Am thoroughly enjoying Terry Brooks' The Elves of Cintra right now. Been away from Brooks since Armageddon's Children, and am finding I missed his touch. Very different from our Talespinner, to be sure....
Terry Brooks is one of the authors I just Can Not Do. I tried like five times to get into him and just failed miserably. I don't know what it is.
Have started reading the second novel "Dragonfly Falling" of Adrian Tchaikovsky's "Shadows of the Apt" triology and am enjoying it very much. Lots of drama, fight scenes and war intrigue, etc. Excellent story line makes for very entertaining reading. Though the books are published in the UK, you can purchase them in the states without having to pay the exorbidant shipping costs.
I realized that with a long series that spans decades like Wheel of Time, it's very likely the reader changes tastes before the series ever gets done. The author likely also changes over that much time. That could be why so many readers, including myself, tend to part company with the series around book five or six.
I'm just happy Janny's stuff seems to be getting better and better (my tastes align with her growth as a writer).
I have had The Gathering Storm in my hot little hands since October 28. I am about 200 pages in (given my limited reading time), and so far, I am impressed. I can already spot the differences between Jordan chapters and Sanderson chapters, but the chapters done by both are fairly seemless so far.
Within the first 200 pages, already some superfluous plot lines have been wound up, and the story is getting tighter. I hope Sanderson keeps notching it up, because I haven't had this good a read from Jordan since book 6 and the Dumai's Wells scene.
With respect, Omar, Jordan lost his way in books 7 to 10. The story was not advanced as nearly as quickly as it should have been, and compared to the first 6 books, it simply ground to a halt. The whole Perrin-chasing-Faille-and-the-Shaido story line could have been completely deleted, or done much more quickly than it was. Mat has this never-ending journey from Altara to Caemlyn. Flick the reins, for crying out loud, and get the cart moving!
Had Jordan stayed focused on the main plots, those four books could have been pared down to two books, and Sanderson would not have such a monumental task to bring the story under control (which appears to be like stopping a speeding freight train -- you need a lot of distance). Book 11 got the story back on track a lot, and it appears that The Gathering Storm is doing the same, but even better.
Why did it take Perrin three books to find Faile, break the Shaido Aeil and win her back? Why has it taken Mat three books to trudge across the continent with Tuon et al when he did in one book in The Eye of the World? The books just got....really....sloooooooooooooowwwwwwww.
In contrast, each new novel in The Wars of Light and Shadow gets faster and faster, each is better than the last. Just as it should be, and I think Janny would agree with me (you do agree, don't you?), that we should expect nothing less.
Clansman, if you are directly asking?
I lose myself, with series that have characters who do not change after surviving a Major Experience. When, by book 4, they are still whining teenagers, I drop out.
I lose myself with series that seem to endorse the philosophy that all of life has base motivations, revenge is All, and the cynical outcome, or the point that all striving has no meaning, or, life and choices do not matter - I drop out.
Reading is highly personal - I endorse the full range of choice.
But as an author who is disbarred (by etiquette) from certain sorts of interaction, I can tell you what hurts to no end: readers who will not try another big series BECAUSE some writer or another failed to deliver (for whatever reason) - and who seem to do their best to convince everyone else not to bother, too.
There ARE series out there that are written from a matured standpoint - that deliver with a BANG! - and are superbly well done, with each volume building on the last. Worse, many of them are hanging quite under the radar...I was thrilled to see you give Carol Berg's trilogy a try. Excellent pick. Her Lighthouse duet is awesome also.
The proof is in the pudding - I think eventually the books will sort themselves out. But by sheer mass and numbers, I find a few of the very best series works are being drowned out.
This is starting to change - more mature readers are voicing their opinions, which helps a lot. And sites like fantasyliterature.com, which sorts its reviewers to books by their taste, can really help readers find more of what they like.
There are plenty of readers to go round - the difficulty has always been connecting the reader to their preferred style of content. Overcoming that challenge could quite change the landscape and make it possible to have a far wider range of reading choices.
A new series is coming out in January called 'The Keepers of Sulbreth' by Susan Gourley. and how do I know this you ask?? I work with the author's sister here at our little country hospital!! Why, I am that close to fame. But all that aside, I read the editors comments and it might be good. [smilin at ya]
I have been reading a little mystery of late. Rennie Airth has created a golden age mystery, without the hokeyness (like a drawing room revelation by the investigator at the end, a la Poirot, etc.) of golden age mysteries. The crimes are not your standard upper class murder, but a serial killer/mass murderer at loose in the idyllic English countryside. John Madden, a rather wonderfully flawed Inspector with Scotland Yard, is the protagonist, and who battles not only a psychopathic killer of great intelligence, but a moribund police force that is resisting change.
I am in the midst of the second of three books. They are River of Darkness (set in 1921), The Blood-Dimmed Tide (1932), and Dead of Winter (1944). The first one was the best mystery I have ever read. Only trouble is that Airth turns out a book only every five years, but the quality is worth the wait.
Sorry Clanny, but I can't seem to keep John Madden, the NFL Football former coach and popular announcer/commentator, out of my head in reading your summary!
*Bats head, futilely*
Wonder if Inspector Madden will cross paths with the Pevensie family as they escape the Blitz (or, perhaps, return from it?) in the third book... ;-)
Ihighly recommend the new starwars series fate of the jedi. I find it mond boggling how the whole series has so many different authors and story integrity never fails. Janny you should see if you could write a starwars novel i would loove to see your style in my favorit all time story line. since you are my favorite author