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The Gathering Storm (The Wheel of Time, Book 12) Audio CD – Unabridged, October 27, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,059 customer reviews
Book 12 of 15 in the Wheel of Time Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The narration of this work is truly miraculous. Kate Reading and Michael Kramer breathe emotion and veracity into a varied cast of characters, deftly teasing out their complex ambitions and motivations...Both narrators bring intensity and passion to this much-loved series, giving nuanced performances even to minor characters.” ―AudioFile

About the Author

Robert Jordan was born in 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. He taught himself to read when he was four with the incidental aid of a twelve-years-older brother, and was tackling Mark Twain and Jules Verne by five. He is a graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, with a degree in physics. He served two tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Army; among his decorations are the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with "V" and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. A history buff, he has also written dance and theater criticism and enjoyed the outdoor sports of hunting, fishing, and sailing, and the indoor sports of poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting.
Robert Jordan began writing in 1977 and went on to write The Wheel of Time®, one of the most important and best selling series in the history of fantasy publishing with over 14 million copies sold in North America, and countless more sold abroad.
Robert Jordan died on September 16, 2007, after a courageous battle with the rare blood disease amyloidosis.

Kate Reading is the recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards and has been named by AudioFile magazine as a "Voice of the Century," as well as the Best Voice in Science Fiction & Fantasy in 2008 and 2009. Her audiobook credits include reading for such authors as Jane Austen, Robert Jordan, Edith Wharton, and Sophie Kinsella. She has performed at numerous theaters in Washington D.C. and received a Helen Hayes Award for her performance in Aunt Dan and Lemon.

Michael Kramer has narrated over 100 audiobooks for many bestselling authors. He read all of Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time fantasy-adventure series as well as Brandon Sanderson's The Stormlight Archive series. He received AudioFile magazine's Earphones Award for the Kent Family series by John Jakes and for Alan Fulsom's The Day After Tomorrow. Known for his "spot-on character portraits and accents, and his resonant, well-tempered voice" (AudioFile), his work includes recording books for the Library of Congress's Talking Books program for the blind and physically handicapped.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593977670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593977672
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.7 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,059 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Whitehead on October 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Gathering Storm is the twelfth volume in The Wheel of Time series and the first released since Robert Jordan's unfortunate death in 2007. Jordan spent his final months amassing and dictating a significant amount of notes, outlines and chapter summaries for another writer to use to finish the series. Previously, Jordan had indicated he'd wipe his hard drive to stop someone else completing his work, but with him being so close to the end of the story he changed his mind, trusting his wife and editor, Harriet, and his publisher Tom Doherty to find a writer capable of finishing the series well. In theory, it should have led to disaster: typically one writer finishing a series begun by another is an atrocious idea that only leads to very bad books (note the vomit-inducing new Dune novels and the ill-advised Amber continuations). The only example I can think of this working was when Stella Gemmell completed her late husband David's final novel in fine form, but the amount of work required to bring Wheel of Time to a conclusion required an altogether different level of commitment and effort from Brandon Sanderson.

Almost unbelievably, Sanderson has pulled it off. In his introduction he hopes the differences between his style and Jordan, whilst unavoidably noticeable, will be comparable to a different (but still good) director taking over your favourite movie series but all the actors remaining the same. This isn't a bad analogy at all, and whilst there are a few moments in The Gathering Storm where you think, "I don't think Robert Jordan would have done things quite like that," there's never a moment where you think, "He definitely wouldn't have done that at all!" which is vital.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a genuinely great contribution; if you like any other book in the Wheel of Time series, you'll like this one. It's the 12th book in the ongoing saga; Jordan unfortunately and sadly died in 2007, before completing the last chunk of the series, and Brandon Sanderson (author of several excellent but less-well-known fantasy novels) was hired to finish it up based on Jordan's notes, outlines, and completed sections.

Those kinds of handovers seldom go well, and to add to that uncertainty, the quality of the series has been somewhat of a sine wave, with definite peaks and definite valleys. So, despite a marked increase in quality in the book immediately prior to this one (Knife of Dreams, which came out in 2005), Jordan's death and the series' checkered history gave real reason to fear that the handover of this series would not go well.

So far as this volume goes, at least, the handover has succeeded. There's a real spark and fire here; if you're a fan of the earlier books, and you haven't gotten completely jaded to the entire Wheel of Time series by now, you *will* love this one as well. Promise.

Because of the nature of the coauthorship (Jordan wrote some sections of this book before he died, and the rest was completed from outlines and notes), it's hard to know precisely how much we're seeing here of Brandon Sanderson's work and how much of Jordan's, and there were one or two moments where I as a reader wondered whose voice I was reading, and one or two points where I felt Sanderson had stumbled slightly in his presentation of a character or handling of internal monologue. (After several re-reads, the issue seems to be that a few of Sanderon's turns of phrase seem more stylistically "modern" than what Jordan had used to date).
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Format: Hardcover
As I sat down and opened the book to the map page, I was surprised at the well of emotions I felt. I gazed upon the map of the world where I have spent so many enjoyable, frustrating, mind boggled hours and tears filled my eyes. I felt like I was reacquainting myself with an old, much loved friend.

Like so many others, I began reading the Wheel of Time series almost 2 decades ago. And, again, like so many others, my heart broke upon hearing the news of Robert Jordan's passing. He created such a vivid, real world, unlike anything I had encountered before or since. When I heard the torch had been passed to Mr. Sanderson, I was elated the story would be brought to conclusion, if a bit worried at how well the vision would be upheld.

I would be dishonest if I said the transition between authors was seamless, but I did seriously love the book, largely because of some of the differences in style. I like the way the characters seem to have matured. There is added depth to the characterizations, a deeper PoV, that I really enjoyed, especially with Rand, Egwene and Nynaeve. As was mentioned in another review, the women are portrayed a little more realistically, with less hair pulling and sniffing. I liked it. I also had no problem with Mat, unlike others. He has always been my favorite character and I look forward to his story. It seems the next installment will focus on the Tower of Ghenjei and Moraine, in which Mat should figure prominently.

I purposely did not reread the series prior to The Gathering Storm, which I think made the transition to Mr. Sanderson less jarring than it may have been had I recently been immersed in RJ's vision. Nonetheless, there were a few moments where the story let up enough for me to realize a different bard had taken up the song.
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