I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
If you haven't read this one you should. That being said, Robert Jordan's work is highly polarizing. You either love his books or hate them. The books are all very long. His works read similar to historical fiction in that he can get deep, some say bogged down, in minute details of his world. That being said this is one of the most popular epic fantasy books of all time.
The story isn't anything new, in fact it is the same old boy on the run from the bad guy finds himself and his power that every other book uses. He also borrows a lot from Dune, the Annals of the Black Company, Thomas Covenant and more. The difference is in the details. The world is so intricate and well designed you feel like you could go there. The heroes are likeable and the villians are really easy to hate. in short, you get sucked in and really start to care about the characters.
This series is really long, 14 books long and each is the size of a dictionary .In fact the author died before the series was completed and Brandon Sanderson wrote the last 3 books using Robert Jordans notes. I started reading this series when I first started college and it just finished last year (I'm 43 now). The good news is that the series was originally written as a trilogy which expanded due to popularity. You could theoretically stop at 3 and have pretty good closure. Then again if you made it to the third book you are probably hooked. If you didn't like it you probably didn't make it that far anyway. If you do decide to continue with series be aware that the books hit a patch around the middle (3 books) that weren't that great. You have to get through these to continue on with the series.
The narraration is done by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer. They do an awesome job considering the unbelievable number of characters in this series (read so many I would have to go read up to remember who some folks were when the next book came out). The series sticks with the same narrators throughout so the continuity helps alot. All in all, you should try this one if nothing else so you can say you read it.
Good story but VERY slow as the author found it necessary to describe everyones wardrobe down to the color of every tassle (and there are a lot of tassles) in the room whenever anyone interacts with a main character.
Michael Kramer sounds like his niche would have been reading the 1930s news to a captivating audience sitting around there home radios'. Kate is above average.
I have read reviews that the narrators get better...I truly hope.
this is what lord of the rings could have been. i personally didn't like LOTR (though i adore the movies).
the only problem with the narration for me is that the two narrators seem to have never gotten together to decide how to pronounce some of the proper nouns. they even change their own minds from book to book. a bit humorous to me actually. but you have to listen to the whole saga to hear the 20 odd discrepencies. apart from that i find their pacing to be very good. i have no trouble telling one character from another, and i'm tone deaf! and hearing the spin the two different narrators give to a particular character really helps to show how robert jordan understood people so well, and was able to put that into the story to make it feel so real.
this book is the begining of a huge saga. this particular book's only drawback is that the author had to take some editing decisions to make the book stand on it's own since the publishers didn't know if it would sell. book two also has some of these imperfections. but by book three, the saga had legs and the author was able to set his own pace and the story really began to shine. i suggest you listen to the prequil, "a new spring" to really get ahandle on what's coming, and get a feel for the world robert jordan created.
to put it metaphorically, this saga is like a locomotive... a bit ungamely as it gets rolling. but once it's up to speed it's elegant, majestic, and unforgetable. the books are long, but like a train ride, once your out of the city and rolling through the countryside, you realize you never want the journy to end!
Fanatical Endurance Athlete, who listens to a lot of books while training.
Jordan's, 'The eye of the world' is the first in a classic series of the Wheel of Time. This was Jordan's first in the series and a great story in its own right, but as the series goes on Jordan's writing gets better and better.
The first is brilliant the rest get better in a well thought out plot.
I still pick up new tidbits, foreshadowing, and nuances every time I hear this book. Over the years I've read most books in this series twice and have listened to them on CD twice more. The audio format further highlights Jordan's genius and the fan's enjoyment.
This book is a great fantasy adventure, but be prepared to have a desire to listen to them all. I started out by reading my son's copy of volume two and was so intrigued I decided to listen to volume one while I read volume three (confusing, but worth it to catch up).
I have to say that I really enjoyed the narrator's voice characterizations. The range and diversity of voices for the various characters helped pull me into the story. I found it difficult to put away my Otis audio player after transits to/from work.
The story itself is very richly detailed. It is not difficult to imagine yourself being there and seeing the grandeur of the country, the hustle and bustle of towns and cities, the customs of differing contries or even towns, hearing histories of people and places, the shock and sometimes fear of seeing different races for the first time, and the tension of living during hard times.
The only detraction I fealt was the occaisional parallel references I would draw to other SciFi works such as Dune, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. These didn't occur often, but when they did, it was like ripping you out of one world and into another (particularly the Dune / Star Wars parallels). Usually, it was just when encountering, for the first time, names of people or places that sounded familiar.
All in all, it's a good book almost on par with Tolkein.
This intro may seem slow to some, but it really is a great beginning to an amazing adventure. Not the best book in the series but it's one that will always be special to me simply because of the world that introduced me to.
If you want to spend 6 months of commuting wishing that your drive was longer so that you could listen to more.... This is your series.
My kids and I love fantasy books and were excited about starting a long series that we had heard a lot about. I'm not really sure where everyone gets that Michael Kramer is a great narrator unless they have stuck it out and listened to more books in this series. Frankly, he starts out AWFUL. We almost stopped listening just because of him. His cadence is so predictable and completely got on my nerves for the first 2/3 of the book. The first part that Kate Reading read seriously saved this book for us and we kept listening.
... and then about 2/3 of the way through it get SO much better. We are now almost finished with the 2nd book in the series and it is wonderful. Yes, this book has a slow start. But as you continue with the story you understand why - it NEEDS a slow start. I'm rating it pretty high even though I never thought I would get through it. Give it a chance and you will have a great start on an epic series.
I was a little apprehensive at first. I tried to block out of my mind the Tolkien comparisons and that was hard at first. The beginning was very rough for me, as the narrator takes time getting used to. He is very bland and monotone at first (at first I stress). But, by the middle, you can feel the characters being fleshed out. And, as the book moved along and more characters started getting developed, I really started to enjoy it. The well written book has details in spades to its characters and landscape. Some might think it's too much, but I think exactly the opposite. The way the story is told really draws you in and makes you feel as if you were there (that's nerdy, but true). All in all, very well done, however the climax was a little meh for me.
*** for the first 1/3
***** for the last 2/3
Bottom line, give this book a chance and don't judge it by the first couple chapters. You won't regret it!
This is the first book of 12 (13 if you count the prequel). As most first books, this introduces all of the main characters, concepts, and the basic quest. Still this was well written, the character development was progressive allowing the reader to adapt and adjust to the changes as the characters evolve as they must to become what they must be to fulfill the quest.