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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Review: The Gathering Storm

The Gathering Storm
The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It's interesting, because I actually started reading this when I was in my Brandon Sanderson craze. My theory was I'd struggle through the Robert Jordans and it would be worth it in the end. Little did I know that I'd spend the entire book (and there are two more) mourning a man who was dead before I even heard of the book series.
I like a lot of Brandon Sanderson's work very much. He certainly did not do a bad job on these books, and it takes a brave man to take up someone else's work eleven books in. However, he is not Robert Jordan. Things did improve as the book progressed, but whether that was acclimation or something real I don't know. The characters were off, I kept second-guessing every new name (who made it up? Why does it sound weird?), and when something happened that should have been funny I couldn't laugh at it because Robert Jordan would never have written such a scene.
The book was not as bad as I thought it would be in the first two hundred pages. It was, however, just not the same, and not in a good way. I felt cheated throughout- these were characters I'd spent eleven books with, and now they were betraying me with a new author. I no longer knew what to expect or which characters I liked or disliked. Even stopping the constant worry felt like a betrayal in itself- didn't Robert Jordan deserve better than this?
And the ending... a simple move of quotation marks and it would have been fine. The fact that they were where they were made me extremely nervous as to the meaning. It seemed rather fourth-wall shattering, honestly (although I'm sure it was simply an error... here's hoping.)
All in all, not a bad effort, but I'm thinking what I never thought I would: I really want Robert Jordan back. I regret the amount of time I spent insulting his work and wishing to get to these. I only now see what the world has lost: a very driven man with brilliant world-building and realistic characters who cannot simply be replaced.
And yes, I even sort of miss the skirt-smoothing (although I'm sure that would wear off quickly with a bit of rereading.)
Oh, and kudos to whichever author made up Hinderstap. That was creepily awesome

Edit: I keep remembering things I forgot to mention. Such as Brandon Sanderson's penchant for modern language. Great snuck in there somewhere, as well as several other things that for some reaon aren't coming to mind at the moment. It drove me crazy.

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