New Poll: The Gathering Storm

Well, I reckon that, like me, most of you have read the first chapter of Jordan/Sanderson's The Gathering Storm (Canada, USA, Europe) on http://www.tor.com/.

If you've been hanging around these parts for a while, then you are aware that I've always been doubtful that Brandon Sanderson, style-wise, was a great fit for the completion of A Memory of Light. And yet, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this first chapter. We've been told that RJ only worked on the prologue and a few additional scenes, so chapter 1 is likely all Sanderson.

Sure, the narrative voice has changed. And yes, it feels incredibly weird and awkward at times. But Robert Jordan has passed away, so WoT fans will have to get used to this. But overall, I enjoyed the excerpt. Brandon Sanderson is a good storyteller, and you can see he's focused on producing something RJ would be proud of.

It's too early to tell how good a job his rendition of the Wheel of Time will be, what with very little happening in this chapter, and basically only Rand to worry about. Sanderson is very black and white with characterization, and I'm afraid that he won't manage to get some of the more ambiguous characters right. We'll have to wait and see. . .

My only problem was with his overwritten prose. One of my biggest fears regarding AMoL being split into three volumes is that we'll have to sift through a lot of "filler" or unnecessary material. Did we really need all those facial descriptions? Don't we know by now what Cadsuane and Nynaeve look like? But okay, that's kind of nitpicking.

My rant concerning the splitting of A Memory of Light into three books should prevent me from getting an early read of The Gathering Storm. What can I say? That's the way love goes!

But label me "optimistic." I'm excited again!=)

What about you? Has the first chapter impressed you, or are you still doubtful about Brandon Sanderson's chances of nailing this one just right?

14 commentaires:

Tristin said...

I think he nailed it. The first couple of paragraphs are a little awkward, but I think he does a really nice job of tying together what was previously a lot of free-floating information in order to begin the series wrap-up. He reminds us of that WOT has a plot and that it is meant to move.

Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Samuel said...

I am actually really excited about this book, purely to see where it ends up. Given you can't judge anything on one chapter, but I kinda felt Rand's dialogue felt a little bit... weird. Guess I will just have to get used to. But Still, it was good to see the first chapter.

Adam Whitehead said...

Sanderson faced a problem that his standard style is more succinct than Jordan's, very noticeably so in MISTBORN, so he was instructed by his editor (Harriet) to slow things down and put in more description to more match RJ's style. That appears to be a possible problem, to my mind, especially if it keeps happening throughout the book. Otherwise he seems to have done a good job.

Sanderson also reported that he was a bit nervous when he started writing, but soon relaxed into the writing process, so hopefully some of the shakier elements of this first chapter will disappear as the book continues.

I am unimpressed with Tor charging for the sample prologue of the novel. It's almost like they're saying to the people who have said they're going to boycott the book because someone else has written it, "Well, okay, but give us $4 and you can read this bit Jordan himself wrote!" It is not a massive display of confidence in the new situation.

Rajesh said...

Your nitpick about descriptions of faces and dresses is really quite wrong. One thing RJ did, and overdid, and then beat into the ground was how everyone was dressed every time we saw them. Nynaeve's jewelery must have been described at least 10 different times in the various books, and Cadsuane's hair ornaments 20 times. RJ did not know excess. I only hope BS cuts back on that a little.

Jebus said...

Didn't read it since I've not read the previous 3 books - have bought them all in hard cover and will do so with this one but am waiting for the series to be finished before re-reading from the very start again.

I actually think he'll finish it off better than Jordan with less braid tugging and under the breasts folding of arms.

Blodeuedd said...

I am excited and I have pre-ordered the book, but we'll see, we'll see

Josh said...

@ Adam: Hasn't Tor always charged for the prologues? The prologue is usually one massive chapter, 5-6 times the size of a standard chapter. I could be wrong, but I don't really smell anything disingenuous about this move.

Ron said...

Tor has not always charged, they began charging with Winter's Heart, IIRC.

Vote me impressed, but then I had rather low expectations.

machinery said...

well, even if i tried i couldn't read the wot with the same feeling I had when I was 20 or 25.
I'd like to think that after soiaf and malazan books and others, I have better taste.
still, I will buy and read the new book, if only the finish the thing already.
I read the first chapter and I think it leads to a resolution of the rand-taint issue, which will finally make the stroy go further.
that's a good thing I think.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of WoT. It got me started reading fantasy. Like many, I've moved on to better books, authors, etc., though I'll always love Jordan's Wot. I purposly havn't read any of Sanderson, nor will I read his WoT books until I do a re-read of the entire series. Which I don't plan to do until the final book is near release. That being said, I am excited to finally finish this series, and I hope Sanderson does a good job.

Keith said...

I haven't read the first chapter yet as I want to read the prologue first. Also, I found Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy to be excellent so I am looking forward to his finishing of WoT.

enigma3535 said...

After reading the 1st book ... waiting for the second, then the third, then the fourth ... etc ... I lost the desire to continue reading the series as the books came out every few years [keeping the continuity of the plot became virtually impossible without going back and re-reading all the previous books], so I gave up in the mid 90s [as I recall].

I look fwd to the the whole series being officially "done" ... once and for all ... so I can read through it without losing any of the plot nuances : )

Adam Whitehead said...

"@ Adam: Hasn't Tor always charged for the prologues? The prologue is usually one massive chapter, 5-6 times the size of a standard chapter. I could be wrong, but I don't really smell anything disingenuous about this move."

They started with Book 9. Before that, they released the prologue for free. So whilst there is some consistency in this (although I think overall it's a rip-off), I think in this specific instance, with so much riding on reactions to Brandon Sanderson's writing on the book, it was not the best move. According to Tor and Sanderson, the prologue (and this is only half of it, the rest is in Book 14) is 100% written by Jordan, so there is a strong possibility that people who have otherwise sworn not to buy the book are being specifically targetted.

On one level that may be a clever move, but as I said it doesn't show tremendous faith in Sanderson's ability to bring in readers himself with his own work. It may even lose them some sales of the novel ("Right, I've read Jordan's bit, no need to buy the book now"), although such numbers will be almost negligible in the grand scheme of things.