Monday, March 19, 2007

Most over-rated series in fantasy

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time
Most my friends like this series. I'll admit, I read the first few. Then all the characters became crappy, and I realized it was set up kind of like the war in Iraq--with no exit strategy. The first book in the series was released...wait for it...over seventeen years ago. I realize great literature takes time...but it also tends to be well written. Wheel of Time isn't. I went back to try to re-read the series at one point, and I just couldn't stomach it. There's better literature out there that demands my attention. There's just nothing in these books that deserves my time.

Terry Brooks
I enjoyed these as a teenager, but I can't stand them anymore. Any of them. Guess I like a little meat with my escapism. I don't care much about the characters, the plots are usually tired and sound rehashed, and the writing style sucks.

David Eddings
See my comments about Terry Brooks

Piers Anthony
See above.

Stephen King: Dark Tower series
See above.

Most other fantasy that people actually know about fits into this category (see my other list for the rare exceptions). Some of it (McCaffrey, etc.) I read just a little bit before putting it down, realizing that it's not all that great. It can be fun, but there's no real thought to it, and I come away thinking, "I just wasted how many hours on this?"


Wood & Woodine said...

I have to shrug and agree about the Robert Jordan. I still like it, but it is getting long and 17 years . . . Oh well. I'll still probably finish the series

Jay Bostwick said...

Put me down for a "Somewhat Agree" on Jordan. There have been a few moments in the series that have been, for me, quite satisfying—the end of Lord of Chaos (6) for instance. While Jordan hasn't maintained perfect control over the plot, I respect that he's managed to hang onto most of the threads; and although the space dedicated to describing people's clothing and quirks is often beyond maddening, I admire the attention he's given to each character among his cast of thousands. I appreciate Jordan like I appreciate professional piano music—I'm impressed, if not aesthetically enriched. I have similar feelings towards the Harry Potter books: J. K. Rowling does not write spectacular prose, in my estimation, but she's great at writing plots. I appreciate her books in spite of their weaknesses.

I never got into Anthony or Eddings much (Pawn of Prophecy bored me in the first 15 pages), but I absolutely agree with your opinion of Brooks.

I'm with Ben on The Dark Tower—I'm a fan, although I wouldn't recommend it to most of my friends due to language and whatnot. I loved the first half of The Drawing of the Three (3). Still haven't read Book 7.

JorgenMan said...

My wife introduced me to Robert Jordan. I'm currently starting book eight, and I intend on finishing the series. It's not perfection, by any means, but I still enjoy it, and I can handle wading through the superfluous stuff. I think he does a great job with character development, and the plot is fun, too. We'll see how I feel by book eleven.

I made it about 100 pages into the first Dark Tower book and couldn't endure any more. I thought it was terribly boring.