Author Topic: The Gathering Storm Chapter One  (Read 9044 times)

Ari54

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2009, 04:51:18 AM »
If you had trouble with previous WoTs and didn't finish, I can totally see how you'd not be engaged with this chapter, as it kind of depends on having read book #11.

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2009, 04:56:03 AM »
The great thing about Brandon is that even if you don't like the book coming out Oct. 27...you got a book from him in June, another book this month, and another book next August that have nothing to do with the Wheel of Time. :)
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Kestrel

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2009, 05:06:25 AM »
Wait, what comes out this month? o_o

And yes, that is certainly a great thing. Few authors seem to be as prolific as he's been managing!

Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2009, 05:59:15 AM »
Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia. It's already been spotted in the wild at a bookstore in New York.
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TyranAmiros

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2009, 06:29:34 AM »
I could definitely tell it was a different author, but overall I thought it was pretty good. Chapter one has to have a lot of description between the opening wind and catching the casual readers up after four years since the last book.

I'm holding my final opinion until I read the entire book, but at this point I just want to see WoT finished, one way or another.

JCHancey

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2009, 06:35:52 AM »
Reading Jordan is like drinking beer or coffee: it is an acquired taste :P. As for dragging on and no dialogue... lies all lies. The inner struggle with LTT is crazy now!!! Rand actually shouting at him IRL?! Everyone will think he's insane, yada yada, and then Bela will be the Creator. After reading Chapter one I'm GOING INSANE!!! insane enough to be really close to buying the leatherbound edition of TGS for $180....Anyhow, RJ is an acquired taste, and there is nothing generic about him.
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Cynewulf

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2009, 07:42:06 PM »
I think Sanderson did wonderfully with this chapter. This has laid any of my lingering fears to rest, I am relieved to say. In terms of quality, I would say that his prose has improved leaps and bounds, and stands head and shoulders above anything he has done so far. I am happy to note that he seems to be moving away from the film-like, snappy dialogue scenes of the Mistborn trilogy. I really see this as an author maturing very quickly, and I am overjoyed to see it.

Also, must disagree with Jakobus, saying that Jordan is an acquired taste. His instant success in the early 90s prove otherwise, and his extreme sales-figures shows that he is a few sizes bigger than any other fantasy author.

Also, there are apparently some misunderstandings that Kestrel needs to have cleared up, really to many to go into in any great detail. Basically, I would recommend the person to learn to read more widely. Jordan really is not very descriptive. He may appear descriptive compared to your run-of-the-mill Fantasy writer. Jordan, however, attempts much more than to write an adventure story. Consider Dumas, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, hell, even Dickens. Jordan's description really are quite economic, and serve a variety of functions, such as accentuating and setting moods and developing rather intricate symbolisms and other themes. That you are not able to keep up with or recognise such things reflects more on you than on any mistakes of the author.

I think Sanderson did really well in achieving a balance between Jordan's style and his own, and it is obvious that he has improved considerably prose-wise. Offering such negative criticsm to a writer when you clearly do not know what you are talking about, is ludicrous. Again, some might consider reading more widely than just their exciting Fantasy novels. With all due respect, certainly.

Bookstore Guy

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2009, 08:09:49 PM »
Cynewulf, I think you need to scale back a tad, and not come across borderline rude. Just because Kestrel said that the chapter was boring doesn't mean that you need to say that Kestrel is, essentially, ignorant. For a fantasy novel, Jordan is very descriptive (in my opinion, overly so). Certainly if you compare Jordan to Russian Lit. you will find WoT less descriptive, but I don't recall Kestrel stating that WoT was more descriptive than EVERYTHING. Each person has a level of description that they feel is "a lot" or "too much." Both you and Kestrel have your varied opinions--no need to insult anyone by saying they don't know what they are talking about.

To me, sales figures have nothing to do with whether an art form is an acquired taste or not. For WoT, many of these readers are loyal reader...in business terms, the Love Group. For many people now days, becoming a new reader of WoT IS an acquired taste. WoT just doesn't have the same impact on new readers now as it did when it first came out. Different eras.

There is nothing wrong with criticism of a chapter of a novel. Kestrel pointed out the things he (or she, not quite sure) that he didn't care for. You better believe when I review this book that I am going to hammer the parts I thought were lacking...regardless of Brandon being my personal friend. I'll praise the good, and kick the bad. It doesn't mean that I'm ignorant, and Kestrel's not liking it doesn't mean that he is either. It's all in personal taste.
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readerMom

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2009, 08:27:58 PM »
After having a couple of days to think about it, the chapter seems more interesting than when I first read it. Of course like all the Wheel of TIme a second reading helps. It is nice to know that the layers of complexity are still going to be there.

Cynewulf

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2009, 08:41:28 PM »
Kestrel pointed out the things he (or she, not quite sure) that he didn't care for. [...] It doesn't mean that I'm ignorant, and Kestrel's not liking it doesn't mean that he is either. It's all in personal taste.

Well, she did quite a lot more than just state her opinion on what she thought was bad, in my view. She made a long string of rankling categorical statements, primarily about Jordan and The Wheel of Time, but also about Sanderson. Categorical statements are well and fine in some contexts but not when they are so clearly based on ignorance and personal bias. I felt that merited at least the brief comment above, and I do feel that when someone "goes out" as hard as Kestrel did in this case, they should expect some opposition.

Bookstore Guy

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2009, 08:54:35 PM »
But not rude opposition. There's no need for it. You could have stated your point in a much more civilized manner. It's OK to defend the books you like, but understand that you can do it in a nice fashion.

Personally, I can't stand WoT. I'm buying the next novel (from England) to support Brandon, and to review it in a professional capacity. I feel the novel is the epitome of 90's epic fantasy, but that it doesn't pull it's weight in the modern era. I don't think that--all conditions being the same--if Jordan's novels had started being released today they would be as popular. I certainly wouldn't give a crap about them, and hundreds of readers I sold books to wouldn't either. In my opinion, it lacks complexity. It lacks any real sense of danger. In the latter half, it lack character development. It lacks good pacing. I'm looking at Brandon to salvage this series, and I think he will, but that said, I feel his own work is already better. I just feel there is much better work out there now than WoT, and it's not a crime to criticize a work--it gives a broader perspective to potential readers.
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Cynewulf

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2009, 09:10:43 PM »
Interesting statements. I certainly disagree with every single one of them, and discussing them in full here would probably take more time than we both have. I would, however, be interested in briefly seeing your positions fleshed out a bit, as some of them seem quite outrageous. This holds especially true for the comment about Sanderson, although I realise he is your friend. It does hurt somewhat saying this, seeing how nice of a guy he seems to be, along with the effort he is putting into WoT, but Sanderson's published work is clearly inferior to Jordan's by any yardstick.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 09:12:38 PM by Cynewulf »

Bookstore Guy

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2009, 09:37:32 PM »
Sanderson's published work is clearly inferior to Jordan's by any yardstick.

Clearly not by my yardstick. "Any" is a bit definitive don't you think? Perhaps any of your yardsticks, because you value different things than I do. That is the beauty of having opposing opinions and expressing them professionally. I respect your opinions just like I respect anyone's. You obviously connect to Jordan's writing on a deep level, and that is fantastic for any reader. I don't. I connect more with authors like Sanderson, Abercrombie, Bakker and Erikson.

I also think your use of the word inferior is misplaced. Inferior is comparing VHS to DVD, not Sanderson to Jordan. I personally think that Sanderson is much more innovative. His characters are more easy to relate to, and they grow though-out the novels. You see, I enjoy a real sense of danger. Will the characters live or die? I just don't feel that in WoT, because none of the main characters have ever been in a situation they didn't get out of. I also feel like in WoT most of the character development was front-heavy. Without that constant progression, the latter half of the series has felt flat compared to 1-6. I'm very interested to see how Brandon handles this in his new series.

I do agree with you that WoT has caused Brandon to improve quicker. I think he was great before, but there was room for improvement. I am his friend, certainly, but I am also a book critic. I review books honestly, regardless of the author, or their current fan-base.
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Comfortable Madness

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2009, 10:05:30 PM »
Of course the character development seemed a tad front heavy. The main characters were teenagers that never ventured any further than the outskirts of their tiny village. Thus, after leaving the village and growing up they changed very rapidly and quite a bit. The changes the characters go through now are just way more subtle by comparison. There is just too much substance (ie the hundreds of side-characters) for any more rapid or highly noticable changes in the any of the main characters.
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: The Gathering Storm Chapter One
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2009, 10:20:31 PM »
I see what you are saying, and to a degree I can agree. However the "huge" events that have transpired should have larger effects on the characters. It's the way they have changed that bothers me. The psychology. Other than a throw-away line here and there, Rand has relatively few psychological scars from Dumai's Wells. Mat rarely thinks about the queen he got killed. Perrin's thoughts can be best summed up as "grr." In fact, lately all the characters seem to be centered around the Eddings philosophy of "one trait makes a character." See where I'm coming from? The emotional complexity that made these character's great in the beginning, to me, has been erased.

Now, much of what I'm saying can be redeemed.  I'm big on endings. A fantastic ending can make me forgive a lot. I don't just mean, "Weeee battles!" I mean character's lives scarred and shattered. I mean characters really learning and showing us who they really are. If the ending really makes me say, "there we go, this should have been the attitude of the WHOLE series," then I will revise my opinions.
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