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 Post subject: Wheel of Time and other similar series
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Hey puzzlers,

I just finished book 3 of the Wheel of Time series, and I'm about to start book 4. It's still pretty good (though in my opinion Robert Jordan's got nothing on Tolkien), and I think I'm going to keep going for at least a few more books.

There are still 10 more books in the series for me to read, plus a prequel, plus one more book that has yet to be released. The books total more than 11,000 pages, over 4 million words, and just under 17 and a half DAYS of audio. (That's right, I'm an audiobook listener. Deal with it. 8-) )

I was wondering a few things:

1. To those of you who have read further in the series, is it worth it? Does it get old after a while? At the moment, I'm feeling entertained, but there have been many times where I feel like I just can't wait for a scene to be over so he can get on with the story.

2. I heard that the author expanded the expected novel-count of the series multiple times. First it was going to be 3 books, then 5 then 7, now 12 (with the last one broken into 3, making the total 14). The first few books seemed like they fit nicely together, but the end of the third book reminded me of a TV show that learns at the last minute that it isn't going to be cancelled, so it hurriedly throws together a new ending that points in the direction of the new season. The story would have ended really nicely, but in the last 5 minutes, it turns out that (spoiler alert) the person that EVERYONE, including the narrator, had said was the Dark One (the Wheel of Time equivalent of Sauron, if you couldn't guess from the not-so-creative top-bad-guy name) for 3 books, wasn't actually the Dark One. I mean seriously. If you're going to expand the series, do it in a way that doesn't expose you as not having planned ahead. This is just one of many examples of sloppy world-creation that I've noticed so far. My question is this: does the author's storytelling plan get more coherent as the series progresses? Or does he keep pulling story elements out of thin air as the need arises?

That's all for now. I know these books have an enormous following, so I imagine they are still pretty enjoyable 13 books in. I'd be interested to hear your opinions. I'm mostly looking for assurance that it is worth my time to keep working my way through the series.

-Eitan

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Last edited by pirsquared on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wheel of Time
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:14 pm 
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I've never heard of the Wheel of Time series, so my opinion on the matter is not really all that great. However from an avid reader in general, I do think that there is a limit to any good series of books, and to me fourteen is really pushing it. I agree that it isn't good for an author to expand the number of books at the expense of giving cheap endings.

If you are three books in and still enjoying it, read until they no longer give you satisfaction.

On another note, if you haven't already, I would HIGHLY recommend reading Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. Seven books long, and each one is absolutely amazing. If you grow bored with the Wheel of Time series, then switch to The Dark Tower series. It deals with good vs. evil in a tale that is timeless.

Good reading!

Chris

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 Post subject: Re: Wheel of Time
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Keep going. Things get much more complex and...deep, I suppose is a good word, in the middle of the series, around book 6/7, which is where it seemed to peak in quality. The story itself got a little old for me after that, but it's still a solid series, although the ones not written by Robert Jordan are a little bit different, stylistically. I'd at least read up until the end of book 4, I pretty much guarantee after the way it ends, you'll want to keep going :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Wheel of Time vs. A Song of Ice and Fire
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:59 am 
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Thanks for the suggestion, but now I have a dilemma.

Last summer, I started reading the series "A Song of Ice and Fire", which is another swords and sorcery series. Much heavier on the swords and much lighter on the sorcery, but the writing is absolutely ASTOUNDING. (The author George R. R. Martin deserves to have those two R's in his name.)

I got about halfway through book 3 before school got too busy for me to keep it going. The series is supposed to be 7 books long, but only 4 of them have been released. It's been more than 5 years since the fourth book was released, and at the time I was reading them, people had started wondering if the author was even working on book 5. Because of that, I hadn't been keeping track of the news.

I just found out that the fifth book is being released in less than a month.

I think I'm going to put the Wheel of Time on hold for a little while, and start reading from book 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire, since I don't remember much of what happened, and a lot of it is kind of a blur.

And to think I was expecting to do a Harry Potter run through before the movie comes out.... Oh, the things I do for books. (<-- aSoIaF fans will get that one)

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 Post subject: Re: Wheel of Time and other similar series
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:19 am 
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I burned out on Fantasy (and especiall the "band of adventurers" sort) a long time ago, but can recommend "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" by Tad Williams (the first novel is "The Dragonbone Chair"). I rate that series below Tolkein, but above Eddings' "Belgariad" and well above Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" which I gave up on around book 6. According to my wife - who just finished the penultimate novel - the pace does pick up again, but in the middle of the series an entire novel will contain nothing more than a brief check-in with each of the 50 or so characters but no actual plot.


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 Post subject: Re: Wheel of Time and other similar series
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:40 am 
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Robert Jordan died before he could complete the next novel. Apparently, he left enough notes for another author to attempt to finish up the Wheel of Time series. I don't know if those book(s) will be written.

As far as the series goes, in my opinion it loses steam around book 5 or 6 by getting bogged down in that world's version of politics.


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 Post subject: Re: Wheel of Time and other similar series
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:10 am 
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Screw it. I'm going to do a Harry Potter run-through. it's my last chance to do so before the last film.

Then I'll decide what I want to do.

-Eitan

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Eitan = "EIGHT-ahn"
Buy a Radio Cube 3! Only $150 at Eitan's Shapeways Shop
Check out my video: Twisty Puzzles a la Vi



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 Post subject: Re: Wheel of Time and other similar series
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:50 pm 
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Yay harry potter... lol

Personally i think that the way the Harry Potter series was written was excellent (with the whole thing being planned out and the author not making it up later) I think the make it up approach has been the downfall of many series.

But im in the middle of the Inheritance series and am finding the plot line is a lot like Star Wars with dragons XD


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