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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Quality Discussion Thread


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this desperate compulsion to prove that one's particular opinion is "correct" seems completely irrelevant to the topic of the thread which is a discussion of opinions. i can recommend r/wot if you don't like arguing and prefer having uncritical analysis and blind praise reflected back at you

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@suttree Thanks for the info I requested. I find it total opposite of what he wrote in his blog and wonder which is correct. if either. It does hint at some type of back pedaling or shifting of blame.

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I only made it through the first 10 pages pages, roughly 100 out the 332 1 star reviews and only got 5 mentions of e-books. It is all talking about faults with the writing. How did anyone come up with the "vast majority" having to do with the e-book? That is simply not ture.

Head to the last page and work back.  Vast majority there are about no eBook, which I have to say is a stupid reason to give the book 1 star. 

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4.3 is a very good average. Yet, if the fans here on this discussion board were polled, then I believe that the average rating would be down below a 3.0 which is unfortunate, in my opinion.

 

Perhaps its because dragonmounters might have been expecting too much? I don't know, but I'm just speculating about that.

Vambram!  You're back!  SOOOO stoked.

 

I know you like to think that DM'ers were expecting too much, but as many on this topic have stated repeatedly, our main issues with the book are NOT subjective, but objective.  Fanboi goggles may allow you to ignore the actual editing errors, continuity issues, mischaracterizations, bulky prose, and timeline clusterf*cks, but for many of us, they ruin the book.  We are fans fo this series just like everyone else, and we wanted at least a decent book to wrap it up.  TOM was a waste of time, and AMOL just carries on that legacy.

 

rane, all of your judgments concerning TOM and AMOL are your opinion and the opinions of a relatively few amount of people.

 

On the other hand, most of the readers of TGS, TOM, and AMOL give those books very good reviews and believe the exact opposite about the last 3 books as you do. Obviously, that means that means your main issues with are truly subjective and NOT objective. So therefore, perhaps if you were to remove your own hyper-critic goggles, you would be able to enjoy these books instead of subjecting yourself to disappointment. According to the sales figures and according to the reviews found on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, MOST of the fans enjoyed AMOL, thus enjoying a much better than "decent book to wrap up" the Wheel of Time series.

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4.3 is a very good average. Yet, if the fans here on this discussion board were polled, then I believe that the average rating would be down below a 3.0 which is unfortunate, in my opinion.

 

Perhaps its because dragonmounters might have been expecting too much? I don't know, but I'm just speculating about that.

Vambram!  You're back!  SOOOO stoked.

 

I know you like to think that DM'ers were expecting too much, but as many on this topic have stated repeatedly, our main issues with the book are NOT subjective, but objective.  Fanboi goggles may allow you to ignore the actual editing errors, continuity issues, mischaracterizations, bulky prose, and timeline clusterf*cks, but for many of us, they ruin the book.  We are fans fo this series just like everyone else, and we wanted at least a decent book to wrap it up.  TOM was a waste of time, and AMOL just carries on that legacy.

 

rane, all of your judgments concerning TOM and AMOL are your opinion and the opinions of a relatively few amount of people.

 

On the other hand, most of the readers of TGS, TOM, and AMOL give those books very good reviews and believe the exact opposite about the last 3 books as you do. Obviously, that means that means your main issues with are truly subjective and NOT objective. So therefore, perhaps if you were to remove your own hyper-critic goggles, you would be able to enjoy these books instead of subjecting yourself to disappointment. According to the sales figures and according to the reviews found on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, MOST of the fans enjoyed AMOL, thus enjoying a much better than "decent book to wrap up" the Wheel of Time series.

 

"most of the readers gave these books very good reviews...means your main issues are truly subjective and not objective"

 

actually it means nothing of the sort. if 90% of teenage girls believe twilight is better than shakespeare that does not make it an objective fact. the lowest common denominator is not the objective standard for quality in any sphere.

Edited by amolcomments
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[According to the sales figures

So by that argument Stephanie Meyer is a great author.

and according to the reviews found on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble,

Much the same as Twilight. So that series was well written?

 

Sales and a popularity contest(which is basically what Amazon is) says absolutely nothing about writing quality. Although once again out of the first 100 of those 1 star reviews that came after people had time to analyze the book all but 5 had to do with the writing.

 

When you look at the people who have put the most time into the series. Fans here in this Quality thread and the overwhelming majority over at Theoryland they are able to be realistic about the faults. Again those faults are entirely objective. Timeline issues, mistakes, and unpolished prose are not subjective. They are technical flaws. It helps no one to pretend they don't exist.

Edited by Suttree
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Whatever, amolcomments. Obviously you do want to trash the book. 

 

But, when you stoop down to insulting me, then that is when I consider the source, and ignore you. 

 

Go on having fun talking to yourself and the rest of those who have chosen to trash A Memory of Light.

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i deliberately went back and edited my last comment since it included an ad hominem that i was accusing you of making. didn't you leave this thread originally because you were incapable of offering a defensible argument to support your case in the first place?

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i deliberately went back and edited my last comment since it included an ad hominem that i was accusing you of making. didn't you leave this thread originally because you were incapable of offering a defensible argument to support your case in the first place?

 

No, I left this thread originally because after several pages, it became extremely obvious that nobody was going to change their mind about the subject of debate. 

 

Guess what? That hasn't changed. No one is changing their minds or opinions about whether or not AMOL is a very good book.

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There's your problem. Mature people can talk civilly and usefully about subjects on which they disagree. Or whatever Mr Ares does, that's along the same lines.

 

Granted that's hard to do within the confines of the new, new, new thread rules...of which I've lost track anyway. When we can make our own topics here, it should be easier for you to ignore any criticism.

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Civilly?   Not a lot of that coming from some of the critics of the last book.

 

 

Usefully?  Well, not really anymore when all sides have already clearly stated their opinions multiple times 

 

In my opinion, this thread could be reduced in size by 50% without reducing the quality of the repetitive discussion of disagreements between those on the various sides of the issues.

 

 

Those who believe that TGS, TOM, and AMOL are NOT good books will always continue to do so. Meanwhile, those who believe that the last 3 books are INDEED very good book will also continue to do so.

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4.3 is a very good average. Yet, if the fans here on this discussion board were polled, then I believe that the average rating would be down below a 3.0 which is unfortunate, in my opinion.

 

Perhaps its because dragonmounters might have been expecting too much? I don't know, but I'm just speculating about that.

Perhaps it's because we're more critical? Perhaps it's because we have paid more attention to some of the problems the book has - things which aren't hugely noticeable in a lot of cases (such as timeline issues), but because we're in contact with other people with which to discuss, and many of us look into these books in great depth, we see a great many flaws. There's so much there that most people won't pick up everything, good or bad, but as we discuss with others we get a more full picture of what was there and what wasn't. An individual isn't necessarily going to pick up on everything, maybe for a lot of people things like Mat's interactions with Min don't ring alarm bells because it's been so long since they read the books they just accept things. Then someone else picks up on the problem and shares it, so someone who at first didn't see a problem now does - and it is a problem, even if it is one that won't necessarily cripple your enjoyment of the book. This can go both ways - minor world building details, answers to questions, solutions to problems, these things can be shared as well, and enhance the enjoyment of the books. I don't think we're asking too much, though we are asking a lot. We're asking for something tightly written and well thought through. For the characters to act and sound as themselves, and for what they do to make sense in that context. AMoL could have been so much more than it ended up being. That's the biggest disappointment - it's not that we set our sights too high to ever be met, but we set them very high all the same and they weren't reached. Had we lowered our expectations we would have been less disappointed, but I think we would be selling BS, Team Jordan and the series short, not to mention RJ's memory. I don't see why we should be satisfied with mediocrity, not if we love this series. Frankly, I would have been more satisfied with this book if I cared less about the series.

 

There's your problem. Mature people can talk civilly and usefully about subjects on which they disagree. Or whatever Mr Ares does, that's along the same lines.

Mr Ares can't talk civilly even about things on which he agrees with the person he's talking to about. Frankly, you should all just be lucky he can talk at all.

 

Those who believe that TGS, TOM, and AMOL are NOT good books will always continue to do so. Meanwhile, those who believe that the last 3 books are INDEED very good book will also continue to do so.

Well, good arguments are, at least in theory, capable of swaying a person from one side to the other. So if it is the case that someone cannot be swayed from one side to the other, it is because they are either deaf to reason, or the other side has no reasoned arguments to offer.

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My thoughts on AMoL:

 

In this book I first time noticed the flaws in BS's WoT writing. I had really liked TGS and TOM, but this book disappointed me a little. This time I felt Mat was wrong, especially in the beginning. I had no problems with him in TOM- in that book he really did something interesting. But now, after the Finns, I felt he didn't have anything great to do. And he didn't do anything except war leading and Prince of Ravens- things. He didn't even blow the Horn! (Though that plot twist was good.) I think he had fulfilled his "destiny" in Ghenjei/Sindhol. Oh, and he killed Fain. Well, maybe that was good. But Mat wasn't so important thing after all, so let's write about else.

 

The continuing, boring battles in the middle of the book were the worst part. Characters felt less important than the massive battles, and that was very bad. I'm not so interested in armies and Trollocs, but instead about the complex characters, and they were unfortunately not so well written in this point. I also felt the strike at Shayol Ghul wasn't so grand and Shadowy as I had expected- Rand just went there, fought a little with Moridin (who was one of my biggest disappointments) and then started the true Last Battle with the Dark One. And from it, the great part of the book began.

 

From chapter 32 to end the book felt very good again. In the Last Battle chapter, the characters returned, and I enjoyed the many new POVs. Rand's visions with the Dark One were so very beautiful, they showed me what Light and Shadow really meant. Egwene's death was perfect, and Faile's arc was exciting. The closing of Dark One's prison was expected- Why did I read that theory on "the three shall be as one"? It went exactly as that someone had thought, and took the surprise of it. The same was with the bodyswap, though the actual end scene was surprising and quite perfect. Perrin's ending was fitting for his character, as well as Cadsuane's.

 

So, this was a good book, but I hope it had been the ch37- level writing through the whole story. Overall, I'm not disappointed, and this book didn't ruin WoT though I was more critical on it than the other books. A Memory of Light is a good book, at some parts excellent. That's my opinion. I hope you understand this review (Should I have put this on the review thread? Well, never mind...)

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My thoughts on AMoL:

 

In this book I first time noticed the flaws in BS's WoT writing. I had really liked TGS and TOM, but this book disappointed me a little. This time I felt Mat was wrong, especially in the beginning. I had no problems with him in TOM- in that book he really did something interesting. But now, after the Finns, I felt he didn't have anything great to do. And he didn't do anything except war leading and Prince of Ravens- things. He didn't even blow the Horn! (Though that plot twist was good.) I think he had fulfilled his "destiny" in Ghenjei/Sindhol. Oh, and he killed Fain. Well, maybe that was good. But Mat wasn't so important thing after all, so let's write about else.

He rescued the armies of the Light from the Compelled great captains and general-ed them to victory in the physical Last Battle. And killing Fain was very important as well (although I felt that section was rushed and a bit of a let down). He was more than just a little important. As for how Mat "felt" - I thought he was slightly worse here than ToM but better than he was in tGS. 

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RJ was a freemason, here is a pretty good article on the topic...

 

http://13depository.blogspot.com/2002/03/freemasonry-and-wheel-of-time.html

 

 

I'm a Mason, and have been for over 20 years.  My father is a senior Mason, as was his father.  On my maternal side, my grandfather was a very senior mason indeed, and my great grandfather was also a Mason.  (I don't think that my parents' marriage was masonically-arranged, though, as my mother tells me that her father detested my father on sight, and it took two years of hard work on my father's part to change his mind.)

 

I can see some of the parallels in the article, but to be honest most of them seem to be a bit of a stretch, and could apply just as easily to several other organisations. Having experienced English, Scottish and American Freemasonry, I would say that the American style tends to be structurally much closer to the Scottish than the English - so maybe I miss some of the symbolism.  The ring-thing, for example, is reminiscent of the ring that a bishop wears as a symbol of his authority.  Rings are not a feature of English Freemasonry, as far as I have ever seen.  The "Eye in the Pyramid", similarly, is not an English (or Scottish) symbol; the "Eye in the Triangle" is, but that is specifically a triangle, with a specific meaning that would be destroyed were the triangle turned into a pyramid.

 

World Freemasonry is much more varied than many people think.

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As a long time lurker I'd like to add my tuppence to this debate.

 

Since Brandon took over the series the quality of the series has dropped considerably book by book. In TGS it wasn't too bad with it, some of the characters seemed a bit off, but with the exception of every thing involving Mat it was acceptable. Not great, but acceptable.

 

In TOM things really started to go off the rails. Lots of characters were different, (Elayne became an absolute idiot) Aes Sedai and nobles started talking as though they were yokels. Many scenes made no sense, especially those when Mat and Perrin had audiences with Elayne which I personally found cringeworthy. The management of the timeline was appalling and the battle scenes that many of those here think are Brandon's strengths I found to be very poor.

 

I had few hopes of AMOL being any better, especially after the released chapters. In truth I found it a little better than I expected, but only in a sense of bringing the series to a conclusion.The characterisation was gone. I didn't recognise any of the main characters as those Jordon wrote. At best they were cardboard cutouts of the characters, at worst they were caricatures, but mostly they were flat and bland. There seemed to be no empaphy with any of them. They were only there as a means to an end. The battles were battles for battles sake mostly and the continued repetition of the Perrin/Slayer feud was tiresome. I thought that most of the characters who died their deaths were poorly handled. I could go on forever about the lack of resolutions, the plot errors and the typos, but in the end it was the ending that annoyed me most. No explanation of what had happened between Rand and Modrin and the strange way his women reacted to it. It had the feel as some have said here of a David Eddings book, but not of one of his better early books but rather one of the very poor later books from the Elder Gods series.

 

In short the only satisfaction I got from this book was that it finished the series, but it finished it with a wimper rather than a bang and for that I cannot thank Brandon or Team Jordon who I feel have let us down badly with this final product.

Edited by Flipsaken
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As a long time lurker I'd like to add my tuppence to this debate.

 

No explanation of what had happened between Rand and Modrin and the strange way his women reacted to it. It had the feel as some have said here of a David Eddings book, but not of one of his better early books but rather on of thi very poor later books from the Elder Gods series.

I don't agree with the comparison between aMoL and the Elder Gods but I figured I'd say that Eddings Elder Gods series was my least favorite fantasy series I've ever read (and I'm a fan of most of Eddings' work). I can't imagine even the Brandon haters thinking these books are that bad.

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I don't agree with the comparison between aMoL and the Elder Gods but I figured I'd say that Eddings Elder Gods series was my least favorite fantasy series I've ever read (and I'm a fan of most of Eddings' work). I can't imagine even the Brandon haters thinking these books are that bad.

Ok, it's perhaps a bit harsh using that series as an example, but some of the same flaws are there, the flat characterisation, lack of empathy  and the plot which just went by the numbers. I felt as though Eddings in that series was just going through the motions.

 

AMOL is definitely not as bad as that, but found that I could not connect with the characters as I had when they were written by Jordan. The same could be said for Eddings as I could not connect with the characters in that series as I had for the Belgarion or Sparhawk books. That too was a painful series. I loved Eddings' books and had to buy the hardback Elder Gods just to have all his books on my bookcase.

 

Having said that this is the only real comparison between the two. AMOL had too many other flaws to make it a proper ending to the series

Edited by Flipsaken
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lol reading some of the comments here ... So much hate for the job Sanderson did.  You guys realize that the last 3 books were better than any of the RJ books other than TEOTW, TGH and TFOH?  Think about that... RJ dumped out a massive story, drove it into the ground (I don't think ANYONE is here to defend the disaster that the last decade of RJ writing turned out to be) and Sanderson swooped in, provided 3 entertaining books while pulling out of the nosedive the series was in ... and all some of you can say is "I can't wait to get to the RJ part" ... lol are you kidding? What part is that? Where Nanaeve sniffs a dozen times and yanks her braid off?

 

Sanderson wasn't perfect but its so mindless that some of you can't accept that he gave WOT a better ending than RJ would have (Or any of you wannabe literary critics). Yes, thats the truth. Deal with it.  RJ completely lost his touch or his inspiration or whatever he had that helped him start a great fantasy series.  There was NO indication that he was suddenly going to turn the mess around and wrap it up with the relative quality that Sanderson did.  In fact, in RJ's mind he was wrapping things up in 1 book... I'm sure that book would have been great /sarcasm.   Yah instead you have to deal with Sanderson not remembering the exact number of millions of troops the light had and Sanderson's use of modern terminology.  Harriot could have edited either problem btw.  So stop complaining, thank the man, and enjoy the conclusion.

 

By fantasy standards the series started great, became unreadable in the middle and ended decently.  That's WOT's legacy.

 

Your opinion: Sanderson gave a better ending than RJ would have.

 

My opinion: AMOL was garbage and the worst of Sanderson's contributions to the series. Let's chuck writing arguments out the window since people can't seem to understand the difference between taste (subjective) and quality (objective).

 

Here's all my issues, just the ones that I can think of

 

Demandred:

- exhibits cartoon supervillain intelligence, constantly yelling across the battlefield like retard instead of nuking vast chunks of army with ease

- thinking rand is at FOM instead of shayol ghul....why? bunch of weak reasons ooh the other general is amazing, no one can be as awesome a general as lews therin, blah blah blah...bottom line the Dragon is at shayol ghul at the last battle. the prophecy is "his blood on the rocks of shayol ghul" not "his blood on some random field in the middle of nowhere"

- why do random black ajah know rand is at shayol ghul when one of the chosen doesn't, also why can't a single one spare 2 minutes to tell demandred given everyone's travelling like its going out of fashion 

- has circle of 72 and sa'angreal and does crap all with it

- fighting 3 duels with progressively better swordsmen to settle who is the best swordfighter question is young adult level fan gratification

- passing retconned male immune foxhead around each swordsmen so they can all have a go at demandred was like reading a season of dragonball z in print

- darth vaderesque rock throwing is the best demandred can manage with ridiculous amount of power, if rand put up that kind of show fighting nonchannelers he'd have been dead by book 4

- getting killed by nonchanneler = worst forsaken death ever

 

Perrin vs Slayer

- matrix style cartoon fight that takes up huge chunk of book while simultaneously being completely meaningless

 

Shayol Ghul

- massive amounts of rubbish nothing fight happening there, innumerable wasted elements including red veils and darkhounds

- thom composing horrible epic with vocab of about 10 words, forget high chant he can barely speak english

- random aes sedai trying to walk past thom to get stabbed in the back instead of just incinerating him

 

Generals

- having to read same general compulsion subplot four times, shoot me

 

Army of Shadow

- trivialised by sharans - this is the last battle the ultimate fight between light and shadow and the most important force on the evil side isn't the shadow

 

Seanchan

- do crap all in last battle except stand around and annoy me

- Knotai

 

Last Battle

- trollocs boiling out of the blight, cities overrun, vast armies, nope, bunch of trollocs at field of merrilor is it

- about 80% of book is identical fight against numerbeless trollocs with protaganist's names changed, meaningless babble with nothing at stake

 

Androl

- superhero who does everything except fight shai'tan

- logain gets completely sidelined, along with all my favourite ashaman like flinn and narishma

 

Black Tower

- in which nothing happens except the ocean's 11 rescue

 

Rand vs Dark one

- DO is the most ineffectual, useless ultimate evil ever

- worst Rand vs. anyone fight in whole series

- the pattern fight and worlds that might has been written at least 3 times before in this series and better every time

 

Padan Fain

- appears out of nowhere and dies instantly

- add Taim in there since he was another character with books-long build up completely wasted

 

God I'd have to read it again to list everything wrong with AMOL. I waited 15 years to read it and I'll never read it again.

 

most accurate post in entire thread.

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I enjoyed AMOL so much so, that I have already read the entire book twice, and I expect to do another full re-read of the complete Wheel of Time series by the end of this year. That will make it my 20th re-read of the entire series. 

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My thoughts on AMoL:

 

In this book I first time noticed the flaws in BS's WoT writing. I had really liked TGS and TOM, but this book disappointed me a little. This time I felt Mat was wrong, especially in the beginning. I had no problems with him in TOM- in that book he really did something interesting. But now, after the Finns, I felt he didn't have anything great to do. And he didn't do anything except war leading and Prince of Ravens- things. He didn't even blow the Horn! (Though that plot twist was good.) I think he had fulfilled his "destiny" in Ghenjei/Sindhol. Oh, and he killed Fain. Well, maybe that was good. But Mat wasn't so important thing after all, so let's write about else.

He rescued the armies of the Light from the Compelled great captains and general-ed them to victory in the physical Last Battle. And killing Fain was very important as well (although I felt that section was rushed and a bit of a let down). He was more than just a little important. As for how Mat "felt" - I thought he was slightly worse here than ToM but better than he was in tGS. 

 

Well, I didn't mean it so seriously. I just meant that I'm not going to write more about Mat, since there's much else in the book too. This isn't a Mat thread, after all.

 

Just to add something to the "feeling": Mat was in TGS so little that I can't quite judge him in that book. In that book, at least, he did nothing very important.

 

That's all.

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The next series I will likely read is going to be Bakker's...and I've delved into them slightly so far and I really dont see how or why his prose is considered superior to RJ's.  RJ definitely seems to have a significantly more vast vocabularly that's for sure.

Ugh... Bakker is not in the same league. I was present for the writing of the majority of his novels and we discussed his style and method in detail. He may weave a fine web of theology and semiotics but it does not compare with WoT when it comes to writing a basic story line. I started reading several of his novels, both fantasy and mystery and sold the books long before the last chapter.

 

Same went for GRRM. I read to about halfway through the first book then brought it to my local used book store. I enjoy reading about characters and thus get annoyed when they kick the bucket for no reason at random intervals.

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