Listen to more books in The Wheel of Time series.
©1990 Robert Jordan; (P)1996 Books on Tape, Inc.; Published by Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"Jordan has come to dominate the world that Tolkien began to reveal." (The New York Times)
Avid listener of Scifi and Fantasy. I've found so many great books with the help of member reviews. Hopefully I can return the favor.
I'll keep this short since there are plenty of great in-depth reviews of this series already. I just want to share my experience procrastinating on this purchase in case someone else is in the same boat. For a few years I avoided buying into this series due to it's size as well as some poor reviews which seemed consistent in their criticisms. Well I broke down and decided to give it a shot. I now feel foolish for avoiding it so long.
I've read up to book 4 and have been very impressed and entertained so far. I didn't find the authors ideas to be derivative as some reviews stated. There are some themes common to all fantasy, but the plot was original and well thought out. The setting and universe are familiar to fantasy fans, but in no way a rip off of any existing series. I've really enjoyed this series up to this point and would recommend it to any fantasy fans. Granted I have read from many people that the series has some low points, but improves in the end. I can forgive this considering how much I've enjoyed books 1-4.
So if you're on the fence about diving into the Wheel of Time series, take my advice and just do it.
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
I LOVED ALL of Sanderson's books so far, so I decided to give WOT a try since Sanderson ends up writing the Series after something like book 11 or so...
I kept waiting for Jordon to GET ON WITH IT, and you end up with about about 2 hours of action in EACH of his 20+ Hour books...
"Well, the next one HAS to get better! The Reviews RAVE about the series"... Bought book 2, 2 hours of action mixed in with 20+ hours of "NOTHING" other then MORE descriptions about the ENDLESS, USELESS descriptive details that have ALREADY been ENDLESSLY described in tedious, long-winded, "Paid By The Word" Detail...
"OK, OK, OK.. BUT 'RAVE REVIEWS'!!! Book 3 HAS to be SO much better..." Nope.
"But, Book 4 HAS TO...." Nope..
"Book 5? Maybe SOME action and LESS Cut and Paste, and LESS ENDLESS DRIVEL and 20 pages of POINTLESS 'descriptions' we've ALREADY HEARD OVER AND OVER AND OVER already?" Nope...
In the first book you'll HEAR Gandalf Yell, "FOOL OF A TOOK", at Matt in your head... and it just DOES NOT get better... Lost ME after Book 5, and I should have stopped after this one... I REALLY TRIED to get into the series because "THE REVIEWERS RAVE" and you get "0 of 200 people liked this review" if you say ANYTHING bad about this Cult Series.... but I'll take the hits, maybe it'll save SOMEONE else some money and a LOAD of time that could be spent listening to BOOKS THAT ACTUALLY GO SOMEWHERE and have some ACTION in them... Sadly, Jordan just WAS NOT "Sanderson", and that's just a fact.
Dancin' S'marti Pants
I switch back and forth between the audio and ebook depending on what I'm doing. Treadmill, cleaning, driving? Audio. Sitting comfortably on my couch? Ebook. The characters are well developed even though, because of the genre, you know they are going to end up being more special than they appear at first. It's nice to watch their realizations unfold. Something about the cadence of Kramer's voice made me think of Captain Kirk at first, but within a few hours I was used to his rhythm and began to appreciate his delicate handling of female characters so that they do not seem cartoonish or falsetto-y. Reading's role was limited in this book, but I just started book 2 and she looks to figure more prominently there.
This is the beginning of a very long literary journey, although it is not for everyone. Robert Jordan is verbose to say the least; a characteristic in his writing that may not be appreciated by all listeners. Personally, I greatly enjoy the extent of detail that he folds into this story and, when listening to it being read, it truly helps to paint a picture of each character and the world itself.
The only small complaint I had with this piece was the shared reading. I felt that the tone of the story changed between with the two readers and would have preferred that Michael Kramer handled the entirety himself, mostly for consistencies sake. Other than that, for a first time reader/listener I am truly excited for the story to continue!
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Political thrillers and conspiracies, what better to read?
Yes. Detailed and thriving/exciting characters that you want to continue to follow and understand. The environment really makes you want to immerse yourself in the story.
Lord of the Rings. Unlikely heroes must journey on a quest that will probably result in them helping to save the world.
I did not enjoy Kate Reading's performance at all. Her voice annoys me and I find it harder to focus when she reads. Michael Kramer is fantastic and is great at providing a wide range of voices. I think that Kramer is at his best when performing the characters of Rand al Thor and Thomdril Merrilin.
The Dark One Stirs
Immersing into this rich universe of extremely well developed characters and story lines.
While many may compare it to The Lord Of the Rings, I like this WOT series much better. The characters are richer, the story lines clearer and farther reaching, and the comedy here and there is the frosting on a delicious treat!
They give tone of voice and mannerisms to each character. Since they do a great job of creating new voices, they make it easier to learn and remember who each character is and their names without having to flip back pages to be sure...you KNOW that new character when you hear them!
YES! Impossible, but yes.
I am a busy super-mom, president of a successful business and occasional university instructor and I am on at least my 5th time of listening to this series. Years go by between, but no other fantasy series has ever been as good as coming back to these guys. I have saved the last book until I had time to start at the beginning and enjoy them all again. Each time I pick up some detail I missed. The characters are like old friends.
I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology
I write this review after having listened through the series up until the 8th book now, so I can say that the storylines have own on me and it makes for a fonder review of the first book.
The world that The Wheel of Time series takes place in has a lot of gender-related issues, from which genders may use magic to what gender roles are or are not. It is hard to get used to from a feminist perspective, but after immersing myself in this world, I have come to think, "This is just how this world is, and this is what is normal in this society." Certainly it is nothing shocking if one looks at the history of the human race in real life, anyhow.
There is a religious-like overtone surrounding the savior-like figure of the Dragon Reborn, reminiscent of several world faiths that have had or currently await a savior figure to be made flesh and turn the whole world around one way or another. The major divisions and organization of the religious/magic using order in this series is interesting and complicated, and we are introduced to it through the eyes of Rand, Perrin, Matrim, Egwane and Nynaeve. In this novel, we see that there is a lot of mystery, mysticism and distrust initially of the Aes Sedai.
R. Jordan has his quirks as a writer. He does tend to immediately describe the breast size, poutiness of the lip, and clothing of introduced female characters, then revisits it frequently whenever the female character returns in and out of the storyline. He also tends to describe the size of the nose, the appearance of facial hair/ mustaches, height and clothing of male characters in the same fashion. It does get annoying at times, but it has never frustrated me to such an extent that I would consider putting the book series down and choosing another.
The first book struggles with truly making us understand the unique characteristics and personalities of Rand and his village friends, and it isn't until later in the series that I realized that Perrin was my favorite, followed by Matrim as my second favorite. Their characteristics, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors are initially lost behind the likely necessary attention the author pays to fleshing out the world the story takes place in. It takes some getting used to in order to keep track of all characters and all the locations and the politics of the story, but it is not different from Song of Ice and Fire in that respect. It isn't too complicated, but it does take a bit of adjustment and getting used to.
As for the performance, we do not hear much from Kate Reading in this book when compared to the other books. She has a pleasant, eloquent voice and I like her characterization of the characters. I also like Michael Kramer's performance, which dominates the majority of this book. He has narrated several audio books I have listened to, and I am used to his voice and enjoy it. He doesn't overact or get too crazy as he narrates, he is just a solid, steady voice and therefore has never been annoying or unpleasant to listen to.
Someone who has better english and perhaps someone who is willing to read through it.
A better narrator
I don't know if it's my level of english, or perhaps it really is the narrator, but I couldn't pay any attention to the story no matter how hard I tried for the entire first hour.
This book takes descriptive writing to another level. Every room, every person, every article of clothing, how the bed feels, what is used for a pillow, the condition of the pathways, etc… While I like the story and characters I cannot help but wonder if an abridged version would be better. The excessive detail tempers the emotional impact when the author is trying to build excitement, tension and fear. In fact, I felt a little detached throughout the entire story. This book is a good candidate to try that 1.5x or 2.x speed option. I will try the next book in the series but am not yet willing to commit to 14 extremely long books. After reading series by Terry Brooks, David Eddings and Orson Scott Card I am used to more excitement and a greater attachment to characters.
I read the ratings and thought this would be a good "escape from reality" book. For me, it was not. The "darks" were too dark and evil without reason. The "lights" were also insinuated to be evil, so there was no real hero or heroine - only a bunch of characters with strange names and labels who tromped around a made-up world in a made-up universe for no apparent reason - other than to fight back against some evil force that attacked them. The book did not hold together; the narration was overly expressive at times, switching for no apparent reason to a female voice in the middle and one other time. I kept trying to make sense of it, and after about mid-way through part two spent most of my listening time wondering when it would be over. And, by the way, the end was not at all satisfying. I kept waiting for Harry Potter to come save the day! Too bad he didn't show up.
I would still read other books in this genre, but probably not from this author.
Kate Reading was ok after she started to pronounce the names correctly - or at least the same way as Michael Kramer. Michael Kramer was a bit over-expressive in his narration and at times quite annoying.
It should not be a movie - It would drag on and on without a major rewrite. As a TV series I give it one season at most.
Very disappointing. Maybe I expect too much, but a 14-book series should be better written.
I think the book would have been more engaging if there had been a different narrator. Personally, I found it impossible to listen to.
It has put me off the rest off the wheel of time books however, I love this genre and have listened to many other books that are similar and would rate those as 4 and 5 stars
I think I would like to have heard Rupert Degas, or Sean Barrett or Roy Dotrice narrating this book
No idea - unfortunately I found it impossible to listen to the book so I do not know the characters.
It has taken me several attempts over the past 15 months to try to listen to this book and every time I have not managed to get past the second chapter. This is really disappointing as I have had good reviews of the series (in printed format) from my daughter, so I was initially excited about purchasing this book in audio format. I have listened to many other audio books in the past 15 months and enjoyed them all. I have now given up trying to get through this book
Fantastic book to listen to, although I have read it in the past; listening to it gives a whole new perspective.
Easy to listen too!
"Too long ago..."
I read the books when they were coming out, one by one, but lost track around book 9 or 10, ten years ago, as I found it too repetitive. But when saw it on Audible, and knew the final book was there - I thought I would start over - I loved the story then, this was going to save my summer.
You can never go back.
The story just doesn't seem to catch me any more. Maybe it's the lack of individuality in the characters? There are plenty of main characters, but they don't grow, they are all stuck in eternal adolescence?
It was nice hearing the first book again, but I wont be buying the rest of the series.
"For those starting the series..."
I have finished this series and I thought I would give my thoughts on the series as a whole for people that haven't started reading it and are considering it... I don't think I would recommend this series to anyone, unless you have lots of time and want a very in-depth working of the characters and the world they live in. However, I think as a whole because there were many plot lines that weren't completed in the last book, it made a lot of detail provided previously very pointless. I think the 14 book series could have been reduced to 6 books and still held a very amazing story without all the additional rubbish. It seems to me that RJ was setting up a base for other books he may have planned to write, but now those will never be written and instead you have a whole lot of random rubbish to read through to get to the good bits. If ever they make an abridged version, then I definitely think it would be worth reading that! I still however maintain my 5* review of this book, as I did enjoy the first few and the last few, middle not so much!
"Good but not great"
I had high hopes for this book after all of the good reviews but although I found it a reasonable listen it lacked the scope, depth, tension and excitement I have experienced elsewhere. The pace of the story was pedestrian and I seriously doubt that I will purchase any more in this series. Some reviewers have put these short comings down to the narration but I found this reasonable with characterisations believable and varied. Typical American mis pronunciations abound - the H in herbs is not silent and never has been - and that becomes annoying not just in this book.
"For once the word "epic" is apt"
The first couple of chapters of this book can be misleading. Avid Lord of the Rings fans will despair that Jordan has stolen ideas, but actually a small farming village being visited by a "black rider" in a good versus evil storyline is where the similarities end.
The personalities in this book are so powerful that readers will find themselves comparing people in real life to these characters, rather than the other way around. Every reader can find their own favourites to love and hate too since no two are alike.
Warning: the story line is gripping; it will give you bags under your eyes.
Since the book is told from different characters' points of view, it is fittingly narrated by both a man and a woman, depending on whose perspective we are seeing things from and both narrators do an excellent job of portraying the humourous, emotional and exciting events.
Overall, this is a fantastic opening to what has to be the best fantasy series I have ever read. I hope they never ruin it with a film or TV series.
I was dubious at the prospect of an 'epic saga' of the length of this series and my fears were borne out. In order to pad it out every dreary detail is dragged out. Narration was irritating and the male/ female swap was pointless. The characters are cliched and not engaging. Won't be listening to the next 50 books in this saga.
"difficult to get into"
I struggled to get into this one.
It didn't seem to capture my imagination at all.
Possible that I just wasn't in the right mood. But I couldn't get excited by the story and the reader didn't captivate me as much as other readers have done.
I might try it again at a later date. Maybe when on a long train journey or a flight. But it would be to pass the time rather than because I can't wait to see what happens next.
As I say, I might not have been in the right frame of mind when started listening, so I will give it a second chance - I will update my review if opinions expressed change. (If I remember :-)).
"Ruined by the accent of the orator...."
What is a good story, with several plot lines all interesting and varied is ruined by a harsh and niggling accent. It completely distracts the listener. I only got about 2 hours into this and gave up. Nothing wrong with The American interpretation of English but this guys delivery is so staccato, its like someone banging on the front door shouting fire!
I started reading this series with my son around 8 years ago (he was 15 at the time) and we were both totally hooked from the start.
Most of the books had been published by the time we found them but each time a new book was released I had to start again from the beginning so I've now read them all about 3 - 4 times and I find fresh images and new things each time.
If you look past the story there are so many similarities to find between Robert Jordan's fantasy world and the real world we live in.
I have just started to listen on audio, only into part 2 of book 1 so far but loving it - the narrator is fine, there are always words in this type of book that you pronounce differently in your head but it doesn't detract from my enjoyment in any way.
If you are a fan of reading this series then I definitely recommend the audio books too - and a great bargain if you're a member of Audible!
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