Waterstone's Liverpool One Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club

Waterstones Liverpool One Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club

"This is space. It's sometimes called the final frontier. (Except that of course you can't have a *final* frontier, because there'd be nothing for it to be a frontier *to*, but as frontiers go, it's pretty penultimate...)"
- Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures

About Us

This is the official blog for the book club held in the book lounge of Waterstones Liverpool One.

The group meet at 6pm on the first Monday of the month to discuss their thoughts and opinions on the books selected. The books range from classic fantasy to brand new science fiction short story collections.

It's a fun and friendly atmosphere and all are welcome: from those who have never read any science fiction or fantasy before, to those who don't read anything else.

The group, and this blog, are administered by Glyn Morgan, the Bookseller responsible for the Science Fiction section of the store and an avid reader of SF who is currently studying for his PhD at the University of Liverpool.

If you would like to comment on any of the books we've read, this month or in the distant past, please feel free to contribute to the comments section of the relevant posts.

Visit this club's little sister: Coffee and Comics

Friday, 13 November 2009

Review: The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Our first piece of member-submitted content, Anthony has sent me a review of the The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. The book has been a strong seller since it came out at the end of October. It marks the 12th book in the epic Wheel of Time series and was originally going to be a single volume entitled A Memory of Light , however Robert Jordan sadly passed away before completing the work and Sanderson, who was picked by Jordan's wife to complete the series, decided it was better to split the manuscript into three novels. But that's enough from me, here are Anthony's thoughts on the book:-

Although a long awaited continuation, due in some small part by the author's death, it was worth the wait.

The story is much like the typical template, young boy, ignorant of his destiny grows up to save the world, with the help of his friends. Lord of the Rings, Belgariad and Baker's Boy to mention some. A tried and tested format admittedly but one which Jordan takes to extremes with friends and allies aplenty, with enough characters to have a phonebook of its own.

As much as the preceding series was long and in some volumes, very long, this addition to the Wheel of Time is more like the start of the series and tells the story. As much as it pains me to say, Jordan did like to copy and paste a large portion of material into all his books repeating many asides on an almost character basis, I think to help those who could not maintain the characters identity throughout the series; this often left little room for actual progress within the story.

Sanderson appears to have returned to the actual story and moving it along at an improved pace. He has maintained, and rightly so, the basic characters own identity and allowed them to move on quicker than they had been previously.

Admittedly, it takes a lot to write a series 12 volumes long though, like Adams, the 12th book has become a trilogy, but if you can follow the one or two characters that inhabit the wheel of time and follow the story paths, a thoroughly worthwhile story to read.

- Anthony

Thanks for that Anthony, I'll catch up with the series some day (I bailed out at book 10 when my Uni work started to mount), from the sounds of it theres plenty to look forward to. If anyone else would like to contribute a review of a book, an essay, or simply spark a debate, please get in touch. If you've read The Gathering Storm and would like to add your own review, or comment on Anthony's please do so in the comment boxes below. Many thanks, and apologies to Anthony for the time it took me to post this up.

The Gathering Storm is out now, and the 13th bookin the series, Towers of Midnight, is due next year.

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