Random Thoughts on my Re-Read
I read this book when it came out last year in hardback and when I reviewed it I raved about how good it was. Yes there were flaws but it was a very, very good step along the way in the Wheel of Time. Now that the next book is coming out (release date 11/2/10, I'm getting on 11/5/10) I of course had to revisit this book to make sure I'm up on all the plot/character developments.
This time around I listened to the audio version via Audible.com. It took me about a week to get through all 33 hours, which is the same amount of time it took me to read it the first time (I took it slow so I could enjoy it). The two narrators might as well be know as the "voice of the Wheel of Time" because they have narrated EVERY book in the series so far (there are 12 in the main series plus one prequel). In general I enjoy their work very much, but there were a few pronunciation issues that bugged me in this book. And also, a few time Redding's narration of particular characters seemed a bit off. Maybe I was just paying more attention to this book, but I don't remember those issues with previous books.
I mentioned in my first review that Mat's characters didn't feel quite right but that I still liked him. I noticed it a lot more this time though. Yes his parts are often laugh-out-loud funny and I enjoyed them, but it really didn't feel/sound like the Mat I've come to know through the series. Sanderson acknowledged that fact in several interviews and stated that he put much more time into correcting Mat's character in the new book (The Towers of Midnight); I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out.
Also in my first review I mentioned three main characters and their climactic scenes: Rand, Egwene, and Verin. This time I was struck again by the awesomeness that is Egwene. She's never been a particular favorite of mine (though I didn't dislike her either) but her part of the story is simply fantastic. It made me tear up yet again, even knowing ahead of time what was going to happen! Rand's climactic scene didn't impress me as much this time, though it was still very dramatic. And Verin's big scene seemed more low-key than I remembered, though I still find her to be the most interesting character in the book.
I'm super excited to pick up The Towers of Midnight on Friday. I'll be having dinner with a group of Wheel of Time fans then we'll be going over to the book signing together. Woohoo!