Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time, #2)The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

December 2009 Review found here.

August 2015 Review:
The Great Hunt maintains a great pace of action, while still introducing new characters and backstory. I like that I noticed very few plot holes by this second book, which speaks to the planning and forethought that went into this whole series.

I wonder if Robert Jordan was ever tempted to limit the scope of this series, and carry it forward to the conclusion, and then write followup books from other character's point of views? Isn't that what Card did with the Ender books? I don't know if it would have worked, given how intertwined many of the plot lines are, but at the same time, he could have shed some of the detail on the ancillary characters in that first main pass, and then filled it in with new characters and info later. Just a thought.

I'm still massively enjoying this series and look forward to book 3!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time, #1)The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

2009 Review Here.

2015 Review: I think I was 14 or so when I first encountered the Wheel of Time series. I was wandering the aisles in the adult fiction room at the Yuma Public Library, a room I had only recently stayed entering at all, when I saw the series taking up a good part of a shelf. I think it was only up to book 6 or 7 at the time, but I was intrigued by the covers. I've anyways been a sucker for cover art. Certain covers just seem to go with the types of books I like--a marketing ploy I'll have to think about more sometime. Anyway, I read the first book in the series, the Eye of the World, and was hooked. The only comparable series I remember reading to that point was the original Shannara series, and Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan stand out as the influences that started a lifelong love of fantasy fiction.

Since that time, I have tried reading the complete Wheel of Time series on several occasions. A few more books would get published, and so I would start at the beginning and read to the end, hoping that somehow the finale would get published by the time I needed it. No dice. So I put all of that aside and waited. And got married. And had children. And got degrees. Finally, the whole series is published and available (thanks to Brandon Sanderson's efforts at the end there.) Unfortunately, I'm now a jaded professional with no time to read, so when the final book was released I didn't immediately start reading again. It has taken me several years.

Finally, there was a week long vacation to the lake, where there was no internet, no work, and not much else to do, so I grabbed the first few books off of the shelf. It was hard to get into the Eye of World. It isn't a bad book, but it took time for me to let go of the real world, and get taken into a fantasy world again. It took time to remember how to let the story take me along for a ride. In essence, I had to create my own Flame and Void, and the book was able to unfold within the void. And I am glad it did.

The Eye of the World is the perfect book for this situation. It's detailed and deep. It is so unlike our world that you have to let go and go to a different place. At the same time, the people are all individuals, with different motivations. It is a quintessential epic fantasy.

I do have a small complaint, which exists not only in this book, but in others in the series, and in the genre at large. When characters withhold information, or are stubborn in a way that is obviously harmful, it is a fine line the author has to walk between the very real obstinate human nature that creates real conflicts, and the petty machinations of an author trying to create a plot. There are several times when Rand is so stubborn, that it just is a little over the top, and the repercussions are a little to convenient for the author. The chief candidate being his paranoia about being controlled by Aes Sedai. That is a major conflict in the book that affects much of the story line of the whole series, yet, its original foundations in this book seem weak. Just a thought.

So you may be thinking that my comments are overly long, but if you look at it as a review/published word ratio, I think I'm staying pretty consistent. :)

FIVE STARS for the excitement of starting this series again, and for being able to finish it this time!