It ranks very highly. I have to say that I really enjoyed this audiobook. It is probably number 2 or 3 behind the KingKiller chronicles.
There are no other books to compare A Memory of Light to. It stands completely alone with it's incredibly rich and diverse world, interesting and complex characters, and tunneling depths and soaring highs. They did a fantastic job of making the reader feel like the world was doomed and then saving it.
I enjoyed both of their reading performances, Kramer's because he manages to capture the different voices and emotions very well, and because he doesn't sound robotic. Reading's because he captured both the sternness of the Aes Sedai and the softness of them as well. Of course, it was hard for me at first because I kept expecting her to talk about her water elemental Rill. (That is from another set of books called Calderon's Furys).
This book at times made me feel like crying, hopeless, and completely empty, then it would twist the other direction and lift you in the complete opposite direction.
I would read Words of Radiance again. It is a well written book, with deep and meaningful characters and plot twists.
My favorite character is Kaladin. Right now he is going through a growth period as he grows into a better person. I love good character growth.
The problem with having Kate Reading and Michael Kramer reading the same author, yet again, is simple. Neither Kate nor Michael, have enough vocal range to make the characters sound truly different. I keep getting the feeling that I am reading Mistborn which has a bit of a negative connotation because nothing happens in that series. I really wish that 2 different readers had been used for Sanderson's work. A fresh voice sets his books apart.
This book may have been a good read, since reading is much faster than listening, it would be have been a much better experience if the writer had focused more on things happening and less on the nuances of every office they visited. There are only so many times I can have an office or library described to me.
This book would have been more enjoyable if it had been faster paced. I feel like I spent hours and hours listening and nothing interesting ever happened. There is literally NO danger for ANY of the characters for most of the book. When danger does happen it is only for 2 characters and it's not necessarily danger just a bad situation. Another thing that would have really helped this book, is to not spend so much time focusing on characters that are just jerks. I never EVER felt like I agreed with Norrell's point of view or liked him as a character, yet, he was the first half of the book. It took far too long to introduce characters that were likeable. In fairness we did meet Mr. Honeyfoot and his friend who were pretty cool characters, however, they were taken out of the story almost immediately (after 4 hours of describing how they weren't real magicians).
The narration for this book was ok. I don't know if I am lowering the rating of the narration because of the book or because of the narrator. He may have been the reason it seemed so boring with his very proper way of speaking. However, it may have just been the book.
There were good things about this book, I felt that the character development was slightly interesting, at least in Strange and Norrell, however, if they developed faster the book would have been far better. Going through 8 hours or so of listening before we even get to a decent person is irritating.
The biggest problem with this book was that the author used a very childish and simple method of storytelling. The characters had no development or personality. The main character was a whiny 16 year old that had parents that didn't care about her and would forget her birthday. But in the end her stepfather drove around for 3 months from dusk till dawn looking for her. That is just one example of the many contradictions that broke the book. The only character with any kind of personality at all was the cat, yet, like many of her characters they seem to be lackluster copies of characters from Alice in Wonderland.
She could have fleshed out her characters entirely using character sheets. Given them personalities and character growth. Her big character growth after being almost killed and chased and thousands of other problems was to not be as worried when girls made fun of her. It seems like after having gone through multiple life threatening situations she would have been more prepared to deal with those nasty people.
Often, when using the main characters voice, it sounded VERY whiny.
The faery prince, the main character, and entire summer court.
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