Finally…

So, I finally finished The Gathering Storm, the 12th book in the Wheel of Time series. For you uninitiated, that’s about 12,000 pages of text (not counting the two very brief prequel novels ). Yeesh. I’ve been re-reading the entire series since sometime late last summer, and it took me about 8 months to finish the series. Bear in mind that I pretty much only read on the train in the morning, and while traveling. That being said, I think I made pretty good time.

About halfway through the series, I decided to begin reading the books electronically on my smart phone. The poor translation (OCR doesn’t always work so good), botched formatting, and uncomfortable reading platform were a worthwhile trade to the back-breaking weight of the books. I have the first 6 in paperback… the rest are hard bound, and are neither light or convenient to travel with. I am now a bit envious of people with Kindles, though. Not sure I could justify the price tag, but the temptation is rising. One more generation, and I might put some serious thought into it.

Pity Jordan had to die before his work was completed. Perhaps he could have finished if he had not been so thrice damned wordy. Seriously… he could have cut most of those books down by a third at least. Too many character, and too much wasted description on what the characters were wearing. I don’t care that Sir WhatsHisButt (whom we will only read of in this chapter and will  never see again) is wearing a silver and gem encrusted lace bow tie, green and sliver pleated pants, and glossy pointed boots with a broken left heel. Ok sure… throw that sort of thing in once in a while for pertinent character development, but not for every character. Nor do you need to throw in a brief synopsis of the storyline at the beginning of each book (by book 6, we should probably be pretty accustomed to both the story and the terminology). I could go on, but there is not point in beating a dead horse… or author. Sorry… couldn’t help myself. By the way, I fucking told you so, Goober.

I must say, I’m happy with the new author (Brandon Sandersen) and the direction he is taking with the story. His writing style meshes well, and he seems to be doing a very good job of driving this lumbering monstrosity of a plot towards a defined conclusion. A lot of loose ends have been tied up, some questions have been answered, and a lot of these annoying and useless character groups (Jordon would break to different groups at each chapter… when you’ve got as many as 10 different groups of characters in a single book, you begin to lose both momentum and your audience) have been either consolidated or eliminated. Here is hoping that Brandon can keep this up, and actually finish the series in two more books. This was only supposed to be a trilogy. Then it was only supposed to be a five book series… and then 8. I think someone lost sight of the end game around book 6.

If we get to 14, and suddenly it becomes a 15 book series, I’ll… well… I’ll probably continue to read. And grumble under my breath…

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