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After having given up on the Sword of Truth series after book 6 due to varies reasons (see review on Book 5), I decided to try the Wheel of Time. And I must say I've not been disappointed. Currently on book 8, I decided to review Book 1 since I figure most people will start here.
One thing that is extremely well done is the characters and their development. They continue to change and grow while staying true to the basic character traits that are established early on. The characters aren't suddenly changed from one book to the next, leaving the reader wondering what happened nor do they stagnate. The story and its details seem well thought out and planned, not made up by the writer on a whim.
Another thing that usually really bothers me is repetition of the story. I always assume people start from book one... and getting the back story told over and over and over again, frustrates me. That is not to say that there is no repetition in this series, but it is handled in a very clever way, by retelling the same situation (usually whatever happened at or near the end of the previous book) from a different angle, adding more information not just retelling what the reader already knows. It doesn't feel forced and there's no urge to skip the first hour of the story to get to the actual plot.
And on a side note... the readers of this book are excellent. Especially since some of the characters have very similar names, the voice acting of the readers really helps to keep them apart.
I would definitely recommend this series, even though it's long, as of Book 8, it still has enough new plot, character development and interesting new characters to make me want to keep 'reading'
I'm a big fan of Brandon Sanderson's work but I was a bit surprised when I noticed that this book was more of a 'superhero' (or supervillain) story. While I am a huge comic fan, it's not something I thought I would enjoy as a book. But it's Sanderson so I gave it a try.
I was very pleasently surprised. I really really enjoyed the book. The main character, though young and a little naive, is really likeable and his quirks, like using nonsensical metaphores (which could have been annoying) actually are sort of endearing. While the story is, at it's core, rather dark, it never feels too heavy or depressing. Sanderson finds a way to write a story of oppression and revenge in a fresh way, giving the reader interesting characters that aren't just limited to the main hero and villain.
I will not spoil the ending and while I did sort of see it coming after a key hint is dropped, I will say I really did enjoy it and the things it potentially means for the next books.
The speaker also does his job really well. He has a great reading voice and it's easy to recognize the different characters. While he does the important accents and in the book, they never become to heavy or too distracting. Job well done!
For fans of Sanderson who might be on the fence because of the subject of the story, fear not, it is worth it. For people who want to give the book a try but are weary of the 'superhero' matter, give it a shot. While superpowers are key to the story it actually isn't something that is distracting or feels forced. It works within the story and in the end leaves you with something that should have you looking forward to the next books.
While waiting for the WoT series to end I decided to bridge the time with some new audiobooks.
I picked this one up more by accident than anything else but let me say that I don't regret it.
The characters are interesting and well fleshed out, the story is rich and detailed and unlike some other fantasy books it does not take half the audiobook to actually get to the core of the story.
Every character has their own distinct personality and at no point in the story do you get a feeling that parts have been added just to pad the page count. The story feels planned and solid and the narrator does an excellent job conveying the emotions and state of mind of each character. And while some might find it a little irritating, I have to say I rather enjoy the narrators take on the different dialects and accents (which, while underlining story elements are thankfully not overused).
If you want a well written and well read story, complex but not convoluted, with characters that draw you in without necessarily being a cliche (though a hero is a hero), I would suggest giving this story a try. I was skeptical at first but I was proven wrong. This really is a great story and I hope the other two books are just as good.