A new update as I go through Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson's A Memory of Light (Canada, USA, Europe). I've just reached the 700-page mark. I would have thought that this far along into the book, everything would be great. Sadly, that wasn't to be. . .

I've done a quick count as I watch the football game: Of the 700 pages I have read thus far, 389 pages are battle scenes. More than 50% of the book so far. But if you consider that most of what isn't about battle sequences has to do with either their preparation or their aftermath, I'd say that probably 80% of the novel only has to do with battles.

A Memory of Light remains one giant mess of POVs, and as we speak it is a veritable chore to go through. I'm skimming through parts of it now, for it's basically just one part of battles as seen through the eyes of yet another character. ALL FILLER, no killer. . . =(

Only the endgame can save this now, as Rand battles the Dark One. But in and of itself, A Memory of Light is pretty much a failure to launch. The proliferation of installments to cap off WoT was, as expected, one last attempt to cash in on a very popular series. A shame. . . =(

19 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

The early battles wore on me a bit, but once Merrilor started it all turned around for me. It's a shame you're skimming. After all, whatever you think of it, it is the last of The Wheel of Time.

Patrick said...

So what exactly is the rationale here?

Even if it's boring stuff and filler material meant to pad up the novel because most of the important events which needed to occur prior to Rand facing the Dark One took place in both TGS and ToM, I should still lap it all up and be happy because it's the final volume of the series???

I'm skimming because it's all just interchangeable battle scenes that serve no other purpose than prolonging the narrative so we can get to the final scene and its aftermath. How many fucking Trollocs can I read about Lan killing? How many corny episodes between Androl and Pevara must I go through? How many POVs must I go through, just to be told once again how the forces of Light are hanging by the skin of their teeth but they must hold to give the Dragon Reborn the time he needs to save the world?

The only interesting tidbits thus far have been the death of 4 secondary characters. And even those were a bit lacklustre...

Reading on...

Anonymous said...

It's really a shame you have this viewpoint, because it tells me you have zero appreciation for exactly that which makes the Wheel of Time series so incredible - namely, the level of depth the world has. It's not merely a series about Rand's fight with the Dark One - if that had been the case, the series would have ended long ago and would have been unremarkable. Its the story of the world, and many of the different - and fascinating - characters it contains. If all you can think about is one character and one fight, its no wonder you don't like it. But as someone who loves the intricacy and depth of the series, who appreciates the other characters, I found AMoL to be one of the best books I've ever read.

All your comments have done is make me think the problems are more with the reader than with the book. Every other Wheel of Time fan I've spoken to that has read it came off with pretty much the same impression I had, fantastic. Not perfect, but fantastic nevertheless.

Stephan said...

Meh, I expect it's a matter of expectations. I have no clue what else one could expect of the book that once had a working title that translated into "The Last Battle," but apparently you expected something else than a battle. Fair enough.

Bob/Sally said...

Sounds like we're pacing each other pretty well, Pat, likely because I've become guilty of a little skimming myself.

Although I am quite liking the role Mat has been thrust into, and the arrival of the Asha'man did kick up the carnage a notch, the battle scenes do feel like a lot of padding. For such a battle-heavy book, though, I am really surprised by the lack of 'big' deaths so far - it's pushing the bounds of plausibility just a bit.

As much as I enjoyed the first 2 books of the final trilogy, and really appreciate how well Sanderson has managed the legacy, this one has me starting to think the story's been stretched a bit thin. Who knows, maybe the final 200 pages will have enough WOW moments to justify it all, but right now it feels like a 1 or 2 book conclusion would have been a bit tighter and cleaner.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, long time WoT fan here, and I've finished the book, and I have to agree with Pat. And if you check online, you'll see a lot of long time fans have the same viewpoint. Actually, I have to admit, when I finished it, I said to myself, " I drove 20 miles to buy it and lugged this behemoth around for a week for this? Meh."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous = BS


amysrevenge said...

Expecting anything other than the Last Battle, after having read the previous book which ended as the Last Battle was about to begin, was probably not particularly reasonable.

Conversely, after having hyped the Last Battle for decades (and millions of words), anything less would be criminal neglect.

Anonymous said...

And your statement is based on..? Did you actually go look, or are you just trolling?
Anonymous = BS
If you actually read the reviews that aren't just drooling, omg its finished fanboys (and/or girls) you'll see that a lot of people are saying the same thing.
And if you're just trolling, troll away, because I won't be checking back here for your comments no matter how enriching they are. (/end sarcasm)

Jason C. said...

I think WoT fans are falling into two categories now, long time fans who started reading the series in the 90's and who are in their 30's now (like myself)who aren't liking the book that much as we need more depth and emotional impact when we spend precious time reading a long book like this; and newer, younger fans who are the ones calling it "fantastic" and "one of the best books I've read" who are fine with reading all the mundane battle details and enjoying the style of Sanderson's writing (whose books in my opinion, having read most of them, are more geared towards the young adult demographic).

I am not at all pleased with the book so far (on page 630 right now) as I don't think Sanderson is capturing the emotional impact needed in these scenes in the way that RJ used to. Scenes like Dumai's Wells at the end of Book 6, The scene from the Shadow Rising where Rand tries to keep the little girl from dying but is not able to prevent her death, even the cleansing of Saidar at the end of Winter's Heart were all intense and powerful scenes that Jordan executed perfectly. I've gotten none of that emotional impact from reading AMoL and the only thing keeping me from turning the pages is knowing that at least the last chapter and the remaining words I read in the series will have been written by RJ himself. I'm sorry, just my opinion, but Sanderson killed the series for me, AMoL is a major dissapointment to me so far.

from Chicago

Anonymous said...

I started reading this series with the very first edition of the very first book. I can remember my shock when the story did not end at volume three because that's when all fantasy series end right? I then invested years of my time with each successive book until I finally ran out of steam. That was well before Robert Jordan popped his clogs.

I did buy each volume even though I no longer had the interest that I once had but accepted that for me the enjoyment was long gone and I was just reading to find out how it ended and when ffs it would end.

RJ created an almighty mess that he could not have sorted out himself.

Now, onto AMOL - it was at least readable. Unlike Pat this time (unlike about the last 5 books,) I did not skim read it. I read every word. Was it worth it? I'm not sure and whether you will think its worth it will of course depend upon you.

All I can say is thank Christ it's over.

Was I disappointed? No but then my expectations were not high. I just wanted the series to end.

Anonymous said...

Jason C.,

As someone in their 30's who has been reading the series since the 90's i have to disagree with you some as far as the breakdown of audience goes.

I enjoyed the book, BUT I read it fully expecting and knowing that Sanderson is NOT Jordan. He's done a fine job with what he had, but all of those big emotional moments from that Jordan wrote about that made you care were Jordan.

I never expected Sanderson to fill Jordan's massive shoes and having said that I enjoyed all 3 books Sanderson wrote because I never at any point expected him to be as good as Jordan. I didn't expect him to make me care as much as Jordan did, and that's not a bad thing because even he'll tell you he isn't Robert Jordan.

Having said all that, what I will say though is the only part of the book I didn't like and thought "Really? That's what we get?" was the ending that Robert Jordan actually wrote.

Randal B

Jason said...

Randal B,

I did go into reading this not having high expectations but even with that I'm still let down by this book. I do give Sanderson credit for taking this on and juggling all the story lines and plots and I do think he did a good job of keeping track of all that and weaving it together but I guess I just agree that it is too much filler and the moments we've been waiting for are a let down. RJ did have large shoes to fill and I do commend Sanderson for stepping in and finishing the series, as it is I would much rather read through this and at least know the ending than not know how RJ envisioned the series ending.

Jason C.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the book is filled with too much battle scenes. And unfortunatly some other aspects seem to suffer from it or are telled in a hush.

Additionaly I found it strange how the death of most characters was handled. We have a book full of battles and POVs. But with the exception of Egwene, the death of most secondary characters is not witnessed by us. It feels like they are some henchmen in a bad series.

Anonymous said...

I'm sad to hear this- I've been putting off starting for a while myself.

People seem to have forgotten just how much filler there was in books 6 and above. Without any significant changes in editorial staff and standards there was no way that this-last-book-split-into-three-parts was going to be lean and mean.

I'll be approaching this book with the same strategy I used to read the last two- if a chapter isn't immediately related to a character from the first three books, then skip the pages until someone's name jumps out at me.

(I used this for the latest Feist book to only read plot relating to Pug and Tomas and it was very successful)

Unknown said...

Hear, hear Pat. My sentiments exactly. Even worse none of the characters behave as they should. The Avhienda I know, the Mat I know etc. are but a memory.

Having said all that, I am glad to finally know how the story ends. And I was satisfied with the "story" conclusion, if totally disappointed with how it was written.

d@home said...

Hmm...I couldn't disagree more with your assessment, Pat. I'm at 700 pages too and I think it's been fantastic. Definitely not without flaws - I do think some of the battles could have been condensed a bit - but certainly not disappointing. It is about the Last Battle, after all. As far as demographics go, I bought The Eye of the World as they were putting the trade paperback on the shelves the day it was released. I was 19 then and I'm 41 now. I'm really enjoying it, and many of those that I know have been with this series that long have said they enjoyed it, as well. I guess I can't say for sure that there isn't any sentimentality involved in my assessment, but, I think that goes with the territory. I also think that it's way off base to say the split of the books was a money grab. I thought they were all great. I didn't feel that it was all filler. I guess to each their own.

Radmer said...

I must say that i don't agree with you, especially the thing about cashing one more time. It sounds a little childish to me. And not really true. but everybody got his opinion i like it and a real honor to mister Jordan. Hopefully you will change your mind and otherwise that you don't moan to much about it ;P. Love your site

BobM said...

This was the book I expected 7 books ago. But after 13 other tomb-like volumes did you really expect anything less than a complete book dedicated to the Last Battle?

I am also on page 700 or so, having waded through the short jumps from one battle to the other. I definitely would have appreciated chapters dedicated to each one rather than the continual skipping around, but so it goes.

At least it is now over. I can't say I would now recommend anyone begin reading this series, like I would have at book 3.