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Wheel of Time indecision

22 Jan

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Over the last few weeks, with all the anticipation over the release of the final Wheel of Time novel, I’ve been dithering with the idea of making another attempt to tackle the series.

I’ve tried a couple of times over the last ten years, and have never been particularly successful. I find Jordan to be painfully slow and dithery, but everywhere I look there seem to be hordes of people promsing me that it’s well worth hanging in there because the series as a whole is genuinely outstanding, and like nothing else I will ever read. Now, as yet I remain unconvinced, and I worry that the reason the most ardent fans adore this series is because they grew up with it. Reading something as a 12 or 13 year old and then having the series with you through your formatitve years is going to be a very different experience to picking something up as a thirty-something with a lifetime of Fantasy novels already under your belt. I don’t think it could ever mean as much to me for that very reason. Same situation I get with the Dragonlance or the Pern novels. Friends rave, and I can’t see a thing in them if I’m honest.

That said, I do hate the feeling that I’m potentially missing out on something!

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It’s hard to contemplate committing to such a colossal series when there are already so many titles massing on my TBR pile, and I worry that my little site here would suffer. Advance/early reviews seem to be the only posts that bring in traffic. If I trawl through such a huge series that 95% of all Fantasy fans have already read, how stale will the content here be for the forseeable? Unless first impressions from a n00b would be of interest even to old-hands? Hmmmm. I don’t know. I’m sorely tempted to give it a go, not least because I’ve been reading a lot of Urban lately, verging dangerously on PNR in some cases and I feel like I’m drifting away from my Epic roots. I’d like to lose myself in a seriously immersive world again, I want another experience along the lines of being swallowed up completely by Martin’s ASOIAF novels. A series that can become a hideaway from the stresses and strains of work and life in general. Can WoT do that? or will Jordan’s rambling just stress me even more?

What do you think, gentle reader? (assuming anyone is in fact reading this!), is it a series worth committing to as a new reader? Would reviews of the novels within the series be of any interest/relevance today? Let me know what you think!

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7 Comments

Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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7 responses to “Wheel of Time indecision

  1. Dominick

    January 22, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    As a Wheel of Time fanatic, I should say: ‘Yes, read it. It’s definitely worth your time’. On the other hand, I’m one of those that you mention in your post: one who grew up with WoT, so maybe I’m not the right person to give you advice on this matter. Although, I do think any review is relevant, even new ones.
    I want to make one remark about reading for your site: My advice? Don’t read for bringing in traffic. If you do that, in my opinion you forget the reason why you’ve started this site in the first place: sharing your love for fantasy with other people. If you stop reading what you like, and instead start reading what other people like, then you deny your true self. Read for yourself and if you’re passionate about that, then people will automatically be interested. But that’s my opinion about it. I for myself think that if I write a review and there’s only one person who reads it, but that person loves it and learns something from it, that’s more worth to me than 1000 people who read it and aren’t caring about my opinion.
    But back to the main question about reading WoT or not: Try it. I think you won’t be dissapointed, but if you don’t like it, you can always stop reading it and take another book.
    I’m 250 pages in the final volume and if this high level of writing and story will continue for the rest of the book, I have found my new all time favourite book.

     
    • phoenixfantasy

      January 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks Dominick 🙂 I’m going to give it a go 🙂
      Re the blog, it’s so new…and I just want to establish it…but it’s so hard to get a readership going!

       
      • Dominick

        January 23, 2013 at 9:42 pm

        I know, but just do your thing and do what you like. I’m convinced that success will follow automatically if you do that. But that’s just my opinion. Btw, I see on your wishlist that you want to read dangerous gifts. I’ve received it as a review copy directly from Solaris Books. Contact them and you’ll probably get a copy.

         
  2. Cindy Callens (@DraumrKopaBlog)

    January 23, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I’m 21 and I’m reading the series for the first time. I’m now halfway through “The Great Hunt”, the second book. I think the writing has a quality you don’t see often in books and that’s what keeps me going. The story can get a bit slow sometimes, but I think the worldbuilding ànd characterbuilding are fantastic, so I can forgive the slow pace at some points. Its world and characters stay with you, even if you’re not reading.
    What I can agree on is the fact that it takes a tremendous amount of time to read all those books. I say: take it slow, I’m reading shorter books in between and it’s quite easy to pick up again in the Wheel of Time after a pause.
    I do agree with Dominick about the ARC thing. Last year I got quite a lot of review requests and I was so happy to get those, I agreed on almost all of them. Now, I don’t have any time to read the books I want to read althought I have so many I can’t wait to read! I’ve decided to handle all my review requests next month, so I’ll have some time to read the books I want to read after that.
    As for the old/new reviews, I post a review about almost every book I read and there are mostly old ones in there (like Northern Lights and The Eye of the World I did some time ago) with a few new releases and ARCs inbetween. I think the readers who really read your blog for love of Fantasy will value your opinion on any book, old or new.

     
    • phoenixfantasy

      January 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      Thanks Cindy, I’m definitely going to give it a go!
      I still feel really conscious of this blog being new and not getting many hits, so I see the advance reviews as being one way of kind of waving at the blogosphere and yelling “I’m over here!!” I had a blurb published on James Treadwell’s Advent, and I would LOVE to do more of that! I guess it comes down to only accepting the *right* ARCs for me.

       
      • Cindy Callens (@DraumrKopaBlog)

        January 23, 2013 at 8:26 pm

        I have been blogging for a year and never had a blurb published 😉 So don’t worry! It’s hard to get started, but you’ll get there!

         
      • Dominick

        January 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

        I have my first blurb coming up in April. I’m blogging for 3 months now, so I guess I was lucky.

         

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