Hmmm. . .


I know I've said I wanted to take my time and savour every moment as I go through Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson's A Memory of Light (Canada, USA, Europe). The death of my grandmother a little over a week ago and an acute case of gastroenteritis earlier this week have slowed me down quite a bit.

But I'm now about 500 pages into the book and it's been all filler and no killer so far. Hell, the first 400 pages or so were more or less boring. Things have been looking up a bit these last few chapters, but it's now obvious that Jordan's last WoT volume should never have been split into three installments.

A Memory of Light is a veritable mess of POVs that focus on everything but the really important stuff, or so it seems. I mean, do we truly need to witness every single skirmish taking place in Andor and the Borderlands??? So far, I'd say that about 70% of the book has focused on those battles.

And some of the most important scenes we have been waiting for for years and years are downright ridiculous. "He will bind the nine moons to serve him." Remember that prophecy about the Dragon Reborn? That scene was a fucking joke. . . =(

I know the grand finale will make or break this book. And in a way, that's as it should be. And yet, I'm more than halfway through at this point, and thus far A Memory of Light is as weak as Crossroads of Twilight turned out to be. . . :/

Enough with the filler, I want some killer material. . . Please. . . Pretty please!

16 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

With Jordan saying he'd do it all in one book, it does make me think we wouldn't have read much of any of these other battles. I liked the book a lot, but the battles in the first half started to wear on me a bit.

Funksoul123 said...

The ending, when you finally get there feels very rushed. If you've seen any western - you'll know the ending sunset etc.

Draken said...

Sorry, Pat, don't agree with you on this one. It's the final book of a fourteen book series. It needs to wrap up all loose ends, follow everything to its natural conclusion, visit every character, say goodbye. It does all these things, and its a slog, but stick with it, because Crossroads of Twilight it aint.

kevinsm said...

Interesting. I don't have that impression at all. There was one moment that made me roll my eyes, but most of it has been good. Then again, I'm just getting started on the main skirmish in Andor, so I might still end up finding that silly.

Bob Milne said...

I'm not far behind you, at 465 pages, and I have to agree it's been a slow haul so far. Some interesting bits, and I can see some glimmers of hope, but it feels like a lot of talking and waiting.

Nevertheless, I shall persevere - despite my general distaste for lugging around a hardcover - and hope there's a satisfying end to it all.

Jason said...

I was wondering when you were going to post a review of this book. I'm around page 430 myself and as a long time WoT fan since '96, I have to agree with you on the first half. There were a couple decent scenes in there but they are few and far between. While I agree that time needed to be taken to wrap up the loose ends it's not a very compelling read so far and it feels like a chore at times getting through some chapters. Reading the last novel of WoT should not have to feel like a chore! I think AMoL should have been split in two books tops.

cant said...

Well Draken that's an interesting assessment of the book, because it doesn't do any of the things you mention. There is no wraping of all loose ends, a lot remains unmentioned, its an abrupt end. There are tons of characters who are not mentioned at all, others get so few airing time, and their deaths are mentioned in one sentence only, there is absolutely no emotional impact whatsoever. Only some of the main characters get a satisfying resolution.
And yes the first 600 pages are really hard to get through, mostly because the battle scenes are written very poorly often using the same pattern all over again and the povs switch every 2-4 pages, it's jarring. The last 300 pages are a lot more enjoyable, the switching povs work here surprisingly better.
Because this last third is so much better than the first two thirds, you just forget how bad it was and enjoy the ending. And this enjoyment clouds the judgement.
While Sanderson did a good job on TGS and TOM(worse than TGS imo), AMOL is a mediocre book at best.

AMos said...

re: cant,

we couldn't have the emotional impact from all those characters' deaths or the book would never end. there are too many deaths. i actually thought the way several of them were described, in just a line or two, lent more to the overall theme and mood than staying tight with each character as they died would have done.

i thought the 190 page chapter "The Last Battle" was intense and really engaging, and i'm glad it was that long. there are no breaks or time-outs when the fate of the world is at stake. i'm also glad it jumped around between POVs so much; it kept the momentum at a fever pitch, and showed us a multitude of facets from the two main fronts.

this book was much better than several of jordan's last books (CoT, for example). in fact, as a nineteen year reader of the WoT, it pains me to admit, but brandon sanderson rejuvenated a flagging series.

and the very last pages, while i see where Funksoul123 is going with his comment, felt in a way very complete in that they hearkened back to the very beginning of Eye of the World in tone, content, and narrative voice. those pages felt very much like they were written 20 years ago, which ended the entire cycle out rather nicely i thought.

Anonymous said...

I've got to agree, this has been rather dull. Especially the Perrin and Slayer thing, that's been dragged out to death.

Anonymous said...

I do think we the readers built up the prophecies though. A prophecy might sound badass, but as readers we probably shouldn't have expected all this crazy stuff happening when it could easily end up having a rather mundane resolution like the seanchan one. The simplest answer is probably the best answer.

Dave said...

I've also been waiting to see your thoughts on the final book.

I still enjoyed it overall but there were some things that did bug me - the Rand/Tuon scene being one of them and roles of Moraine/Cadsuanne being another.

Overall I think Sanderson did an ok job but some things were a bit too "Sanderson-ized" for my taste and just didn't seem like the Wheel of Time we love. For instance how gateways were used, I have trouble believing RJ would have put that in. How he described men/women linking was off too.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't disagree with you more. I've enjoyed the entire book so far but I am about 600 pages in.

Everyone can feel however they want though :) We all don't have to agree, but either way it's the end so we may as well enjoy it as best we can.

-RB

Eric Leblanc said...

Keep reading Pat :)

My initial thought in the first 300 pages was that it was badly written.... but oh my the next 600 pages were quite a blast. First time in my life I read a chapter that is 200 pages long!

cant said...

re AMos

Well you know it's really bad writing when a horses death gets more air time and attention than the deaths of some of the major characters. One could have easily written a 1-2 pages for these characters, and cut away some of the more boring parts in the first two thirds(and there are some of them).

And it isn't just the deaths that are unemotional, all of Sanderson's prose in this book is emotionally dead. There is that big alleged betrayal but the prose just doesn't show the dread or any feelings at all that should be there. A lot of wasted potential, sadly.

Dimzar said...

A Memory of Light easily surpassed A Storm of Swords as my best fantasy book of all time . It trully mindboggling how Sanderson managed to pull off the almost impossible feet of tying up almost 12000 pages of backstory. The book redefines the word "epic" when applied to fantasy literature.

Only thing I didn't like is how fast it ended. We could use another 100 pages of seeing the aftermath of the battle .

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