Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Readthrough of Time: Crossroads of Twilight

This ranks up there as, contextually, one of the worst things I have ever read.

My frustration with the Wheel of Time books has been clear for a while, but this book seems to get there in a way that none have before.

* We start with a prologue of limited value to anything happening.

* We spent 200+ pages with Mat and Perrin, where they proceed in accomplishing little of interest.

* We spend 200+ pages with the Aes Sedai, who had the only interesting parts of this story outside of Rand in the last few volumes.

* We spend a hair of time with Rand, who is supposedly the star of this story, and only to note that he's now gettin' it on with a few ladies. Excellent, really.

The problem with this book series, and this book in particular, is twofold: one, up to the point we're at, we should care about the characters more, and I really cannot. They all feel rather one-dimensional, not all that complex, and rarely do they act in unexpected ways. Two, the books literally leave nothing to the imagination. Seemingly every detail is excruciatingly described, and often to the detriment of the already-starved narrative. If you don't care about the people being described, and what's happening is of limited importance, why on earth would this level of description be of value to the reader? So much excess, so much waste.

I'm feeling like I missed a key point along the way here. There's clearly some complexity buried within the story here, but who knows if I'll ever find it at this point - perhaps Brandon Sanderson will be able to unlock some of those mysteries, given that I'm two books away from his start on the series. To think that I still have 900 pages or so to get there, however, makes me feel like Lews Therin is in my own head, screaming to get out. And yet I soldier onward...

The next book will be New Spring, the prequel published following Crossroads.


A new promotion from our friends at Macmillan has come about, though: Pre-order A Memory of Light and get a free iPhone case. It actually looks pretty nifty, and there are details of the promotion at the link.

Available to buy from Book Depository.

1 comment:

  1. I'm impressed you've made it this far. I have a huge tolerance for fantasy and can happily read some really shoddy stuff, but I made it halfway through Eye of the World and couldn't do anymore. Like you said, no one is actually a character, which means I don't like anyone and don't care if they succeed or not.