If you're a WOT fan, you're gonna get this one eventually. I decided to get it after book 7, since audible doesn't have book 8 at the time I'm writing this review.
(This shouldn't contain any spoilers for anyone who has read even book 1)
The time period for this story starts with Siuan and Moiraine as "Accepted" - shortly before being raised Aes Sedai, and ends with Lan becoming Moiraine's Warder. There are several familiar characters (mostly in the White Tower), and references and expansions to a number of details from throughout the series.
The story does a good job of setting up the back story for how and why Moiraine and Siuan got involved in their top secret mission, and how Lan and Moiraine met and ended up in the relationship they have. It also sheds some light on the process of being raised to Aes Sedai.
This book is much shorter than the rest in the series, but seems to follow much the same pattern: the story moves along at the same pace and then comes to an abrupt end. Many people complain about the stories moving slowly - I don't have a problem with that because they are very well written, interesting, and narrated by professionals. My problem is, as I mentioned, the endings seem to come out of nowhere - as if Jordan all of a sudden realized he'd reached his page quota...
Overall, this book was enjoyable and worth listening to, even if a bit anticlimactic. I would recommend waiting until after book 7 to get this one, but I'm sure getting it earlier would be just fine too. Thankfully the narration is still done by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer.
I mostly read or listen to sci-fi/fantasy and leave getting my cosmology, quantum theory, and particle physics to the nice, digestible shows produced by Discovery, the History channel, and the like. I also really try not to use credits on something this short (less than 6 hours!)...but I'm glad I made an exception for this one. I'll admit I had to listen to the book twice (but enjoyed it both times), and that there are still some things this guy says that...I'll probably never comprehend, but wow...this book is interesting. The author also does the narration, which was actually good in this case - he's got this...sort of...animated, smart-alecky attitude combined with true passion and excitement for his work. I also like his attention to detail (or I should say attention to the right details - trying to cram all the details that went into this work would make a book like this completely inaccessible to someone like me) and his overall...take on science - that scientists don't know everything and how they should spend as much time trying to disprove their results as they do trying to prove them, etc.
Anyway - the book kind of brings you up to speed on where these guys are on figuring out...the universe, and presents some really interesting ideas on where everything came from (spoiler alert: it's in the title :P - but it's not that simple, trust me). If you're at all interested in the subject - get this book. Oh, and one final thing - Krauss doesn't say there isn't a god - just that there doesn't HAVE to be one - but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able superimpose god over what's being presented here either [translated: if you believe in god, this isn't going to change your opinion]
I really loved this series - could not put it down. The characters are great - immediately drawn into the story and felt connected with them. Assassins are awesome, we all know that, but this series is so much more... Extremely well written - and not...your standard, predictable story-line...
Get this one.
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