If the story actually progressed at a rate that was faster than a crippled snail crawling over salt.
After this, I have to say I am done,
The narrators do a fine job with all the characters. Sadly, there is little dialogue and therefore no chance for real "getting into character". But if you want to hear about skirt smoothing, shawl straightening, or lip tightening for literally hours; then this is the book for you.
Just cut the endless descriptions. I get the whole "creating a world" thing. I don't need a 30 minute description of someone turning a page in a book and everyone's reaction to the turning of said page. Yes, that happens.
I started reading this series in 6th or 7th grade, I really enjoyed it. The first 4 books are pretty good. I fell off after the next 4 books. This series just drags on and on. I know this series still has a devoted following,and with all respect to them, they must have an enormous amount of free time. I don't get as much time as I'd like to read or even listen to books, I'm not wasting it on a 20+ hour book that should have been 4 or 5 hours.
After being disappointed with the slow pace in the previous two books, I found Winter’s Heart to be refreshing. It felt like there was a lot more being accomplished in the story and I didn’t feel bogged down in over-detailed descriptions of attire. My only disappointment was the abrupt conclusion to the book, which caught me somewhat off guard. As others have mentioned, the editing was not up to high standards, but the quality of the audio was still good.
Both formats are entertaining.
I enjoy Mat's adventure's the most.
The both do a great job.
The audio file was broken up into too small of files (5 to 10 minutes), and at the beginning of the next file the first few sentences were often repeated. I prefer the audio file to be broken up into chapters, so I can stop at a more natural stopping point.
I was a bit frustrated with the way that chapters were tracked in the previous books in the series, each downloaded chunk of the book started at chapter 1 which made it difficult to know exactly where you are at in the book. This book however takes to a whole new level...part one is broken up into 91, yes I said 91, different chapters ranging from 19 seconds to ~7 minutes. The one saving grace in the previous books was that even though the chapters numbers in the audiobook did not correlate with the chapters in the book the chapter breaks did match up, in this one there is no rhyme or reason to the chapter breaks.
The other issue I am having is the poor editing. There are frequent occurrences of small bits of dialogue repeating two or three times before moving on to the next line almost like a record skipping back.
Yes, at this point I am committed to the story so I will finish it out. The first book was good enough to keep me interested and it really picked up in books two and three. Unfortunately the story peaked around book 5 and has slipped quite a bit since in my opinion.
Even though I will continue following this series to the end I would probably not read another book/series by Robert Jordan, if there are any others. His habit of painstakingly describing every mind numbing detail of the wall at a random Inn or constantly reminding us what the names, genders, colors are of every horse in the series while leaving out important things like interpersonal relationships is beyond frustrating. Being careful not to let slip any spoilers but there are two characters that never had more than a few sentences of interaction who were suddenly madly in love, and eventually ended up getting married despite having almost no interaction with each other. But I'll be damned if I wasn't reminded 100 times that Lan's black stallion warhorse was named Mandarb!! He stretches things out the way I did in college trying to make sure I hit the required word count on a paper.
I think Mr Kramer and Ms Reading do a very nice job with the material. I tried reading the ebook of The Eye of the World and could not get past the first couple chapters because of the unnecessary wordiness. I downloaded the audiobook after continued prodding by a friend to give it another try and it was the performances of the readers that kept me engaged long enough to become invested in the characters/story.
As others have said the editing in this book is simply awful. I will be contacting Audible customer support and demanding that some type of compensation be made for the horrible editing of this wonderful story. By all means do not let the horrible edits dissuade you from listening to this book but I encourage all Audible customers to contact customer support and demand that the problems with the editing be fixed. Other than that Winters Heart is another great chapter of the WOT Epic. Fix the editing mistakes and it becomes a 5 star book like every other WOT book I have listened to up until now.
I would compare it mostly to Path of Daggers. Mainly because of the focus on the Seanchan. We begin to see more of their culture and hierarchy.
I was first introduced to Michael Kramer in Brando Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy. And had the pleasure of listening to both of the narrators in The Way of Kings. They work well as a team. If you have ever listened to either of the narrators before you will not be let down by their job with Winters Heart.
I would say this book sparked anger, sadness, laughter, delight and dozens of other emotions the way that any good book should.
I hate to repeat myself but the book does so I guess I will. You can't tell me that Audible/Amazon does not have enough sway to pressure the publisher into fixing the bad edits in this book.
I'll not review Jordan's writing. If you're into the story this far you are obviously a fan. I will however review the sound editing. This is the WORST recording of his books, or even of any book to which I've ever listened! The sound quality is good, the narrators are excellent but the editing is terrible! Sentences and even whole paragraphs are repeated. Gaps/pauses are frequently too long. How could such a hack job even be put out there? I would send it back under Audible's return policy but then would be with out this book. Audible, demand this book be fixed and then give us the corrected version!
Kate Reading and Michael Kramer do the same good job reading this volume as the previous Wheel of Time volumes. I enjoyed Kate's rendition enormously, but Michael Kramer's not so much, but that is a matter of personal preference. As other reviewers have mentioned, the audio often pauses inexplicably for a couple of seconds (luckily not in the middle of a sentence), and every once in a while sentences are repeated. This didn't really bother me though.
What did bother me was trying to keep track of all the storylines and characters. Jordan gives even minor characters names, and it is terribly hard to keep them all straight, especially when listening to the books in audio format. When I listen to Audible books I am usually doing something else at the same time (e.g. driving), so can't give the book my undivided attention. I find myself looking up the names on one of the World of Time fan websites all the time to keep track of who the minor characters are, what faction they belong to, etc. I have found it helpful to read a summary of what is going to happen in a chapter before actually listening to it, and I have never had to do that with any other author.
I already own the rest of the series and eagerly look forward to the rest of the books.
The readers of this book were fantastic. It was very easy to tell who was talking in conversation by the well done voice acting. Even in dialogs where you had 3 or 4 people, and conversation flipping between each, knowing who said what was extremely easy.
The editing of the audio was not very good. There were several times, maybe 6 or 7 times in each of the 3 parts, where the story would jump backwards and reread a 15-30 second block. It did get frustrating, but not something that kills the whole experience unless you let it. It was enough, though, to spark me to write a review, so if this sort of thing gets under your skin, maybe read this one in print and go to the next one on audio. The poor quality is uncharacteristic of the series and I doubt I'll hear a repeat in future titles.
Among the best
It was the first one of this kind. My other audio experiences were with much shorter novels.
I like the change between female and male viewpoints. I instantly liked Mrs Readings voice, it just "matched" my own inner picture. I had a harder time getting used to Mr Kramers voice, as he reads kind of "breathy". But then I was so completly taken into the story that I forgot that the book was read to me: I lived it. So: no complaints, they both do a wonderful job of a very difficult book, and I admire how they do give the people different voices without it getting out of hand.
Another gripping installment of the Wheel of Time storyline. The world sinks ever deeper into darkness, and the heroines and heroes have to confront ever higher obstacles in their fight for the light.
I have already read all but the last of the Wheel of Time books and was just into a complete re-read before the grand finish, when I had an accident and had to stay in my bed for a while. I could not continue reading, and this was the reason I decided to download the audiobook and try if this could work for me. It did! I am thinking of listening to the rest of the books, too, instead of reading them. The books are so big to carry with me. And it is wondrous to being able to close your eyes and seeing it all come alive.
I can't stand how they pronounce the same character names differently, and inconsistently!
Terrible recording quality, every hour or so it repeats the last 30 seconds of audio. A quirk once, a minor annoyance 2 or 3 times, but constantly?! Where was the editor on this one?