Book does a great job of tying up all the plots that have come before, can't wait for the final installment.
As with the gathering storm, this book benefits from the blending of styles between Jordan and Sanderson. The action and plot keep your attention and make it difficult to stop. Sanderson does the reader / listener the favor of removing the one and only true annoyance of Robert Jordan's writing style; that being the never-ending detailed descriptions of every conceivable object, especially every characters current clothing. Enough detail remains to not fully depart from precedent; however, emphasis is given to plot and actions. The only problem I have with this book is the realization that it will likely be at least another year before I can purchase the final book.
The Towers of Midnight, aka Perrin's boring wolf dream was a nightmare. If I had not invested my time and money in the previous books, I would have never been able to finish this. The story dragged and was very dull and the narration matched the tone of the story. All in all very disappointed.
I'm a long time WOT fan but for me, like many, the series really bogged down as Jordan overwrote every book since the 5th one. RJ pursued so many story lines it made it almost impossible to follow one character or story arc effectively as a reader, and the mess he left for Brandon Sanderson to clean up is truly atrocious. How RJ expected to finish all of this off in 1 last mammoth book is beyond me. Clearly BS has a made an effort to retain the Jordan pattern of giving every single minor character anyone runs across a back story. Unfortunately that tendency was one of the things I liked least about how RJ wrote his books. Like many here I'm terribly tired of P Aybarra's constant introspection, just get over yourself already. Further I believe that Kramer's voice for him, along with the dialog, makes him seem like a petulant child and I've found myself skipping parts of his section that clearly repeat what has been said too many times before. I generally like Mat's character and it feels to me like BS has brought some new life to that story line, and some of the plot lines finally resolve themselves to clean that up. Rand's story arc and character are HUGE upgrades over RJ's last efforts and I finally find, again, that the story seems to be advancing along well with his character. Egwene's character is still far too much for me to stomach and she seems to be becoming a pivotal female character who is influencing the other female characters in the story line, such as Elayne and Nyneave who are stronger characters and much more likable in my opinion. I find myself wishing Egwene is killed off in a tragic moment to show that even the main characters can be touched by the Dark... but if that happened there would be WAY to much work to be done on the White Tower story line so I guess she has to be kept around. Avienda, one of my favorite early characters is virtually non-existant, as are most of the Aiel characters. This is clearly a necessary step, just finish already.
Thanks to audible I have rediscovered my love of books, and in part have started writing my own fantasy book.
I have listened to this book 3 times now and love it. I would highly advise this book to any one. Though the one thing I don't think some people realize is this as well as the next book are to be the darkest and most brutal books in the series. It's the end of days approaching fast and all that stress as well as the fate of a world is on the shoulders of 3 guys.
Ok. First, I never write reviews. I personally thought this was the best of the series. I've listened to all of the WOT audio books at least twice. Brandon Sanderson has come into his own, and I look forward to anything he writes in the future. I never once during this book did I see a difference between Sanderson and Jordan. The only think bad I could say, is that I wanted more. I really didn't want it to end. Can't wait for the final book.
So far I am digging the book. Sanderson is doing an amazing job. However, what is up with some of the pronunciations by Kramer and Reading? For example, since when is Byar pronounced "Be-ar" rather than "By-ar" the way he did it in the past. There were a few others as well.
I'll update my review when I finish the book.