This was an amazing book and I’ve been a long time fan of Mr. Jordan and the Wheel of time series. Like all his fans, I was sorry to learn of his passing, but thrilled to learn the WOT series would be completed by Mr. Sanderson.
The Gathering Storm is a good listen and gave us all the same ride we’ve gotten from the other 11 books. However, I like some feel the disappointment as well since we all watched, waited with great anticipation for what we thought would be the end in book 12, but only came to learn that now we’re going to have to wait even longer and an additional 2 books to finally learn the ending.
I understand that it would be huge and long if the book were completed as Mr. Jordan had intended it to be, but I also understand and feel the let down others feel. Of course we’ll wait and read the rest of the books, but overall, this really is a big let down. It’s only a guess, but I’m guessing the marketing and profit had more to do with ending the WOT series than length of the book. That’s just a guess though.
This book is the story of a collection of characters with massive egos whose biggest concern seems to be engaging in verbal one-upmanship with whomever they happen to be speaking with. This is such a prominent character tendency (flaw) as to make the book unreadable.
This is especially true of the women in the series. They are all way to much, "I am woman, hear me roar!" Not just one or two mind you, but darn near every one, antagonist and protagonist alike. It's enough to drive you crazy. I can appreciate a strong female character. Look at nearly all of the female characters in Sanderson's The Way of Kings. They are strong, and they manage to have civil conversations with others without getting completely worked up over every cotton picking little thing.
No one gets along in Jordan's universe. I mean NO ONE! Even if they are on the same side, they can't have a single conversation without gritting their teeth, tensing their jaw, coldly staring or just flat out screaming at the other person and storming away. It seems at times that every character feels that they should be worshiped. How dare "so and so" talk to them in that way!
It is strongly implied that the protagonists are the most powerful, wise and intelligent warriors and magicians that the world has ever seen. At the very least, it is reinforced, time and time again that they are are uniquely qualified to save the world. Yet they can't put their petty squabbles away long enough to work together to save the entirety of mankind. These people are supposed to be HEROES!
Such a shame because the world and concept that Jordan created is very deep and detailed. Too bad the characters, with a few exceptions are arrogant jerks.
I know real people like this. They are not happy and they are very hard to be around. I don't like hanging around real jerks. I surely don't want to waste my time reading about a bunch of fictional ones. Flame away Jordan fans...
I have enjoyed this series a lot, and had started over listening to the books before The Gathering Storm came out. On day one of the new release, I downloaded it, but decided to continue listening to the rest of the series, so that it would not be as long before book thirteen to be released. However, my son-in-law read this one and said he liked it even better than the other eleven. I decided to listen to it and I have to agree with him. What an incredible book! If only we didn't have to wait another couple of years to get to the conclusion. Great job, Brandon!
The first few books were very good, but the latter ones are quite awful. Unfortunately, this book is in the awful category. The pacing is terrible with little action, it is more of a psychodrama than fantasy fiction, there is an absurd overabundance of verbiage, and the plot is hopelessly muddled. Nothing much really happens in the book. Rand essentially does nothing but have a few meetings and suffer angst; I don't need to read about that, I do that every day. The other two major male characters are in transit and do nothing. Elaine is completely absent. Nynave gets a lot of chapters but is just used as a way to explore Rand's angst. Aviendah suffers angst. The only real action in the book revolves around Egwene and Siuan; that was some good stuff, but the rest of the work was essentially piontless. Does the series not have an editor? Too much of the book is spent inside Rand/Hamlet's head (Ramlet?). More Myyrdal, fireballs and battles please.
I 'read' it and I will read the next two books. But I am very disapointed at how the series has degenerated.
I was very pleased with the voice actors.
I have read/ listened to all of Jordan's books in the series over the many years. When the series started I thought it was bound to be one of the classics. It is NOT.
When a story has so many sub-plots, hundreds of characters and is thousands of pages long it becomes tedious to follow. I downloaded this and listened for over 10 hours and decided it is not worth my time.
Jordan's early books were great and I am also a Brandon Sanderson fan. They decided split the final book into multiple books just to continue the tedious story and it style of wandering. Sanderson would have made many of us happy if he had continued his style, instead of mimicking Jordans, and brought the threads together quickly.
Sorry to say, I am quitting on this series after having invested hundereds of hours in it.
I too am very disappointed that after wading through 11 books to find that 12 had turned in 12,13, and 14.
I am glad that it was picked up to be finished after the sad loss of Robert.
However in true style it moves the story only a very little way for so many words.
I hated the narration both voices were too 'old ' and dry sounding and lacking in excitement and pitch variation. Particularly when Rand is speaking, didnt match the voice in my head- I have read all the rest, not listened.
It wasn't clear to me that you REALLY had to read the preceeding books. I listened to quite a bit of the book before I just gave up, I wasn't able to make sense of the characters and the situation.
This was all that I expected from the reviews I'd read in terms of tying up loose ends, and moving at a better pace with substantially less repetition. However, as much as I adore Kate Reading in her narration of Jane Austen, she was not the right choice for this book. Even less so, Michael Kramer - a voice far to old for Rand etc., and very inexpressive when not 'playing' a character. Tolerated the narration only on account of enjoying the books content and my curiosity. Will NOT purchase any others of the series as these narrators would drive me around the bend.
I have to agree with another reader who pointed out that the only part of this book that is good is that covering Egwayne. Finally she wakes up and has some gumption. Great stuff.
BUT my beloved rascal with the sharp mind, Mat, has degenerated into a blithering idiot. I am devastated! AND Nineve, full of spark and power, has taken Egwayne's flat character. These two were my favorites. Wo, Wo. PLEASE bring them back to life.
The book is well written, but there is a lot to learn to "catch up" to the story. I would recommend not starting with this book and I wish someone told me so I didn't waste a selection.