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Old 12-20-2015, 04:36 PM   #1
taosaur
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Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn, Stormlight, Reckoners)

For the Brandon Sanderson fans out there, what do you think of his recent work?

For me the The Way of Kings and Alloy of Law seemed like real turning points in his skill as a writer, particularly in conveying the mechanics and history of his worlds without getting bogged down in infodumps. I was on the fence with Steelheart, largely because of the YA tropes, but it finished well, then Firefight expanded that world and solidified the characters to an extent that totally redeemed the goofier elements of the first book for me.

On the whole, I'd say he's been hitting it out of the park on this last several books. Now, I'm about 1/3 of the way into Shadows of Self (Wax & Wayne 2, Mistborn 5), and it is not grabbing me. Maybe I just need to put it down, maybe give Alloys a re-read/listen, and come back to it from a different place. So far though, both main and supporting characters seem very broad and shallow, and the plot has a police procedural, going-through-the-motions feel to it.

Without going into spoilers, does anyone else have impressions, reading it now, having finished, or failed to finish? Does it come together later on? Any thoughts on the rest of the Cosmere?
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:51 AM   #2
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I noticed the same thing in his evolving as a writer (infodumps). His newer books convey information a lot more efficiently.
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Old 12-29-2015, 12:30 AM   #3
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I don't have much evidence for it, but I'm leaning towards the possibility that Oathbringer will be not as good as Words of Radiance, just as the latter is imho, not was good as Way of Kings. The characters Sanderson are giving priorities are not my favorites. Such as Shallan.
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:50 PM   #4
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I finished up Shadows last night, and it did improve, but I still wouldn't rate it highly among Sanderson's works. About the most fun element was visiting "historic" sites from the original trilogy.

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Originally Posted by Luffy View Post
I don't have much evidence for it, but I'm leaning towards the possibility that Oathbringer will be not as good as Words of Radiance, just as the latter is imho, not was good as Way of Kings. The characters Sanderson are giving priorities are not my favorites. Such as Shallan.
We'll have to disagree, there. I thought WoR was right on par with WoK, which is to say some of Sanderson's best work. Shallan is easily his most fleshed-out and interesting female character to date. Female characters were a major weakness in Sanderson's early work (see Warbreaker), and another area where he's made a lot of progress. Shallan is also one of the two main protagonists in the series so far, so yeah, expect her to have "priority."
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Old 12-30-2015, 02:14 AM   #5
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Well I'm in the minority regarding the sense of humor in fantasy novels. I didn't find Shallan funny in the same way the Kvothe vs Ambrose altercations (In NoTW) bored me. It's great that you are likely to enjoy Oathbringer so much. I guess I'm having Fantasy envy.
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:13 AM   #6
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I'm about halfway through Bands of Mourning now, and so far it's a big improvement over Shadows of Self. Shadows just hit a lot of my "dislike" buttons: police procedural, early 20th century-ish setting, and strained action-banter dialogue, among other things. Wax was all angsty and tortured and Wayne had the "quirky" knob cranked to 11, and in general the characters seemed to go broader and flatter than in Alloy, rather than deeper.

Bands is more of a proper adventure, Wayne is dialed back, the characterization gets beyond the broad strokes, and they get out of Dodge... er, Elendel. Opening up the world and taking the politics beyond just Elendel gives this era of the Mistborn world more individual character, whereas in Shadows the setting came off as a generic sort of Gotham City much of the time.
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:54 AM   #7
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I just read the two Stormlight Archive books (finished earlier today) I really liked them and I'm already wanting the third. Seem's like it's going to be one of my favorite series I've really nothing negative to say about it so far.

Unsure what to read next as I didn't really think much of Mistborn (it was ok but never grabbed me) I think I may give Steelheart a try.
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Old 06-14-2016, 09:23 AM   #8
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Stormlight has its hooks in me hard, which is a kind of torture given the pace of release. I just hope Sanderson and I both live to see it finished. Even if you weren't thrilled with Mistborn, the Wax & Wayne books take things in a decidedly different direction, and Bands of Mourning starts to get into broader Cosmere business to a greater extent than I think any of Sanderson's novels so far, though I haven't caught up on the Cosmere novellas.

I've enjoyed several reads/listens of Mistborn, but it has its flaws. Much of the second and third book was a slog the first time through, so heavy with exposition that he was literally prefacing chapters with encyclopedia entries, but the ending more than pays off IMO. Also, the slow part was more tolerable/rewarding on re-reading.

The Reckoners books are fun, if decidedly YA, but while they were coming out I couldn't help wishing he was working on literally anything else (but especially Stormlight). I wasn't thrilled with Steelheart, really liked Firefight, and haven't gotten to Calamity yet. Warbreaker was, IMO, not good, but Elantris, while having some of the same "early Sanderson" flaws as Warbreaker and Mistborn, was pretty cool.

New Stormlight is pretty much the only item on my "Must read immediately!" list. Anything else I leave to the vagaries of library holds, price drops, mood and chance, but when I know new Stormlight is coming, everything else gets put down
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