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Found 8 results

  1. This time on Shardcast, not only are we talking about our Skyward reactions (short answer: it was really good), but also we are on VIDEO for the first time. So please, comment below on our ugly/extremely attractive mugs, the quality of video editing, and anything else. I'm very new to editing! All future Shardcasts will be on video, but the audio only version will always be available on Soundcloud and the RSS feed as usual. I think you get a lot out of video in this one, from seeing Grace's deep love for Jorgen, and me looking completely perplexed at something Ben says about the ending. Oh, and make sure you stick around for Who's That Cosmere Character, especially this time. Our cast today is Eric (Callsign: Chaos), Ian (Callsign: WeiryWriter), Grace (Callsign: thegatorgirl), Ben (Callsign: Overlord Jebus), and Shannon (Callsign: Grey). How'd you like Skyward? Are you a Fan-Fan? Tell us below!
  2. I know I've already posted a topic in here, but I thought it would be good to have a central place for general reactions to the story. I'll pin it, for now. Personally, I loved the story. The world is one of the most intriguing that I've seen in the cosmere. I'd really like to know more about the past of the world, the nature of the Evil and all that sort of stuff. Hopefully we'll see this planet again somewhere, I'd be rather disappointed if this was the only glimpse we got. Even if it's just a minor nod in the third Mistborn trilogy. What did you guys think?
  3. Words of Radiance is out now, so it's time for the obligatory general reactions topic. You already know my initial reactions, but what did you guys think? Obviously, this thread will have spoilers. If you don't have the book, stop right now. Seriously. Go. I mean it. And if you have the book and you haven't finished, what are you still doing on this site, go read it, dummy. Here are a great many empty lines so wandering eyes don't go here. If it's a major spoiler, probably put some spoiler tags on it. I'll post my spoilery reactions in a bit, but first, I want to know what you all think.
  4. The wait drags on but the reading goes by so fast. Though I'll have the rest of the WoT to read after I finish Knife of Dreams (I put it aside to read Firefight.) So honestly, I loved this even more than I did Steelheart. There were some large surprises in Steelheart, but I felt like it was pretty straightforward as far as narratives go. The story line for the entire book can extrapolated from the first sentence in the prologue. It was really discovering the world that was more interesting. Super hero as a genre has become one of the norms, and this nuance on it had not been overdone yet. It was a fun story with action driving it. But much like revenge itself, it felt hollow with only bloodthirst being the driving force behind moving the plot forward. I feel like Firefight has more soul where Steelheart was lacking. Don't get me wrong. I cared about the characters in Steelheart (I missed Cody and Abraham, but that's about as close to a criticism as I'll give to Firefight,) but I didn't really feel like I knew David until Firefight. Besides his pluck attitude and gift with colorful comparisons, he was a very vanilla character to me. He really grew into his own during Firefight, and I think that's partially because he didn't know himself. His journey of self-discovery seemed very genuine to me, reminiscent of some of the feelings I had myself at that age, especially when discovering my own shortcomings. This kind of beliveability to the character allowed me to better immerse myself into his perspective, and experience the story through his eyes. Last summer, I took my very first paid vacation ever, and went to New York City. I live pretty near Chicago, and have been there many times in my life. I think what really stood out to me in this book was how the culture and ambiance Brandon depicted in Babilar, and its stark difference between Newcago very much mirrored my own feelings for both places. Chicago is a great place to visit, and I don't mean to bad mouth it in any way, but it doesn't have that same feeling of life that's in NYC. The unique culture and vibrant lifestyle in Babilar just felt right to me, comparing my own experiences to what David feels in the book. While much of Steelheart was action driven, I feel as though most of the more important pieces of Firefight are completely driven by emotion, and by character development. I felt the same confusion and despair as David did interacting with Megan. I've been playing a board game called The Resistance lately, which is a little like Mafia. I have a large amount of empirical proof that those you love can lie to you easily and believably. I got the same sinking feeling I got when losing one of those games several times throughout the book. Betrayal, grief, and just a smattering of guilt for trusting them. I was stuck most of the book trusting in Megan, while getting ready for the rug to be pulled out from underneath me. I had guessed Regalia's overarching plan somewhere around page 200, but that was also when I was speculating over whether or not Val was Megan in disguise. (She seemed to get really grouchy every time Megan had been around.) The scenes between her and David always seemed real to me. When David mentioned the safety being on as proof of true love, I was in tears from laughter. Megan pointing a gun at David is the closest thing they'll ever have to "their song." When Megan showed up in the base, and Val was there, I knew everything was just about to explode. If Megan wasn't Val, then Megan was being stupid, and David being stupid is pretty much the driving force behind every plot point since he first decided that interfering with an assassination attempt was a good idea. I assumed that Prof was keeping an eye on David, and the "come to Jesus" talk Prof had with him just sent red flags parading around inside my head. I was still hoping for a resolution to the Megan plotline that wouldn't give me anxiety, but that wouldn't have been any fun would it have? The subtle theological discussions thrown in are fascinating, and I'm looking forward to going back and giving them a closer look. One such moment was when Megan was talking with David about Steelheart and used the phrase: "you don't get a pass for murder just because you're not as bad as you could be." The hypocrisy of that statement had to slap Megan across the face, and the fact that David still hasn't recognized that in regards to Megan just shows his own character flaws. I'm hoping that the next book will see him addressing his hypocrisies, as he already has started to. For instance, I only felt wretched when the showdown with Knoxx ended. It felt too much like David was on a slippery slope headed for torture, which would push his character past redemption in my eyes. Val already seemed to be to me. I don't know much about the Knoxx guy, but that sort of street justice just makes me ill, especially in light of recent events in the United States (not to open up any cans of worms here on the forums, I'm not trying to make any sort of statement other than my own personal discomfort.) David's ambush also was too far for me. I just feel like David just decided that since he was an Epic it was ok, but I wish he knew more about Knoxx's personal crimes before acting like that. The Reckoner's had always hit Epics before based on how bad they were. For many of these reasons, I feel like Firefight was a battle for the Reckoner's soul, and I'm still not sure if it was won or not. I don't accept that Prof was the entire soul of the operation, though it was mostly his corruption that caused it. What's left of the Reckoner's can still act with soul. Cody and Abraham both seemed to have personalities that would balance Prof, while everyone in the Babilar sect were freshly wounded with the loss of Sam. While one sect may be lost, there still an entire network out there not emotionally unbalanced and working without oversight. Unless his first act as High Epic is to completely destroy the Reckoner but that's talk for later. Again, Brandon wrote a very well constructed book in my opinion. He had sufficient foreshadowing for Megan's reappearance, as well as her increased control of reality for it to not feel like a forced ending. Her wish to be free of the powers seems like a legitimate piece of character development after going through her "rehab" stint in Steelheart. She acts very much in conflict with herself through most of the book. The Calamity reveal was very shocking to me. Seems like something that would be common knowledge if all you needed was a telescope to find that out. (I do recall maybe a rumor or something from Steelheart? Not sure, might look into it later.) But the interaction between Calamity and David left me with huge expectations about the next scene, which were immediately flattened. There was a small period where I felt as though the book would end in a disappointment, but when conflict began again immediately, I was willing to look past it. Conquering a fear really is a huge turning point for you. I won't tell a long story, but I remember the day I was the most scared when I tried to start a strike in sixth grade. After that, I never had any problems performing or public speaking, and it became one of my biggest strengths. Now it's just spiders I need to watch out for! I'm not sure what else to say about the book. I don't want to focus on the action scenes, much as I loved them, because I really feel like the merit here was in the emotionally provocative scenes. Steelheart was fun, and it was quirky, and I loved it for that. It had some emotional ups and downs, but really it was just an action story. Firefight seemed like a war of emotions and philosophies. But in the end, every book just leaves one unquenchable emotion: the thirst for more. IMPORTANT EDIT: The best part of the book was when Megan corrected David on using similes. I literally said "thank you" out loud at least five times to no one in particular. I lost count. At least five.
  5. Well, after all the references to how weak this novel was in the series, I can say that I agree with most of the assessment, but mostly because there was so much more that the book could have been. It was very hard to get into the core of the book. I've read online before about the prologue and how important it is to keep it as short as possible, or even dis-include it completely if possible, and I completely understand after this. It makes me thankful for Brandon's interlude chapters. In fact, I think the way he's organized the SA so far shows how much he learned from tWoT. The continuous perspective chapters work well about three quarters as often as it frustrates me. Having the seperate sections of the book, and knowing whose perspective will be explored was comforting, and kept the story flowing even when the action wasn't necessarily present. I'm less convinced in this book that the events that took place necessarily needed to happen. There are key points that needed to be hit, but at the same time, there was a lot of filler too. I definitely can understand why Brandon is planning on having a gap in time between the two halves of the SA after slogging through the last couple novels. I feel like that could've streamlined it just a bit. Granted, the time lapse couldn't be as significant as Brandon is planning, but just a small lapse in time between CoT and WH would have shortened a few storylines. One that I remain unconvinced of its necessity in this book was Elayne. I felt like after the huge expanse in scope this story has taken, turning our attention into Andor was disappointing, and almost a step back. She's gotten a very large amount of screen time, and it continues to chafe that Aviendha continues to be overlooked as far as seeing from her perspective. Although, while I say that, Elayne's pregnancy and internal struggle with the effects were a highlight of the book, at least as far as comic relief went. One thing that truly goaded me was seeing her discussion with the Seafolk when making the second bargain. Her bargaining power was so much greater when bargaining for the Bowl of the Winds, so how did that end in such disaster when she obviously is an accomplished stateswoman? Mat's story arch was fairly interesting. Tuon intrigues me, and at the end of the arch, when Renna ran off, I thought there was a good amount of excitement coming, and I raced ahead to catch the action....only to be disappointed. There was an inordinate amount of buildup that culminate in a three page horse chase, with an ending that I felt was very anticlimactic. Perrin...oh Perrin. "The abyss also gazes into you." I think the entire book was worth it just for that one moment. Not because I liked it, but because I hated it so much. It was out of character, but completely justified by the events leading up to it. The emotional reaction that I endured when reading that scene was incredible, and illustrates that Jordan truly is a spectacular author, no matter how much I bash some of his decisions . My heart fell to floor when Perrin's ax took the Aiel's hand, and I felt something akin to what I'm sure Perrin was feeling afterwords. So.....is there just not going to be anything explained about So Harbor? Rand destroyed the Taint...but he still gets channeling sickness? Very confusing and frustrating to get no further information on that. On that note, I think my biggest disappointment in the book was how much it was stressed that events happened simultaneously as the cleansing, but for no well established reason. When Aes Sedai and Asha'man were reacting to it happening my thought was "oh cool, characters are reacting to events as they happen. Most are assuming wrong as to what this is. There's going to be some sort of fallout from this only because no one knows what's going on. (Yes, I know it prompted the Aes Sedai to decide to reach out to the Asha'man, but nobody asked you hypothetical response to my statement.)" As each character had responses to the 'beacon' I got more and more excited, as soon there'd have to be someone doing something because of it. Then, it was gone, and the only ones who even batted an eye were the Aes Sedai. What the????? We get no reactions from any of the Asha'man that the taint was gone? No weird magical residue affecting Saidar and Saidin? So when a circle of thirteen women use a ter'angreal, without any men, there results a channeling disruption effect, but when two of the strongest channelers in the world link, and use the most powerful Sa'angreal ever made, destroy the taint on the one power, and take out Shadar Logoth to boot, nothing happens? That was MADDENINGLY disappointing. The taint has to have been more closely tied to the Dark One than his control of the weather, but still, pretty much nothing. Also, no reactions from the Forsaken after their crushing defeat, in which one of them is killed? I just felt like there could have been so much more to this book that was overlooked. While it was slightly interesting to learn about winnowing, as I'd never heard of the practice before, the point that the Dark One's corruption was causing havoc was more than well illustrated by the Aes Sedais' preservings failing during the march to Tar Valon. Events like this could have been glossed over, and more time could have been spent moving forward some of the side plots, especially as more and more of them are added without sufficient progress on the ones that exist already. After reading through ten books, I think that an equally appropriate title for the series would be 'The Wheel of Incompetence." Especially when it comes to the Forsaken. At first it was intriguing to watch them scheme against each other, but now it seems that even the Forsaken who left themselves out of those struggles are just as incompetent. Mesaana sends Alviarin away from the tower, lets Elaida get out of hand, does absolutely nothing about the army camped outside, and ignores summons. Right. Great job there. Then Shaidar Haran showed up. Making hints that Shaidar is literally the Dark One's hand in the world was a cool revelation, as I had figured it was more a title, like the Mouth of Sauron. Then his armor came off. The casual use of rape for the second time in the series is a serious problem for me. I think at this point, we know the Dark One is evil, and this revelation, that he uses rape as a punishment, doesn't add enough into the story to justify its usage, especially along the sexism that's prevalent throughout the series. The last feeling I've had that I want to illustrate is that I really felt the tragedy of Jordan's death reading this novel. I cannot imagine having set up the incredibly intricate story that he did, and not being able to see my vision come to fruition. From what I've read, he was supposed to have only one book left after the Knife of Dreams, and that is heartbreaking. While my posts may have been filled with nitpicks and complaints, I hope that it is understood that I only analyze and criticize so closely because it is something that I've truly enjoyed and to help develop my skills as a writer, by seeing the techniques he employs that both work and don't. Even after reading several arguably weaker books, I still finished with an excitement to keep going, and a fervor to see the strands of the pattern woven into a conclusion. Having that feeling as a reader, it only stresses how much more elevated that disappointment must have been for him. I may not have known your works while you were still with us Robert Jordan, but I grieve for your loss, and for our loss of you.
  6. Halfway through the series! Which is a good thing. You see, I made a mistake. Before I was too far into the book, I looked up the page count for the entire series, and tried to put it into perspective. By the time you finish The Fires of Heaven, you've read more pages than in Harry Potter, and have double that left to go. I'm starting to feel about daunted, but I'm going to keep on slogging on. Having three Brandon Sanderson books as my carrot has kept me moving at a fair speed so far. I mentioned this already, but reading through the battle again through another perspective. In fact, the perspective choices were the saving grace throughout the book in key places. Aviendha really lightened the mood between Elaine, Birgette, and Nynaeve, and I don't think I enjoyed any of the three girls' story archs as much as I did in this book. I think my favorite line in the entire book was from Aviendha: There were several times throughout the book that I was very thrilled with perspective choice. Choosing Min's perspective during the incident with Padan Fain instead of Rand's or Cadsuane's was a brilliant decision. It raised the tension so much, and that scene was made so much more compelling for it. On that topic (I've got the feeling already that I'm going to flit about madly this post. Don't judge me.) What was that? MorFain can summon crazy fog demons with his mad giggle? More seriously, it seems like a local manifestation of Mashadar caused by the connection between Fain, the dagger, and Shadar Logoth. But blood and bloody ashes! It's interesting how the wounds are being played out, that maybe the corruptions will fight each other. Not sure how accurate that prediction is going to be. That scene did annoy me though. I understand info dumps have to happen, but it really could have been more masked than: "Hope you don't mind if I tell you my life story since I've suddenly become a very important plot device." It seemed like it was take the bad with the good this book. For every scene that delighted me, there were almost as many that really felt useless, or completely unnecessary; the foremost of those being Mat and Tylin. It really felt to me that rape was being taken extremely lightly, and I'm just personally not ok with that. Elayne laughs and him, and Nynaeve comments about him tasting his own medicine, and in the end, Mat admits to himself that he'll miss the whole experience. Rape is rape, and it shouldn't be glossed over like this, and made out to be a non-issue, especially when it doesn't help drive the story forward in any way. Another was the Children of the Light. At the end of the day, everything that happened before that with Morgase, and Nial was pretty much whitewashed by this book. If Sebban Balwer becomes a major player in events, than I will happily eat my words, but otherwise, it felt very roundabout, and frustrating. The Kin will be an interesting addition to the boiling pot of Aes Sedai. I think if they all flock to it, that will secure Egwene's power absolutely, not that she hasn't gotten a fair start on her own. It was a disappointment when her arch didn't pick back up again. It seemed like she was caught back up to Rand, and now we're way behind on what's going on there. Especially when it ended with 'Halima' tending to her. I would have much preferred to have her story arch spread throughout the book, but with Lan being required to be in Ebou Dari, with what little we were given that couldn't have happened. Mat and Birgette becoming friends should have been obvious to me. I thought that maybe he might remember her from past lives too, and it will be interesting if that ever turns out to be the case, but still what a great friendship! Especially when Elayne got some blowby from their first encounter. Another one of those scenes that I particularly enjoyed. I was really frustrated by the Sammael/Graendal sequences. Sammael lies and their entire interaction paradigm shifts? What is it about their relationship that would make Graendal fall with him? Why did he even need her? It didn't seem like she really did anything, just observed. There hasn't been enough revealed about the Chosen's politics for me to really grasp anything of significance in those exchanges, and that really bothers me as a reader, even if it's explained more next book. It doesn't seem like the book would be any less without their chapters, and it might even had enhanced the mystery surrounding his visits with the Shaido. I suspect that Alanna is going to die, knowing what I do now about the way the warder bond works. It seems like that was a decision that could only end in disaster, and seeing what it did to Lan, I suspect that's another burden that's going to be placed on Rand's shoulder's. Cadsuane is my new favorite character. She's a boss. Apparently, Leanne was able to teach Min more than enough to get the job done. Elaida continues to astound me. She's so incredibly short sighted in regards to almost every decision she makes. Her doing something relatively competent actually was one of the biggest surprises in the book. I'm glad we've finally established what a gholam is. That was one that's been bugging me for a while. Now if a shocklance could make an appearance that would be great. I tried to keep an eye open for any hints about who killed Asmodean, and I didn't run into anything this book, but reading through the prologue for The Path of Daggers it seems likely to me that it was either Moridin or Shaidar Haran. It mentioned two soul traps with Moridin, and as Mogheidien was given to Moridin for being captured and teaching the enemy, the same punishment would be given to Asmodean. It seems more likely to me that it is Shaidar, as Asmodean recognized the killer, but Mogheiden did not recognize Moridin. That's my guess for now, As always, I'll post more if I think of it.
  7. Well hey. This is a thing that I did. Just in case you all would like to talk about my further descent into madness, I figure we ought to have a thread for these things. I'm on mobile and I don't know how to make my link pretty without the rich text editor, so I'll just post the raw link: http://www.17thshard.com/news/shardcast/the-splintercast-reads/the-splintercast-reads-words-of-radiance-episo-r156 Oh hey look pretty link here now woo! So, has anyone been listening thus far? What do you think?
  8. Slow reader? Trying to savor the book as much as possible? Writing down reactions as you go? Not able to get your hands on a copy yet? Come complain-brag here! I'm naturally a very fast reader, and if I had truly had it my way, I would have started at midnight and been done by now. But I had this idea that I should read along with my husband, so we can discuss it as we go. Otherwise, we would hardly be able to talk to each other for the next several days while he finishes it, because I just like to spoil things. And while he's a fast reader, he's also VERY busy right now, juggling regular work with freelance work and some volunteer things he's got on his plate. So I managed to get him to read all the readings released officially by tor.com before the release, and he read chapter 7 this morning. I'm allowing myself to go ONE chapter ahead of him at a time, so he never has to wait for me, but that means I've read chapter 7 and 11 like three times now. So excited for more! It is both nice and torturous to have to read slowly. I feel like I'm picking up on more things and savoring it more, but I STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. (So, for my own sake and the sake of others who haven't gotten very far yet, keep spoilery specifics out of this thread. Feel free, though, to agonize over general emotional reactions brought about by what you have slowly read this far.)