I’m trying to figure out how to fill at least one non-spoiler paragraph of my review of The Path of Daggers, a problem which is clearly only going to worsen over the five books of the reread that I have left. [One episode of Arrested Development passes] So, okay, right! Over the last couple of books, the Kindle transcription has gotten noticeably worse. Not hideous like some others I’ve seen that were scanned and then not checked for OCR errors, just iffy. Either words are not checked closely for, e.g., nn –> m errors (that was mostly the last book though, or maybe the one before? Who can remember.) or, in this case, there have been a lot of words that were hyphenated for no apparent reason. My guess is, it’s just a much better quality of OCR transcription software, and it’s been picking up words that went across two lines of the paper book. Still, though, it wasn’t happening in the older books, and I wonder what changed.
Yep, that’s all I’ve got in no-spoiler town. So, onward!
Unlike A Crown of Swords, I do not feel the need to defend this book as being far less flawed than everyone thought on release week. I mean, it is still significantly less horrible than it seemed, but a) it is swamped in pacing problems and b) it is the book where Rand turned into a giant dick, so yeah, I feel no need to defend that. However, I have thoughts on both.
See, the pacing: that is why I am doing this, and why I’m about to skip out on the release of the final book in five days. Because the pacing problems only exist when you look at the books by themselves. Just reading straight through, the pacing is basically fine. I’ve probably said this before, but the less stand-alone each volume gets, the more the pacing looks great on a straight-through read, just as it suffered more with each new volume standing alone with two plus year gaps in between. If I didn’t have to review them separately (and if I didn’t have the memories to go by), I’m not convinced I’d see any pacing trouble whatsoever.
As for Rand… I think I know what that’s about, even though it has never struck me before. About the last thing that happened in book 7, aside from the whole accidentally killing Sammael thing, is that he got scratched by Padan Fain’s dagger. Which is, as you may recall, the distilled source of all distrust and suspicion and anger in the world pretty much. A week later: instant hateful asshole. So, y’know, not pleasant to read about, but certainly a logical consequence, and you can always rely on Jordan to weave together rational consequences to events.
Plus, man it’s a relief for summer to be over.