Book Review: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2) by B. Sanderson

 

Publishing Date: 2007

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

Review: Vin as a character failed a bit in the growth department. A once desperate street urchin whom for most of her life has experienced the depths of betrayal and the punishing cruelty of life in the alleys. Elevation is expected in any series where the hero is born yet careful attention to that progression will make or break a character. Within the span of two years, the gritty and thieving Vin becomes a ballroom princess, a Mistborn allomancer and a flirty gurl whom wuvs her hunky King.  The test of Vin’s characterization resides in her ability to retain the core of a gutter snipe while adapting to her surroundings/instances. In order to embrace story line continuity, Vin might have been better served not as a princess with a little ash on her collar, but a thief that embraces the grit of her forged being. What we get is someone that likes to snuggle but is deathly afraid of being left. This lack of depth pushes the reader to vacuousness and a search for balance in the form of movement.

When Sanderson is not busy creating backstory from the first novel so new readers can catch up, the movement interdicts a largely flaccid rendition. The wielding of allomantic powers and the fights that ensue are good if not convenient in discovery. “Oh, there is an eleventh metal…..” Yada, yada. While I am not particularly fascinated by political innuendo and intrigue, it does have it’s place where kingdoms collide. However the depth, again, is lacking where the force of manipulation between two army’s is decided within a few pages as the best option.

Of course Elend is being primed to ascend as the greatest king, in like, ever. You just have to dress him differently and cut his hair. Elend never changes with the circumstances yet is somehow forced into a kingly presence, not by impending war, but by a Terrisman trainer. Mmmkay. Vin, after meeting a crazy as fuk Mistborn guy is already questioning her commitment to the crew that has supported her for years. Huh? You can’t have a young woman that is extremely insecure with the fear of being left as a driving force in her life, suddenly eschew those deep seated ideals. It does not fit the circumstances and erodes the characterization that has been built prior. I think this was the turning point for me in the series where I thought this author has a long way to go to be fully accomplished in the genre.

So as I got nothing better to read at the moment, I will continue on.

 

Book Review: Mistborn: The Final Empire #1 by B. Sanderson

Publishing Date: 2006

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.8/5

Review: After having read the Stormlight series, I can see where some of the characters were modeled or replicated. We have another super speshully gurl that goes from gutter rat to high princess of everything that matters. Good characters are always killed off because that’s what Sanderson does: hobbles his works into the depths of mediocrity. Crap characters are elevated and maintain the story line in successive novels. I might elaborate more but am busy pounding my head on the table.

One of the biggest holes in this novel is that the world, as written, is unsupportable…..biologically. Everything is covered in ash from the volcanoes that surround (presumably) the world. The sun is always red and the mists come at night to make things wet? creepy? Yet still there are plantations where “things” grow. Never mind that the ash is so prevalent, that they constantly sweep it into piles, daily. Is this a world that supports life, even alien life? Perhaps, but it is never adequately explained why it is so. How does life continue to provide with an occluded sun and ash covering everything? I guess we are just supposed to accept this world as we accept that there are beings that eat dead bodies and eventually reach a sentient state. If you can support an alien structure with facts then the story line becomes more believable and subsequently more enjoyable.

Despite a few fails, I like the story line and the inventiveness of utilizing metal to produce affect.  I will continue on.

Book Review: Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)

Publishing Date: 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.8/5

Review: Shallan continues to be central to the theme which is a big disappointment, for me. In this third installment Shallan not only usurps the central role but manages to split herself into three characters. So super speshully Shallan, continues to bite her lip, blush over hunky men, sketch and speak ever so softly, while VEIL (lol) is a swaggering thief/spy with a raunchy disposition and a taste for Horneater ale. ARRRGGHHH me mateys!!!! While Veil sets up a cutthroat spy network to rival the mysterious Ghostbloods, “Shallan the Radiant” rarely makes an appearance yet supposedly is an unemotional, arrogant dickwad where people are viewed as tools.  Sybil-dumby is a real head scratcher as a character. She doesn’t know who she really is but is aware to recognize each individual personality. So not really a true split just an erratic and self-absorbed narcissist.

Thankfully Jasnah returns to right this drowning ship of a character. Or does she?? Well, Kaladin is still cool and flying about as we head steadily into conflict via the Desolation. Not sure why Jasnah is on the cover and some chapters have excerpts from her memoirs as “Oathbringer” because she clearly takes a back seat to her Speshulness. There is also budding love tri-bangle that makes no sense and is downright murderous on the story line.

I tend to think that this is a case where a writer has fallen deeply in love with a character where objectivity is secondary to the build. Shallan only continues to deride the story line in every instance. Every scene is a shjt show when Shallan enters. There is no getting around bad (unauthentic) characters. Shallan, as written, is ensured a place in the grande finale’ and that is disappointing to contemplate.

What was once a promising series has turned to shjt rather quickly with one character usurping the others in a bid to see who can stick their ass in a hat.

I am hanging on here but the grip is weakening.