First, this is the best series of books I have ever read/listened to and I am an avid fan. I am very impressed also with Brandon Sanderson's masterful work in keeping true to the tone and feel of the story...well done! My concern and disappointment is in the quality of the recording. Prior books were nothing to write home about, but there is a distinctly poorer quality audio starting with this book. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are amazing, certainly not dissing them in any way. But the audio has a significant level of harshness and sibiliance... it is brittle and brassy. If you switched recording studios or technicians or paid less for the recording/mastering processes that would likely explain some of it. If you didn't, someone screwed up. At the very least a tiny bit of work on the EQing of the sound would marginally help. I am hopeful you will fix this before the next book. It is very hard on the ears...so bloody harsh!!! And I am just very disappointed because I had hopes of listening to this again and again...not sure I will be able to stand it even once!!! Your producers need to sit up and take notice and FIX THIS!!!
I have withheld writing a review till now since in truth, I wasn't too sure if I was able to finish the Wheel of time series as was the case with the printed books. Thanks to Audible though, I finally was able to catch up to the current book and hence this review.
First and foremost, thank the living stars for Brandon Sanderson. I mean it. This book is by far the best in the series. Not only he has picked up and tied up loose ends that Jordan should have done so perhaps as far back as book six, but has forwarded the story in this one book that Jordan himself would have needed three to do so, fluff and filler padding to the story notwithstanding. If I could give it a standing ovation, I would.
Having said that, I still cannot recommend anyone to start with this book, great as it is. There is just too much that had gone on in the past that will throw off a new reader without that background knowledge. Don't get me wrong, the first six books were great, the next five more or less filler material just prepping the reader for this book.
At this point, I can't wait for the last final two in the Series. If Brandon Sanderson does as well a job as he did with this one, at least the Wheel of Time series will end with a bang instead of a whimper as with many multiple book series.
If you've considering buying this, I assume that you've read most of the books that came before it. So I won't address the story itself, instead I have to warn you, the male narrator in this audiobook sounds exactly like narrator True Crime shows on A&E-I had to speed his voice up to 2xs normal speed so that I could listen to it in the dark without thinking about unsolved violent crimes. I had no problems with the female narrator's voice, and was able to listen to her at normal speed.
I have been addicted to this series from the beginning. Sometimes I had to take a break from all the overwhelming detail that Jordan continually lavished on every single scene (do we really need to know the patterns of seed pearls that are sewn into the sleeve of a woman's dress?), but I always came back for the next installment.
I am happy to say that Sanderson has done a very good job of taking over the reins from Jordan. Sanderson is not as graceful a writer as Jordan....but, on the other hand, he is also not as obsessed with tiny irrelevant details as Jordan was. The pacing of this volume is a big improvement over the last couple of Jordan's books, and it is just as engrossing as any of the other WoT stories. I can't wait for the next one!
Sanderson has done a beautiful job carrying on the story Jordan hooked me on. I was prepared to be disappointed but was thrilled instead. The characters are still vivid and maintain their integrity and personality. This book is one of my favorite in the series.
I had never read a book by Brandon Sanderson, but since I've finished The Gathering Storm I've not only become an instant fan but also feel very happy that Robert Jordan's estate has chosen such a good author to finish his dream.
The narrators, Michael Kramer and Kate Redding, read this book (and really every book in the wheel of time) so well that I almost feel as though I am in this world. The narration is really fantastic and I have never listened to any other book that had this much depth and quality.
This book really speeds up the pacing, which has stagnated over the last few books. I had no trouble being transported back into this universe. Several parts of this book had me on the edge of my seat, or yelling and cheering, which to me is the measure of a good story.
Really enjoyed it, definitely worth it if you are a fan of WoT, which, let's be honest, you obviously are. If you aren't, why are you interested in book *twelve*? Most people can't even get through the 12 days of Christmas without giving up.
I have enjoyed the WOT series, but honestly, I felt it was starting to drag in the last few. However, this latest one was amazing. Without question a WOT book, but with wall to wall action, insights, and ever building action (with less ramble). This was my first audiobook of the series and it was excellently read. One of the top books of them all.
The series had started to wear me out, but this book re-engergized me, I can't wait for the next ones. Brandon Sanderson is the man.
An excellent attempt to bring closure to this series. The storyline is great the readers are like old friends. I would find myself driving slower just to be able to listen longer.