Well, that was a random bump.
Series seems better on the second read-through.
I'm going through it for the second time myself right now, (My first re-read since I started the series in college… so... 13 years now since I originally read the first book.) in preperation for the final book coming out in January. I'm in the middle of Fires of Heaven right now, I've fallen a bit behind my intended schedule of two a month.
Its not so much that its better the second time through, really it can't be since you know where the plot twists and character developments are... but more because you have a better grasp on all the character names, the places, and what direction some arcs are going... in some cases THOUSANDS of pages in advance. On a first read through that's really awkward, especially when Martin slowed the pace to a crawl by focusing on too many characters starting around book 6 or.
In my reread on book five, I'm ASTONISHED at how many plot threads are started that get dragged along and dangled and aren't resolved till Brandon Sanderson stepped in for book twelve! Even minor things! There's just too many characters and side plots eventually. Min makes a foretelling about two characters and its not dealt with for 7 books, 6,000 pages later! Some stuff about Matt was hinted at as far back as the second book and it still hasn't happened. There's foreshadowing and then there's ridiculous. The BIG plots like
! The breaking of the tower or the Seanchan invasion, or any of the Dragon related stuff I understand not resolving till near the end, (though the tower should not have taken nearly so long) but some of the little character things? Whole series totally spiraled out of control. Gathering Storm and a fresh writer to go in and edit was exactly what the series needed.
Yes, Martin's death was a shame, but I don't know that he had it in him to ever wrap it up at remotely the pace Sanderson is doing.
I look forward to the end though. I still haven't read Towers of Midnight at all, so I'll get a great big huge chunk of new material when I get to the end, hopefully right around January.
Anyone read any of Brandon Sanderson's other work? I'm probably going to pick up some of his books after Wheel finishes.