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  #1  
Old 10-19-2010, 11:43 AM
Tamyrlin Tamyrlin is offline
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Default TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT: A THEORYLAND NON SPOILER REVIEW

Towers of Midnight: A Theoryland Review
By a Theory Freak for Theory Freaks

First, considering the opportunity I have been given by Harriet to publish this review before the book is released, I should tell you that I was one of a handful of beta readers of Towers of Midnight. That being disclosed, I thought you might appreciate a view of the book from a Theory Freakís perspective.

I'm happy to tell you that Towers of Midnight is a far-reaching, entertaining and thought-provoking book for Freaks like me. And as I consider my favorites from the series, it now sits in my top five as seen in the handy ďMy Top FiveĒ list below.

My Top Five

1. Lord of Chaos
2. The Shadow Rising
3. The Fires of Heaven
4. The Great Hunt
5. Towers of Midnight

You can read into this list what you will...and you will, because you are Freaks. For me, Towers of Midnight expands the World in a significant number of ways that interest me and have always interested me. It reminds me of why I became a Theory Freak.

Theory Potential?

Lately, itís been tough for us Freaks. Weíve been running out of things to discuss for years. Some ideas are so old they are new again. Yes, there have been some original theories and discussions that have been fun to kick around and Iím surprised every once in a while by the ingenuity of my fellow Freaks, but those moments have been few and far between. As a committed Asmodeanite, even I have a hard time getting into new discussions regarding his demise. In fact, crazy theories have felt repetitive, but once youíve seriously entertained Berelain is Moiraine, the crazy can seem mundane too.

Thankfully and surprisingly this trend changes in Towers of Midnight; an inkling of such changes can be seen in the prologue and first chapter. From Moridin to Metaphysics, new possibilities and questions abound and a few old ideas gain new life, all as the Last Battle approaches. I look forward to discussing the implications for the next eighteen months, as there are more than a few unforgettable moments. In fact, Iím enthusiastic enough to start writing theories again, especially one or two involving a particular female character. But thatís me. I thrive off of the potential for new and renewed discussions about the Wheel of Time.

Of course, much comes to an end. Towers of Midnight is full of events weíve been predicting, anticipating and discussing ever since The Dragon Reborn and those moments rarely disappoint. So much comes full circle, it's hard not to look back and appreciate the harmony (along with some pleasurable and sometimes surprising discord) of the Pattern Jordan wove.

What Was Disappointing?

I didnít get everything I wanted. At times, I was under-whelmed by how a few plot threads turned, twisted and endedÖor appear to end. And there are a few moments where, depending on which characters you Freaks enjoy, your eyes will gloss over, as it has become apparent how much you either like or dislike certain characters.

Specifically, I was hoping for a Forsaken buffet and a slumber party afterwards. That didnít happen, although the main course was tasty. I was hoping for much of the book to take place in the Black Tower (one can hope), that didnít happen either. I was hoping that Aviendha would take a long bathÖread and find out.

Small Detail, Big Impact

Delivers. Period. If you have no idea what ďsmall detail, big impactĒ refers to, and you donít mind reading a hint Brandon gave us during last yearís tour, go here: http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/...ead.php?t=2514. I knew it when it happened and youíll enjoy it too.

Anything Else?

The Epic-logue rang in my mind and still rings. Yes, calling it the Epic-logue is all sorts of jokes mixed into one, more tongue in cheek as it is fun to say, but there is at least one unexpected moment that sets the end on edge. And no, it does not involve him.

Final Thoughts

Before reading Towers of Midnight, I was expecting A Memory of Light to be the predictable final illusion the magician saves to end his show, in this case the one thatís been foreshadowed for two decades. I knew with the surety born of true fanaticism that whatever the final act turned out to be Iíd already considered it, because what could be any more surprising than what we, my fellow Freaks, have imagined during the many intermissions? Right?

Now, Iím not so sure. Iím second-guessing myself. Iím looking around, staring intently to my sides and back to the stage. Anxious. I know whatís behind that curtainÖdonít I? Iím excited and nervous and hoping with all of my freakish fervor that my renewed wonder will be rewarded.

The final intermission approaches. Then, the last act begins.

Matt (aka Tamyrlin)
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Matt: You have been killing my theories left and right since I got here.
Robert Jordan: I have always thought that the small whimper of a theory as it dies is a beautiful sound.
  #2  
Old 10-19-2010, 11:54 AM
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Great review, though it only makes the next two weeks of waiting that much more unbearable!
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2010, 12:00 PM
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No joke, the hair on my forearms stood up reading the last bit.

Great job, not only did you manage not spill the beans on anything, or give us much to work with (of course considering other reviews, that would be difficult), but I am fairly certain you made me anticipate the book that much more.

I think may have to take Nov. 2nd off work.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:03 PM
Tamyrlin Tamyrlin is offline
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Default I almost did

Quote:
Originally Posted by One Armed Gimp View Post
No joke, the hair on my forearms stood up reading the last bit.

Great job, not only did you manage not spill the beans on anything, or give us much to work with (of course considering other reviews, that would be difficult), but I am fairly certain you made me anticipate the book that much more.

I think may have to take Nov. 2nd off work.
I removed some names and such at the last minute, as there appears to be enough talk already. Of course, I'd like to tell you what those two theories I plan to write...actually more like four...but I want everyone to have the same chance to enjoy a surprise or two that I had.
  #5  
Old 10-19-2010, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamyrlin View Post
My Top Five

1. Lord of Chaos
2. The Shadow Rising
3. The Fires of Heaven
4. The Great Hunt
5. Towers of Midnight
This is great news for me. Our top 4 is the same, if not quite in the same order.

Also, thanks a lot for taking the time to write this up.
  #6  
Old 10-19-2010, 12:46 PM
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fun review (and its the first TOM review I've read since I avoid review before I read the book myself).

I don't think I'd put this in my top 5, but maybe. I really don't rank things like that. But it's juicy, very juicy.

I'm happy to keep our off-line dicussion going and maybe I can help fuel your theorizing since I won't have the time or inclination to fully develop any myself.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by alleluia_cone View Post
This is great news for me. Our top 4 is the same, if not quite in the same order.

Also, thanks a lot for taking the time to write this up.
Same here! I'm really, really looking forward to this even moreso now. Thanks Tamyrlin!
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by alleluia_cone View Post
This is great news for me. Our top 4 is the same, if not quite in the same order.

Also, thanks a lot for taking the time to write this up.
Ditto from me. But I'd have tEotW #5 right now. Or tGS.

I'd be interested to see where Tam rated tGS?

Bummed about not a lot of the story being at the BT, but hoping against hope that at least SOMETHING happens there, even if it is more of a Galad style resolution, or we just get to see what has been going on previously.
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Old 10-19-2010, 03:51 PM
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Default I hinted as much as I thought was reasonable.

I'm sure some will disagree, but I was speaking to Freaks like me.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:02 PM
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Default More of my rankings

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Angry Druid View Post
Ditto from me. But I'd have tEotW #5 right now. Or tGS.

I'd be interested to see where Tam rated tGS?

Bummed about not a lot of the story being at the BT, but hoping against hope that at least SOMETHING happens there, even if it is more of a Galad style resolution, or we just get to see what has been going on previously.
I hate going too far down the list (although I'm assuming I've done this list before) because there is a group of books that all end up in close quarters.

These rank probably in this order next - TDR, TEOTW, TGS. KoD and TPoD come next I think...it gets fuzzy ranking the the end of the list, beyond just dropping them in a group. I haven't read ACoS in a while, but I remember thinking it was half of a book and feeling disappointed. I enjoyed TGS. It had good character development; pacing was enjoyable, but at the end I remember not feeling too excited after the initial feeling that having new stuff was great. Rand and Egwene were memorable. But for me, ranking ToM ahead of TGS wasn't even a question. I did sit and consider TDR.

Once the book is out, I'm happy to describe in more detail what my factors are in ranking books.

Last edited by Tamyrlin; 10-19-2010 at 04:08 PM.
  #11  
Old 10-19-2010, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamyrlin View Post
These rank probably in this order next - TDR, TEOTW, TGS. KoD and TPoD come next I think...it gets fuzzy ranking the the end of the list, beyond just dropping them in a group. I haven't read ACoS in a while, but I remember thinking it was half of a book and feeling disappointed. I enjoyed TGS. It had good character development; pacing was enjoyable, but at the end I remember not feeling too excited after the initial feeling that having new stuff was great. Rand and Egwene were memorable. But for me, ranking ToM ahead of TGS wasn't even a question. I did sit and consider TDR.
Funny enough, the more I find out about your rankings the more excited I get about the book because they so closely mirror mine.

If I had to rank my top 6, it would probably go something like this:

1. The Shadow Rising
2. The Fires of Heaven
3. The Great Hunt
4. The Lord of Chaos
5. The Dragon Reborn
6. The Eye of the World

With the exception of ToM, which I haven't read yet, the list is the same, the only difference being that LoC is moved down to 4 on my list.

The other thing is that I also had a very similar reaction to TGS, which was only emphasized by my recent re-read of the book.

By the way, for what it's worth, in regard to my list, it's not a coincidence that the three Lanfear books sit on top.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:12 PM
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Tam,
For the "small detail, big impact", can you clarify for us whether BS was right when he said it first appears somewhere in books 4-6 or whether Larry was right when he implied it first appeared in book 3?
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:25 PM
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Tam,
For the "small detail, big impact", can you clarify for us whether BS was right when he said it first appears somewhere in books 4-6 or whether Larry was right when he implied it first appeared in book 3?
I'm pretty sure Larry has already clarified that the unnoticed thing he referred to in his review is something separate from what BS was talking about.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:14 AM
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I think may have to take Nov. 2nd off work.
i AM taking Nov. 2nd off work. And now i'll be reading the epic-logue first.
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:55 AM
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i AM taking Nov. 2nd off work. And now i'll be reading the epic-logue first.
Reading the Epic-logue first would ruin a bunch of things. I highly recommend against such behavior.
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:42 PM
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hi Tamyrlin, could you tell us in which book precisely the hint is, because I wonder if I could fiund it out without reading ToM...
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by iuliust View Post
hi Tamyrlin, could you tell us in which book precisely the hint is, because I wonder if I could fiund it out without reading ToM...
That particular clue is probably something Harriet/Brandon wouldn't want him to spoil seeing as Brandon has avoided answering that exact question previously when asked about it.
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Old 10-20-2010, 02:14 PM
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I thought he said it was around books 4-6 because he didn't remember in which book the clue was precisely. Or if Tamyrlin could just tell us if it's in 4-5 or 5-6 it'd be great... i don't want to reread ALL the three books just for ONE little clue...
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:20 PM
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Don't worry; you won't find it anyway. It's too difficult when there are so many details, and no way to know if any of them are the right one until we read the book.
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Old 10-20-2010, 03:46 PM
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@Terez : have you read ToM ?
 


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