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07 August 2011 @ 11:11 pm
#17 (August. 17. Pathetic. Should be 30. Fail.)  
The Final Empire (Mistborn Book One), Brandon Sanderson

I came up with the pithiest soundbite for this book: 'it's easy to see why he was picked to continue the Wheel of Time series. His writing is so pedestrian it practically has a zebra crossing painted over it.' (Towards the end only the prospect of using it made me finish the book at all.)

However, his use of 'but comma' - as in, EVERY TIME HE WROTE BUT, HE PUT A COMMA AFTER IT - raised him from plain boring to homicide-inducing. There are some cases, I'll grant you, where but comma might work. Might even be necessary. BUT NOT EVERY TIME OH SWEET LORD IT FELT LIKE MY BRAIN WAS HICCOUGHING.

There's no particular aspect of his writing that I can pinpoint - aside from the but commas - that causes this book to be so very dull. Overall, it reads like his notes for a grand fantasy epic, not the actual, fleshed-out saga itself. Example: the names. They all sounded alike, which is what happens when you sit down and try to come up with ten or twelve 'fantasy-appropriate' names in the space of a few minutes. I know, I've tried. Some were uber-vowelley, some Asian-ish, some Western-ish. There was no unifying theme, and a few were just plain stupid (Clubs?!). The descriptions of the magic of Allomancy bordered on textbook platitudes. At best it was boring, at worst confusing, and I never got a real sense of its true scope. The same went for any sense of danger or threat in the novel - there wasn't one. No one character was human enough for me to empathise with. I'm mildly curious as to their fates, but not curious enough to put myself through another 600+ words of his writing. My insomnia isn't that bad.
 
 
Current Music: good life // one republic
 
 
 
Riakessie on August 7th, 2011 10:23 pm (UTC)
I know it's a stupid reason, but ever since I read his essay on why he's against gay marriage and refused to acknowledge any disagreement, I refuse to read his books. I have too many books to read and too little time.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: collapsingnights: jeansscoradh on August 9th, 2011 12:06 pm (UTC)
... before I posted this, I had a whole paragraph on my issues with Sanderson's religion in the book. I backspaced because it was late, I was tired, and I didn't want to get embroiled in another debate about it. Suffice to say the presentation of religion in the book made me super, super uncomfortable, and finding out that Sanderson was Mormon - although apparently not rabidly so in the mold of Orson Scott Card - made me recast all his faith-related statements in a different light. (In an ideal world his religion and his books should not be associated, even in my mind, but when you have a decimated society and a secret sect of people dedicated to preserving its destroyed religions - not its art, or culture, or history, or song - yeaaaaaaaaahhh, no.) This new fact? Well, I'm glad his books are so shit, as this removes any consideration I might have had about continuing to read them.
the zedmeisterzedmeister on August 7th, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
Aww be fair. Robert Jordan had many (many) flaws as a writer, but pedestrian prose was not one of them. No argument on Sanderson, though.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: collapsingnight alicescoradh on August 9th, 2011 11:59 am (UTC)
I can't exactly recall much about Jordan, as it was many years ago and I only read three of his bloat-with-a-scurf-of-plot Wheel of Tiresome books, but what my mind reluctantly provides is:

self-insert protag
stupid, stupid, STUPID names
severe disappointment in those who recommended it as an equal to GRRM
third rate Tolkienesque characters

Was his prose pedestrian? Was it purple, or bloaty? I can't remember, and I certainly won't be going to check. He has enough black marks to satisfy me. And that's why I said Sanderson is a good replacement for him. They have about the same level of untalent.
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every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Comic: dedscoradh on August 9th, 2011 12:01 pm (UTC)
I have a job that I hate. Not a life. Keeping up with reading a lot of fiction was about the only thing I had that wasn't work-related, and now I don't even seem to have that. /pity party
l.m.: pic#110419788incandescent on August 8th, 2011 01:37 am (UTC)
I think I agree. I mean, I read the entire series, but I can't remember why, or a single fact about it. Except that I'm pretty sure everyone died in the end. So that was not fun. I'm glad I never bought them.

By the way, I adore your reviews. When I get time I want to go through all of them. Every single one. And by those I'll make up my Christmas list of books. :)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: bands PATD Brendon o rlyscoradh on August 9th, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
I did buy one. At least I'm helping to support the graphic designer behind the cover, which was a quality of awesome.

Haha, don't spoil yourself though. Unless you are one of those blithe creatures who doesn't mind being spoiled, even vaguely. (Hint: I am not one of them.)
l.m.incandescent on August 12th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
Ahaha, the cover art was just gorgeous, that I do remember. :)

I hate being spoiled! So I'll be very, very careful. Still, the temptation is too much and I'll have to go through them soon. ♥