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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Gathering Storm (re-read)

NOTE: This mini review is spoiler-free except for the mention of a few characters names (meaning that they are still alive by this point in the series.)

by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson 
Book 12 of The Wheel of Time
audiobook: 33 hours
narrated by Michael Kramer and Kate Redding


Random Thoughts on my Re-Read

The Gathering Storm (The Wheel of Time)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.
Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time)
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!

2 comments:

ibeeeg said...

I did not read your review in full because well...I am still on book 4, The Shadow Rising. Although, I am almost done. I cannot wait to get to these last few books. Hopefully I will be there by next year this time.

What I did read in your review was a bit about the audiobook narrators. I have listened to and read each book, up to this point. I have listened to the audiobook more for some books over others. With that said, I am not too keen on the narrators. They don't seem to do it for me, and I am now starting to wonder if possibly their tone inflections, and emphasis is playing an effect on how I am viewing the women. I don't know. Will I keep listening to the books? yep, because I have found a groove that works for me in getting through these amazing tomes...reading and listening.

Hope you immensely enjoy Towers of Midnight!

Heather J. said...

ibeeeg - Ooh book 4 is a GREAT one! You make an interesting point about the narrators. I wonder if I was simply so excited to revisit the books after many years away that I wasn't as critical as I would usually be about the narrators' performances? Like I said, I found several things to "complain" about in THIS audiobook - and now I'm wondering if those quirks were there all along ...

Still, like you, I won't be giving up the audios. They are a great way to revisit a treasured series!

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