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Author Topic: [book] Wheel of Time 14: A Memory of Light (spoilers)  (Read 1556 times)
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CeeKay
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« on: January 07, 2013, 11:44:31 PM »



just got shipping notification.  Yes, the final volume is finally here, or at least on it's way, almost 23 years after the first book came out.  I guess I'd better get cracking on re-reading the first part of the series and finally reading the last 5 books that have been sitting around after I vowed not to read anymore of the series until it was finished.
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 11:55:45 PM »

So, it's probably ridiculous to ask, but is the series worth reading?

What would you compare it to? Tolkien or Martin or is it it's own beast?
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 12:42:19 AM »

Really irritated that the ebook release isn't until April.
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 12:44:13 AM »

Started on my readthrough last night, halfway through EOTW right now.
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 01:39:38 AM »

Quote from: ATB on January 07, 2013, 11:55:45 PM

So, it's probably ridiculous to ask, but is the series worth reading?

Well, the first 6 or so books are pretty awesome. Then it sucked for books 7-11. Then it became awesome again for books 12 and 13.

I can't wait to read this, but that's only because I read all the previous books. Would I start if I haven't? I'm not so sure...

As for what type of fantasy it is, I would say it's its own beast. But if I must choose, I think it's slightly closer to Martin than Tolkien. But it's still nothing like those two authors.
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 01:53:35 AM »

It's higher fantasy than Martin.  Spells are slung on a regular basis and the plot revolves around the magic, who can use it, who shouldn't, and the release of the most evil of evils into the world.

There's lots of interpersonal drama with a high level of male/female conflict and caricatures, which tends to drive most readers batty at one time or another.  There is much skirt-smoothing, braid-tugging, and arm-crossing to be had.  If you're familiar with Martin:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Think of every young male/female relationship having their own, "You know nothing, Jon Snow" moments on a regular basis.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 07:39:17 AM »

Quote from: ATB on January 07, 2013, 11:55:45 PM

So, it's probably ridiculous to ask, but is the series worth reading?

What would you compare it to? Tolkien or Martin or is it it's own beast?

For me the Wheel of Time setting is enough like Lord of the Rings minus fantasy races that it seems analogous to it. For some reason his writing doesn't quite work for me and I found it at times awkward. I read the 1st 2 books of the series, but didn't feel compelled to read any further. What works for me in his writing is his world building and attention to detail, which is often excellent. Many people enjoy the series though, so I'd recommend at least giving the Eye of the World a read.
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 12:13:43 PM »

Thanks, gents. I'll ponder it should my reading list get light.
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 03:16:37 PM »

Quote from: ATB on January 07, 2013, 11:55:45 PM

So, it's probably ridiculous to ask, but is the series worth reading?

What would you compare it to? Tolkien or Martin or is it it's own beast?

I would put Wheel of Time kind of in the middle of these two.  It doesnt have the elf/dwarf/hobbit race thing, its focused around humans.  It does have the shadowy big bad like Tolkien though.  Instead of the internal conflicts focused on races, its more focused on the sexes.    One of the biggest knocks on the series is that the ploy slows to a crawl in the middle books.  This was far more evident when you were waiting a couple of years for the next book but most people have found that on a reread it flows much better.   Overall, its a good series and worth reading. 
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 03:18:23 PM »

Quote from: ATB on January 08, 2013, 12:13:43 PM

Thanks, gents. I'll ponder it should my reading list get light.

I just finished the book I was working on last week, and am now starting a read of the full Wheel of Time series (probably with a  break or two in the middle for something different).  I have never read any of them before, so hopefully I will enjoy it and will keep you posted on my Goodreads page.
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 03:24:23 PM »

The only thing that really bugs me is the first 2-3 chapters, as the re-explain EVERYTHING.

That, and tugging braids. If you were to stop smoothing skirts and tugging your braid, this series would lose 3 volumes. Ah well. I find the characters compelling, and Jordan did a great job of creating societies before creating characters, including history and backstory.
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2013, 06:15:40 PM »

I love (and hate) the Wheel of Time for all the same reasons other fans love (and hate) the Wheel of Time. The first 6 books are awesome, but after that things slow down a lot. I did however, think book 9 was much better than books 7 or 8. (I can't remember the titles anymore.) I started reading this around 20 years ago when I was a freshman in college. I think at the time there were 2 or 3 books out. Book 4 came out shortly after I finished reading the first 3 (within a couple years I think). With the release of books 5 - 11 I always reread the entire series in anticipation of the new books' releases. I found this to be pretty much required or I would never be able to keep up with the millions of characters who keep hanging around through these books. After book 11, I was fed up with this so I decided I was done with WoT until the final book came out - which happened today. So I haven't yet read the Sanderson books.

Today I begin re-reading the series so I can then buy the last 3 books. After I finish I plan to take a couple decades off from the series. Having said that, I am excited to see how it all ends.
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 06:28:29 PM »

Is there a good online set of chapter summaries for the series like The Tower of the Hand for Game of Thrones?  I'd like to catch up on Wheel of Time but I can't even remember what book I stopped on.
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 06:48:04 PM »

Chapter by chapter summaries with settings on what you've read so you don't accidentally spoil something you haven't read.

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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2013, 06:50:04 PM »

Book Titles:

0.   New Spring
1.   The Eye of the World
2.   The Great Hunt
3.   The Dragon Reborn
4.   The Shadow Rising
5.   The Fires of Heaven
6.   Lord of Chaos
7.   A Crown of Swords
8.   The Path of Daggers
9.   Winter's Heart
10.   Crossroads of Twilight
11.   Knife of Dreams
12.   The Gathering Storm
13.   Towers of Midnight
14.   A Memory of Light
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 07:21:04 PM »

I would call New Spring an optional thing and not required reading. I definitely wouldn't start with New Spring since it will spoil things in the first book at least. I think it was intended to be read by people after reading the first few books.
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2013, 08:35:39 PM »

From the titles above, it seems that I misremembered -- it's actually the last 4 books, not 2, that was pretty good. So you have to slog through 4 crappy books, which doesn't sound so bad without the waiting between books biggrin

Quote from: JCC on January 08, 2013, 07:21:04 PM

I would call New Spring an optional thing and not required reading. I definitely wouldn't start with New Spring since it will spoil things in the first book at least. I think it was intended to be read by people after reading the first few books.

I actually thought New Spring sucked, even though it seems many liked it. Dunno.
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2013, 08:50:36 PM »

Quote from: JCC on January 08, 2013, 07:21:04 PM

I would call New Spring an optional thing and not required reading. I definitely wouldn't start with New Spring since it will spoil things in the first book at least. I think it was intended to be read by people after reading the first few books.

I'd say wait until after book 10, since that is when it was fully fleshed out and released as a stand alone book.

looking at the publishing dates is seems that when he started taking more than a year to release the books is where the quality slipped:

(thanks to Isgrimnur for the list)

0.   New Spring - 2004
1.   The Eye of the World - 1990
2.   The Great Hunt - 1990
3.   The Dragon Reborn - 1991
4.   The Shadow Rising - 1992
5.   The Fires of Heaven - 1993
6.   Lord of Chaos - 1994
7.   A Crown of Swords - 1996
8.   The Path of Daggers - 1998
9.   Winter's Heart - 2000
10.   Crossroads of Twilight - 2003
11.   Knife of Dreams - 2005
12.   The Gathering Storm (Sanderson takes over) - 2009
13.   Towers of Midnight - 2010
14.   A Memory of Light - 2013

for the first 6 he's pumping them out almost yearly, then he starts taking his time. 
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2013, 02:49:51 AM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 08, 2013, 08:50:36 PM

looking at the publishing dates is seems that when he started taking more than a year to release the books is where the quality slipped:...

That makes sense actually, because something I'd read about Jordan was that he was a crunch writer. I'd read that he once wrote a novel in in just 2 weeks time! I think it was his 1st Conan novel (Conan the Invincible) but I'm not 100% sure about that being the specific book. Even the Eye of the World and The Hunt being written in the same year is pretty damn remarkable considering the page count of those 2 together. For those types of writer, having the opportunity to take their time often doesn't translate into good results.
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2013, 01:45:28 PM »

I believe Jordan wrote the first three books as one book. So he would have had a 2 year lead going into book 4. That's a pretty comfortable cushion.
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2013, 02:34:52 PM »

After reading the wiki, it looks like he didn't have that lead time.
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2013, 07:47:48 PM »

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 01:45:28 PM

I believe Jordan wrote the first three books as one book. So he would have had a 2 year lead going into book 4. That's a pretty comfortable cushion.

That would have been one long ass book.
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2013, 08:28:04 PM »

Quote from: Scraper on January 09, 2013, 07:47:48 PM

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 01:45:28 PM

I believe Jordan wrote the first three books as one book. So he would have had a 2 year lead going into book 4. That's a pretty comfortable cushion.

That would have been one long ass book.

and then we might still have another 13 after it  icon_lol
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2013, 08:44:13 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2013, 08:28:04 PM

Quote from: Scraper on January 09, 2013, 07:47:48 PM

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 01:45:28 PM

I believe Jordan wrote the first three books as one book. So he would have had a 2 year lead going into book 4. That's a pretty comfortable cushion.

That would have been one long ass book.

and then we might still have another 13 after it  icon_lol

His time was finite. I recall him stating after book seven or eight that he had everything wrapped up storywise, and he could end it in one book. So for him, he was simply fleshing it out at every step.
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« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2013, 09:18:06 PM »

so, the book looks pretty.  having a hard time resisting the urge to read the last page  icon_lol
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« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2013, 10:24:11 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2013, 09:18:06 PM

so, the book looks pretty.  having a hard time resisting the urge to read the last page  icon_lol

No kidding! I am even avoiding looking at chapter titles at the beginning of the book. I I even suspect there is a spoiler on a forum I don't even look at the thread.

I have read the first 100 pages and stuff is happening fast but I'm reminded, again, that Sanderson is a very good writer but he doesn't have the same skill as Jordan. You can whine about skirt smoothing and braid tugging all you want but with a series that is this size, Jordan did an amazing job of having unique traits, no matter how annoying.

Did anyone see all the negative reviews on amazon just because there is no ebook? Lame.
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« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2013, 11:26:21 PM »

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 10:24:11 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2013, 09:18:06 PM

so, the book looks pretty.  having a hard time resisting the urge to read the last page  icon_lol

No kidding! I am even avoiding looking at chapter titles at the beginning of the book. I I even suspect there is a spoiler on a forum I don't even look at the thread.

I have read the first 100 pages and stuff is happening fast but I'm reminded, again, that Sanderson is a very good writer but he doesn't have the same skill as Jordan. You can whine about skirt smoothing and braid tugging all you want but with a series that is this size, Jordan did an amazing job of having unique traits, no matter how annoying.

Did anyone see all the negative reviews on amazon just because there is no ebook? Lame.

I loved Jordan, I love the setting and I loved the series but I will continue to whine about the skirt smoothing and braid tugging.  Honestly though when you look at 14 books and over 3.5 million words it wasn't used all that much.  I did a quick check and braid was only used 47 times in book 9 smile  I'm going to miss the series.

The no eBook thing until April is completely stupid though.  It was a huge mistake, the publisher should not have listened to the widow who doesn't understand the new medium and it will cost both of them quite a bit of money in the short run.  It is already available on the main sites in multiple formats and every one of those downloaded is at least a potential loss of a $20 sale.
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« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2013, 11:30:00 PM »

Quote from: ericb on January 09, 2013, 11:26:21 PM

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 10:24:11 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on January 09, 2013, 09:18:06 PM

so, the book looks pretty.  having a hard time resisting the urge to read the last page  icon_lol

No kidding! I am even avoiding looking at chapter titles at the beginning of the book. I I even suspect there is a spoiler on a forum I don't even look at the thread.

I have read the first 100 pages and stuff is happening fast but I'm reminded, again, that Sanderson is a very good writer but he doesn't have the same skill as Jordan. You can whine about skirt smoothing and braid tugging all you want but with a series that is this size, Jordan did an amazing job of having unique traits, no matter how annoying.

Did anyone see all the negative reviews on amazon just because there is no ebook? Lame.

I loved Jordan, I love the setting and I loved the series but I will continue to whine about the skirt smoothing and braid tugging.  Honestly though when you look at 14 books and over 3.5 million words it wasn't used all that much.  I did a quick check and braid was only used 47 times in book 9 smile  I'm going to miss the series.

The no eBook thing until April is completely stupid though.  It was a huge mistake, the publisher should not have listened to the widow who honestly doesn't understand the new medium and it will cost both of them quite a bit of money in the short run.  Honestly it's already available on the main sites in multiple formats and every one of those downloaded is at least a potential loss of a $20 sale.

VERY painful to the publisher. ebook are almost pure profit.
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« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2013, 05:41:13 PM »

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 11:30:00 PM

VERY painful to the publisher. ebook are almost pure profit.

Almost? Storage costs next to nothing, duplication costs next to nothing, transmitting costs next to nothing, and you can easily put up infinite copies anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.

To not release a ebook version the same day a hard cover comes out is just stupid. Period. There will be a scanned copy up on the interwebs somewhere in a day at most if they don't. Always.
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« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2013, 06:07:30 PM »

I just finished reading A Memory of Light. This is my favorite book in the entire series. Remember the scene where the Asha'aman kick butt at Dumai's Wells? The whole book is basically like that. Everyone kicking all sorts of ass all over the place.

-Lyno!
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« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2013, 06:47:42 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on January 10, 2013, 05:41:13 PM

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 11:30:00 PM

VERY painful to the publisher. ebook are almost pure profit.

Almost? Storage costs next to nothing, duplication costs next to nothing, transmitting costs next to nothing, and you can easily put up infinite copies anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.

To not release a ebook version the same day a hard cover comes out is just stupid. Period. There will be a scanned copy up on the interwebs somewhere in a day at most if they don't. Always.

I've long thought that they should have hardcover versions come with a token for an e-book copy. They want more people paying the hard cover premium, right?  And it doesn't cost the publisher anything more.  Pretty much the same concept as what Amazon just did with physical CDs and the e-library.
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« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2013, 06:51:15 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on January 10, 2013, 05:41:13 PM

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 11:30:00 PM

VERY painful to the publisher. ebook are almost pure profit.

Almost? Storage costs next to nothing, duplication costs next to nothing, transmitting costs next to nothing, and you can easily put up infinite copies anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.

To not release a ebook version the same day a hard cover comes out is just stupid. Period. There will be a scanned copy up on the interwebs somewhere in a day at most if they don't. Always.

Yes, but people can't go down to kinkos and photocopy a book - while I'm sure there is a counterbalance, I'm sure that ebooks have a much higher piracy rate, and staggering the ebook release is probably for that very reason. It could also be due to honoring the wishes of either Jordan's widow, or his own wishes in a series spanning over three decades and 14 books.
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« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2013, 06:58:46 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on January 13, 2013, 06:47:42 PM

Quote from: Destructor on January 10, 2013, 05:41:13 PM

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 11:30:00 PM

VERY painful to the publisher. ebook are almost pure profit.

Almost? Storage costs next to nothing, duplication costs next to nothing, transmitting costs next to nothing, and you can easily put up infinite copies anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.

To not release a ebook version the same day a hard cover comes out is just stupid. Period. There will be a scanned copy up on the interwebs somewhere in a day at most if they don't. Always.

I've long thought that they should have hardcover versions come with a token for an e-book copy. They want more people paying the hard cover premium, right?  And it doesn't cost the publisher anything more.  Pretty much the same concept as what Amazon just did with physical CDs and the e-library.

is there anything to stop the buyer from selling or just giving away the hard copy and keeping the digital one? 
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« Reply #33 on: January 13, 2013, 10:19:22 PM »

Quote from: Purge on January 13, 2013, 06:51:15 PM

Quote from: Destructor on January 10, 2013, 05:41:13 PM

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 11:30:00 PM

VERY painful to the publisher. ebook are almost pure profit.

Almost? Storage costs next to nothing, duplication costs next to nothing, transmitting costs next to nothing, and you can easily put up infinite copies anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.

To not release a ebook version the same day a hard cover comes out is just stupid. Period. There will be a scanned copy up on the interwebs somewhere in a day at most if they don't. Always.

Yes, but people can't go down to kinkos and photocopy a book - while I'm sure there is a counterbalance, I'm sure that ebooks have a much higher piracy rate, and staggering the ebook release is probably for that very reason. It could also be due to honoring the wishes of either Jordan's widow, or his own wishes in a series spanning over three decades and 14 books.

People don't go down to Kinkos...they have dedicated (and cheap) book scanners now.  The full eBook was on the torrents the day of release.  I'm personally fine with honoring the wishes of the widow or Jordan...I was just pointing out that it's a massive amount of lost sales especially with the explosion of eBook readers over the past year.

Anyway, the book itself it great so far.  It's very quick and everything is moving along at a very brisk pace.  No spoilers yet and I'm still a couple days from finishing.  Still a little scared when thinking about how it's going to end.
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« Reply #34 on: January 13, 2013, 10:38:32 PM »

Given that a lot of diehard fans started collecting dead tree versions back in the 90s, it's hard to bookend the series with 11 volumes on the shelf and three in bits on some hard drive somewhere.  There are still people that would have loved to pick up an e-book version, and still might, that have been pushed to the dead tree version because of that lack.  Not every e-book reader is willing to go pirate just because it might take a few months to get it in the ultimate portable version.
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« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2013, 05:05:00 AM »

Quote from: ericb on January 13, 2013, 10:19:22 PM

Quote from: Purge on January 13, 2013, 06:51:15 PM

Quote from: Destructor on January 10, 2013, 05:41:13 PM

Quote from: Crusis on January 09, 2013, 11:30:00 PM

VERY painful to the publisher. ebook are almost pure profit.

Almost? Storage costs next to nothing, duplication costs next to nothing, transmitting costs next to nothing, and you can easily put up infinite copies anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.

To not release a ebook version the same day a hard cover comes out is just stupid. Period. There will be a scanned copy up on the interwebs somewhere in a day at most if they don't. Always.

Yes, but people can't go down to kinkos and photocopy a book - while I'm sure there is a counterbalance, I'm sure that ebooks have a much higher piracy rate, and staggering the ebook release is probably for that very reason. It could also be due to honoring the wishes of either Jordan's widow, or his own wishes in a series spanning over three decades and 14 books.

People don't go down to Kinkos...they have dedicated (and cheap) book scanners now.  The full eBook was on the torrents the day of release.  I'm personally fine with honoring the wishes of the widow or Jordan...I was just pointing out that it's a massive amount of lost sales especially with the explosion of eBook readers over the past year.

Anyway, the book itself it great so far.  It's very quick and everything is moving along at a very brisk pace.  No spoilers yet and I'm still a couple days from finishing.  Still a little scared when thinking about how it's going to end.

The will of Jordan, or his widow, is simply conjecture. It could be something as business-related as the NYT Bestsellers list not factoring in ebook sales.


Regardless, this is old news.
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Zarkon
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« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2013, 10:19:39 AM »

Just finished The Great Hunt.  3 down, 11 more to go until I get to the new goodness!
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« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2013, 12:01:59 PM »

Quote from: Zarkon on January 14, 2013, 10:19:39 AM

Just finished The Great Hunt.  3 down, 11 more to go until I get to the new goodness!

working on that one right now, but looks like school is going to slow down my re-read frown

ps.  don't you mean 2 down? slywink
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« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2013, 03:05:10 PM »

Nope, 3. I started with New Spring. smile
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ericb
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« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2013, 02:44:22 AM »

Why the ebook delay:

Quote
author Brandon SandersonĎs explanation for the eBook delay:

This is not my decision or Torís decision, but Harrietís. She is uncomfortable with ebooks. Specifically, she worries about ebooks cutting into the hardcover sales. It isnít about money for her, as the monetary difference between the two is negligible here. It is about a worry that her husbandís legacy will be undermined if sales are split between ebooks and hardcovers, preventing the last book of the Wheel of Time from hitting number one on either list. (Many of the bestseller lists are still handling ebooks in somewhat awkward ways.)

As the last books have all hit number one, she doesnít want to risk one of these not hitting number one, and therefore ending the series on a down note. (Even though each Wheel of Time book has sold more than its predecessor, including the ones I have worked on.) I personally feel her worries are unfounded, and have explained that to her, but it is not my choice and I respect her reasoning for the decision. She is just trying to safeguard Robert Jordanís legacy, and feels this is a very important way she needs to do so. After talking about the issue, we were able to move the ebook up from the originally planned one-year delay to instead come out this spring.

Link http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/a-memory-of-light-gets-one-star-reviews-over-ebook-delay_b63514

The worst part is the lack of an ebook release actually hurts some of the new lists which now have a combined paper/ebook sale total.

As for the book I'm now close to half way through.  It's surprising how much has happened and where it's at (considering I'm only half way through).  I don't know if I should be worried or excited that there's still half a book left.  So far it's been an excellent end to an epic series that I started over 20 years ago when I bought the first over-sized paperback Eye of the World.  Can't wait for the new spoilers included thread once people start finishing it smile
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