reading the series.  She's on book 4 and enjoying it so far, but she's the type of reader who's much more into the characters and their development than the swordplay or the dramatic battle scenes.  I have a feeling I'm going to to have to do a lot of cajoling to get her though this book when she gets to it.

 

 

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Not to doubt anyone's word but at this point, after seeing so many contradictory claims, I'm ready to see some real evidence before I can believe anything about which parts Jordan wrote and which Sanderson wrote.  If anyone has this information I think this thread would benefit a lot from it being linked to. 

 

Myself, I feel that Sanderson was simply a bad choice to fill this role, and I don't blame him personally for that.  I think his writing style is simply too different from Jordan's to make it work.  At his worst, Jordan could be way too micro, while Sanderson seems to err on the side of way too macro. This was a truly massive undertaking, so I have to acknowledge that getting it right to the degree that would satisfy an extremely scrutinizing fan base would have been incredibly difficult.  It had to have been a daunting task for him, but a big opportunity as well.  WoT books have been bestsellers for a long time now and because of this he's going to have his name on a much bigger marquee.  I can only assume he's also been well compensated for this project, and I hope that he has. 

 

That said, these books came out pretty quickly considering the history of the series and the immensity of the task at hand.  The guy is a writing machine, and while I was happy to see some swift movement after years of Jordan's foot dragging, but I'm not so sure in retrospect that the pace he set was the best thing for the series.  I'm very skeptical that the finished products wouldn't have been more polished if they'd been the sole focus of his attention rather split between working on several of his own projects in addition.  Speed was clearly a big priority for all parties involved and the die hard fans are obviously  the ones who suffer the most for that since their attention to detail is the greatest. 

 

Just before this book came out I'd finally talked my wife into reading the series.  She's on book 4 and enjoying it so far, but she's the type of reader who's much more into the characters and their development than the swordplay or the dramatic battle scenes.  I have a feeling I'm going to to have to do a lot of cajoling to get her though this book when she gets to it.

 

Batcaver, I don't want to sound unfair, but Jordan's battle scenes and sword fights are orders of magnitude more dramatic than anything done by Sanderson. And they manage not to overwhelm the narrative

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Sanderson tends to write events towards and revolving into a major climax.  His battle scenes and action sequences resemble that of a cinematic director right down to the sometimes overly cheesie lines that his characters deliver.  It very much reminds me of an action movie.  Jordan wrote much more character driven and "real" action sequences that don't necessary come to a dramatic climax.  I have a preference and can list a million reasons why I prefer Jordan, but this is a point where there is just a blatant difference in style of writing and approach to scenes and Sanderson shouldn't be criticized too heavily here IMO (though it is fair to criticize his action scenes irrespective of how they differ from Jordans).

 

Some people like watching Transformer-esque movies, and some people like watching Lincoln-esque films.

Edited by Mark D
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@ Mr. Micawber

 

I couldn't agree more.  When I said Sanderson erred on the side of macro ( I assume this is what you're referring to) I mean that he tends to focus on the surface level of events, that he's too superficial at his worst.  What I meant by Jordan being too micro at his worst was all those passages full of irrelevant detail that were boring and unnecessary.

 

I totally agree about Leigh Butler.  The way she writes everything drives me so up that wall that I can barely read it.  I mean really.  No. Seriously. One. Word. Phatic. Sentence.

Edited by batcaver
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Sanderson was a solid, serviceable choice for finishing this series but he doesn't possess Jordan's ability to show how various elements of a battle occur simultaneously and inform each other. I noticed this during the Seanchan Assault on the White Tower. He could never match that tone which made the Siege of Cairhien, Battle of Falme, or the Cleansing so tense while remaining coherent.

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http://io9.com/5975831/the-wheel-of-time-rolls-to-a-stop-io9s-review-of-a-memory-of-light

 

"Personally, I think Sanderson probably gave us a better end than Jordan actually would have,"

 

I think I agree.

I have not read any of the posts after this, I'll go back to doing that now but I just had to comment on this review. It's complete BS, beginning to end, and that's not an abbreviation for Brandon Sanderson.

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I think I read that review as well. Doesn't hold a candle to the Leigh Butler one, though.

 

SQUEE!!!!

 

*rolls over and weeps for Bela while hugging cat*

 

Hysterical!!! hahahah

 

Saying that Brandon gave us a better ending than Jordan could have is ridiculous on any number of levels, not the least of which 1) it's impossible to prove, and 2) is 100% wrong. (how do you like that contradiction?) :-) It's ludicrous to suggest that the CREATOR behind a series *wouldn't* be the best person to finish it. (This is not shot at Brandon; it's merely a statement of fact. The reverse would be true if RJ were asked to finish Mistborn for Brandon!)

 

I think the reviewers that are overly-glowing (a la Leigh Butler's) are off base, as do I think the overly negative rage/hate, calling this book a complete failure, are also. (The very fact that there are people that hate the book and people that love the book is enough proof of that.) I think, as far as pacing goes, aMoL was the most action-packed book in the series. As I said in my initial reaction post, I was exhausted by it because *so much* was happening. But as far as where I'd rank it in the series? Hard to say. Certainly not the best, as that's probably tSR. (On a side note, I've seen a few people mention tFoH as an example of great pacing. Seriously, the I wanted to throw myself out the window during some of that Valan Luca nonsense.)

 

But I digress --

 

Mr. M -- I'm a little sad that you're gloating that you "convinced" Mark D. to hate the book (I'm sure he could have come to a more critical opinion of it on his own after a re-read.) I don't think that's something to be proud of, going out of your way to take someone's enjoyment away. To delight in that kind of thing just isn't right, regardless of what your opinion of the book is.

 

For all of you that hate it as a failure, I'm sad; I wish you could enjoy it as much as I did, getting a conclusion to the series, despite its problems.

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Here's the link: http://www.avclub.com/articles/robert-jordan-brandon-sanderson-a-memory-of-light,90562/

 

They give it a B+ (I felt it was closer to a B), but they don't hate on it and give justified critiques.

 

Wow! What a great review. (And by great, I mean spot-on.) Totally agree with you re: B vs B+.

 

I think the defining statement here is quite simply:

 

Perhaps that’s the best tribute Sanderson could’ve composed: an ending that satisfies without ever letting readers forget what was lost.

 

Couldn't agree more.

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Yeah, the AV Club usually does a good job being fair to the source material while still leveling a justified criticism or two.

 

 

For example, he said the same thing that Butler did about the inherent accomplishment of managing to finish this series, he just did so without all the clicks and whistles.

 

 

That guy Zack Handlen knows his Jordan, that's for sure. He also did the AV Club's review of The Gathering Storm.

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That was actually a pretty good review.  I don't know about B+, but he was pretty on target with the pros and cons of the book, while staying pretty generous.

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My biggest problem with the book was personal; for a series that had amazing battles staged in a very specific tone (through POVs), and which ended with Armageddon itself, we were stuck without Jordan's strongest quality. That's no knock on Sanderson, it just makes me wish Jordan had written the actual Last Battle instead of Knife of Dreams.

 

He also could have just written the whole last book instead of doing either CoT or KoD, but I think that probably would have been too much to ask.

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Oh, and she just brought up one of the things I hated about AMOL; shoe-horning openly gay characters into it. It seemed so appeasing.

 

It wasn't even successfully appeasing IMO. It was like - oh, he likes guys. And him, he likes guys too.

 

Right...

 

If he'd mentioned a functional relationship between two men in just one sentence, it might have been more satisfying. As it were, it seemed like a cop-out.

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