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Sanderson saves the Wheel of Time

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Steerpike, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yes Sanderson has moved the action forward. He makes you want to read just one more chapter.
     
  2. Konrad

    Konrad Scribe

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    Hmmm. In some ways this series was very easy to bash (for all of the above reasons), but on the other hand, each book seemed to have those special parts that I just could not put down. Perrin's wolf encounters and battles. Matt's bizarro world and later marriage. Lan's focus as literally the last man standing of his line.

    The writing sometimes is flawed (and no, you could never make Jordan politically correct with regard to women pressing their skirts flat), but the creativity goes much further than what the critics would have you believe. Sanderson seems to have done a good job--and the writing is tighter--but I guess we'll just have to see how he wraps everything up.

    K
     
  3. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I'm 200 pages into A Memory of Light, and I have some random observations about the book and him in general:

    I've never been a huge Sanderson fan. I think he's done well concluding WoT, but, otherwise, I think he's just competent. I've read all four Mistborn books but don't feel that they were all that great. I literally couldn't tell you anything about The Way of Kings despite having read it. Seriously, I don't remember the characters or the plot. In general, I remember reading it and not hating it, but that's it.

    I've progressed a lot in my writing ability since the last time I read a Sanderson book. I have to say some of the techniques he used in A Memory of Light distracted me but only because I'm incredibly particular about such things. I don't think most of those technical issues make any kind of difference to most readers and opinions will vary among those who have thoughts on such things.

    I think that, mainly, I don't find Sanderson's characters all that memorable, and characters are what drive my reading experience. With WoT, he's starting with characters I already love and does a great job with them, but he seems to not be able to create a character from scratch that I love.

    A Memory of Light, though I'm enjoying it quite a bit, isn't drawing me in. I'm finding it incredibly easy to put down. The Jordan written ones, despite the flaws, kept me turning pages even when I knew I should be going to bed or paying attention to my wife. I think perhaps the problem is that he keeps jumping for character to character and event to event. It is, perhaps, unavoidable. There are a lot of threads that have to be tied up. On the other hand, I can't help but think of Titanic - by the end, I'm thinking, "Will the stupid ship just sink already?"
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Interesting, Brian. I couldn't stand to read the last three or four that Jordan wrote. I had to listen to them on CD because I just couldn't take it any more :)
     
  5. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I'm not saying that I didn't skip over some sections the second and third times I reread it...

    Of course, I think I'm somewhat more discerning in my tastes now. It'll be interesting to find out how I feel after the next time I go through it. Don't know when that will be, though. It literally takes all my free time for a month to do it and leaves my wife seriously ticked.

    EDIT: 2013 is turning out to be a good reading year for me so far - I've already finished 4 books, all of which I enjoyed; I'll finish A Memory of Light this week; and I believe John Ringo has his latest Troy Rising book coming out later this month.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
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  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yeah, I've read a number of good books already as well, which is nice. This zombie book Dead City is turning out to be a lot better than expected as well. I'm looking forward to A Memory of Light. I have not read any of Ringo's Troy Rising books. I'll have to check those out.
     
  7. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Have you read Ringo at all and liked him? If not, I would suggest checking out reviews before trying him. His style is a lot different than what my impression of the kind of stories you would like (though I could be completely off on that).

    Action drives the stories, and the heroes are very heroic. I like, though, how he infused much more emotion in his stories than the typical action writer.

    I view his works as popcorn reading - just kinda light and fun.
     
  8. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I can't find anything about a book 4. Do you know anything else about it?

    I think it's been a topic on here a few times how writing changes your tastes in reading. When I go back to read old favorites nowadays, I find myself fast-forwarding through most of them just to re-experience the plot, characters and settings I fell in love with the first time. It's a rare writer that I want to read their prose for a second time--in fact, I can't think of any.

    I too would caution you, Steerpike, although I am most surprised that Brian likes Ringo. I think they're good stories, to which I assume you enjoy.

    My biggest warning of Ringo is not his style or characters (to which the aforementioned reviewers BWFoster78 referenced would cover), but rather that the easily offended liberal may not want to read them. I am very liberal and I have no problem with them, but I can see some people grow irate if they take stuff too seriously.

    Note: Can only speak of Troy Rising, most of the Posleen War books (but not the extended ones), the first Cally's War, and There Will Be Dragons.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I've read a couple of Ringo books and I thought they were fun. Quite the Libertarian streak running through them, but that's OK. I like Heinlein as well.
     
  10. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Oops. I was thinking that he had a Troy Rising book coming out. It's actually a Paladin of Shadows book. Even better. And it's already out! Awesome.

    Sorry about that.

    I think it's an illustration of two things:

    1. Story trumps technique. The stories are fast paced and fun, and he's really good at getting the emotions right - not too little to make the characters flat but not too much to turn to melodrama.

    2. You can write as crappy as you want IF it works. For him, it works. I'm looking very forward to the next book of his I read so that I can analyze it more.

    To the best of my knowledge, I've read literally everything he's published except for two books - one of the sequels to the Posleen War and the aforementioned just released one.

    Note that I've purchased a lot of his books, and now he's one of the few authors I will buy newly released books from. Note that I found his books because he and Baen gave a lot of them away.
     
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  11. danr62

    danr62 Sage

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    I am a Sanderson fan and the fact that he picked up the series is the only thing making me consider picking it up again. But that would mean having to dig through my storage unit, pull out the heavy a** book boxes, and dig through them until I find all of the WoT books. Then I would have to reread them. Then I would have to pick up and trudge through the next 2 or 3 books before the Sanderson books pick up.

    I'm still on the fence with this one.
     
  12. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    That's how I found them as well! Looks like the free books as a promotion tool worked well with us!

    You could always go to the library.

    I never stopped being interested in WoT, so it wasn't a big ordeal for me to decide, but if I was on the fence then it would be a question of my emotional investment in the characters and their lives and wanting to know what will happen to them. If that applies to you, then it's probably a no-brainer.

    The only fear I have is that the ending will be a giant kick-in-the-teeth "reset" instead of a satisfying conclusion.

    I am chomping at the bit to be able to purchase the last book and am hoping for a summer purchase--maybe even a spring one!
     
  13. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I'll finish reading it this weekend and will publish a review next week. I do my best to put no spoilers in my review, but I'll try to answer that question in general terms.

    No joke!

    Regarding your comment about being surprised by liking Ringo, my second favorite genre, after coming-of-age epic fantasy, is combat sci fi. Go figure.
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Some good books I can recommend:

    The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
    Armor, by John Steakley
    Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
    Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
    Tanya Huff's series, starting with Valor's Choice
    Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet series
     
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  15. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    I enjoy this genre as well. Thanks for the recommendations. Sword and Laser just recommended Old Man's War too, but these all look to be heavyweights I am aware of but haven't read. Thanks!
     
  16. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I'll check some of those out.

    You didn't mention Gordon Dickson. Do you not like his stuff, or have you not read him?
     
  17. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Zero,

    I'm not sure if you're going to like the ending or not. Still, it did reach what I thought was a satisfying conclusion that fit the story and was worth the read.
     
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  18. Konrad

    Konrad Scribe

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    Wait--somebody clue me in...

    Did he actually finish the series? I thought there would possibly be two books left...

    I mean, of course, clue me in, but no spoilers, please!

    K
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    My understanding is that it is finished, Konrad.
     
  20. Konrad

    Konrad Scribe

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    Cool... I seem to be in the minority, but for all its flaws, I did like The Wheel of Time. Jordan had a brilliant imagination, and the games of houses were worth it for me. Yes, I did get tired of the "every woman is in heat" approach, and no, I can't imagine re-reading the series, but it certainly was better than a number of fantasy tales I have on my shelf.

    I thought Sanderson did a good job with the previous book. It was a fairly smooth transition, and he is quite a capable writer. It must of been an ungodly amount of work to read Jordan's notes, the books while trying to get a handle on the myriad (or is multitude a better word?) threads that needed to be wrapped up to end the book.

    Anyway, off to the book store...

    K
     
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