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  #501  
Old 09-26-2019, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TheGillotine View Post
Guys, this is pete we're talking about here. We need to brace for the possibility that his opinion on this is as bad as his opinion on everything else pop culture related.


For stuff that's objectively low-brow unthinking garbage (i.e., The Office), I'm fine expressing my opinions that something is bad. But I genuinely recognize that WoK is a lovingly-crafted, intelligent piece of literature. If I end up not liking the SL series, that's my own failing. Part of the problem is I'm a very slow reader, and have a tendency to put books down for long periods at a time, which is not a good strategy for yuge books.

I'm committed to finishing off WoK, and at least the second book. Then, we'll go from there.
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  #502  
Old 09-26-2019, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by pete5383 View Post
I feel like two things are working against me:

1) I listen on audiobook, which is much slower than reading.

...

I just spend 15 minutes each day on the bus visiting with these characters...I just can't connect. Which, again, is my own fault.
Do you go to the gym or run at all? I put on the audiobook during that time to get a longer stretch of listening in. It makes a big difference listening for 45 minute chunks compared to 15 minute chunks on how much it draws me in.
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  #503  
Old 09-26-2019, 10:51 AM
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Finished re-reading The Reckoners and had a couple of thoughts:

Spoiler:

These are definitely way faster paced than the full-length Cosmere books. There isn't a lot of down time for character development, it's mostly just scene, scene, scene. That really stood out to me for some reason the second time through.

Steelheart is a pretty decent book, but Firefight is by far the best of the trilogy, IMO. There is a palpable tension between David and Prof, and the duality between that relationship and David and Megan's is amazing. The line "I was right to believe in good Epics, I just believed in the wrong one," has so much weight to it. The way Regalia tricks Prof into using his powers, the way Megan and Prof essentially switch roles at the end, the way Prof so negatively casts Megan, and then ends up being way worse than she ever was... it's all just so brilliantly crafted. That book is so well thought out and executed.

Calamity is a bit of a disappointment in comparison. It's a lot more one dimensional, and the twist that Calamity is just a bratty juvenile seems so cheap compared to the mental gymnastics that Firefight puts you through. Honestly, even the second time, the ending of the trilogy seems a tad unsatisfying, and I think it might be one of Sanderson's weakest books. Prof's character arc is especially disappointing, IMO. He played such a huge part throughout the entire trilogy, and then at end... he's saved and that's just kind of it. Definitely thought he deserved a little more attention after the fact: more perspective on his feelings about the role he played, about him and Tia, him and Regalia, him and Nighthawk, him and David, him and Megan, etc.

Overall, it's a fun, quick trilogy. There is a dip in quality that comes from it being YA-ish and less fleshed out. But it's got its own charm as well.
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  #504  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:23 PM
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Sanderson update on Stormlight 4, spoiled in case you don't want to know high-level details:

Spoiler:
https://twitter.com/BrandSanderson/s...htmode%3Dfalse

Brandon's done with all the flashback scenes for book 4. He ended up going with an even split of Eshonai/Venli flashbacks. He's got another 100k to go before the first draft is wrapped up. Progress bar is showing 65%.
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  #505  
Old 10-02-2019, 10:42 AM
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Finally finished The Way of Kings. It was...fine. I'm going to continue to the next book, but if I get to the end of it and feel roughly the same, I'm not sure I'll continue. Review below, spoilered:

Spoiler:
I have a feeling I just might not "get" Sanderson. I'm going to be mostly critical of this book, but I understand why people would love these. I'm probably the one who is wrong here.

He does a couple of things that just make for a not-fun story telling experience at times, especially for longer book. Among these are the video-game moments (Kaladin fighting at The Tower) and his love of "Can you believe it was _____ the whole time!"

The first is not a big deal, but the second...I don't know, pulls me out of the story. The last 2% of TWoK was just a series of M. Night Shamalan twists (Shallan killed her father, Syl is an honorspren, Jasnah's soulcaster doesn't work, Dalinar was talking to God, the "collections" were of people getting killed, the Parshendi are Voidbringers, Szeth and Kaladin are Knights Radiant). I know it's a personal preference, but it just feels like the author patting himself on the back for being so clever. Mistborn had this, too, and I didn't care for it.

Aside from that, I found the book to be incredibly bloated. Given that, really, not a lot happened, it didn't feel like this needed to be 1000+ pages. Several chapters seemed to be, in essence, rewrites of earlier chapters, with characters basically just retreading old ground. The Wikipedia Plot Summary is four paragraphs long, and basically hits the high points.

That said, he's set up an interesting world, and I'm excited to see where it goes. I'm going to read the next book, and see where it lands, but after that I might just read the plot summaries for the rest of the series. I feel like I'll get 90% of the plot, 100% of the "twists," and saves 200 hours.
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  #506  
Old 10-02-2019, 11:50 AM
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I dont think you'll like the next one
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  #507  
Old 10-02-2019, 12:08 PM
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I dont think you'll like the next one
What about the third?
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  #508  
Old 10-02-2019, 12:31 PM
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What about the third?
I think the third was better than the second, imo. And certainly a lot more happens in 3 than I'm either of the first two. But I dont think they will be different enough from what you've read to win you over.
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  #509  
Old 10-02-2019, 12:34 PM
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I gotta say...and I feel bad saying this...but I'm about 3/4 through "The Way of Kings" and it is just not grabbing me. The pacing is so excruciatingly slow, and I don't find any of the characters interesting.
Interesting. My 13 yo is about 2/3 through WoK now and she says it's now her 2nd favorite book (behind Elantris). When she said that, I was a bit surprised because I'd also recalled it as being very engaging and well written but definitely on the slower side. More character and world building, less action. So I'd been expecting her reaction to be closer to yours, for her to be a bit indifferent until she made it through the first book and it was a pleasant surprise that it already hooked her.
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  #510  
Old 10-02-2019, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by pete5383 View Post
Finally finished The Way of Kings. It was...fine. I'm going to continue to the next book, but if I get to the end of it and feel roughly the same, I'm not sure I'll continue. Review below, spoilered:

Spoiler:
I have a feeling I just might not "get" Sanderson. I'm going to be mostly critical of this book, but I understand why people would love these. I'm probably the one who is wrong here.

He does a couple of things that just make for a not-fun story telling experience at times, especially for longer book. Among these are the video-game moments (Kaladin fighting at The Tower) and his love of "Can you believe it was _____ the whole time!"

The first is not a big deal, but the second...I don't know, pulls me out of the story. The last 2% of TWoK was just a series of M. Night Shamalan twists (Shallan killed her father, Syl is an honorspren, Jasnah's soulcaster doesn't work, Dalinar was talking to God, the "collections" were of people getting killed, the Parshendi are Voidbringers, Szeth and Kaladin are Knights Radiant). I know it's a personal preference, but it just feels like the author patting himself on the back for being so clever. Mistborn had this, too, and I didn't care for it.

Aside from that, I found the book to be incredibly bloated. Given that, really, not a lot happened, it didn't feel like this needed to be 1000+ pages. Several chapters seemed to be, in essence, rewrites of earlier chapters, with characters basically just retreading old ground. The Wikipedia Plot Summary is four paragraphs long, and basically hits the high points.

That said, he's set up an interesting world, and I'm excited to see where it goes. I'm going to read the next book, and see where it lands, but after that I might just read the plot summaries for the rest of the series. I feel like I'll get 90% of the plot, 100% of the "twists," and saves 200 hours.
Spoiler discussion of the end of WoK:

Spoiler:
The end of each Sanderson book has the twists you mention (or more accurately I think they should be called "reveals", because I don't think they are meant to undermine expectations), but the real cathartic climax for me is how the characters act in a setting that has been constructed to make their sacrifices meaningful. For Way of Kings, there are two climactic actions - Kaladin & Co. deciding to go back to save Dalinar, and Dalinar giving up his shardblade to save Kaladin & Co.

In the first, Kaladin has been allowed enormous justification to say "Screw those guys, I have a chance to save myself and my friends." But the ethos he has been building up to is all about selfless action independent of consequence. So it's not a twist or surprise that he decides to sacrifice, but it is very satisfying because of how much value has been placed on what he's risking.

In the second, Dalinar's entire arc through WoK is the conflict between his personal ethical compulsion (represented by the Way of Kings) and the ethos of the society he's a part of. And the book does a pretty good job of making us feel how hard it is to seriously break from that, represented by the concerns of his son. So when he gives up his shard blade, which represents ultimate value in Alethi society, for the freedom of a bunch of slaves, considered worthless in Alethi society, it's surprising and satisfying to see him make that breakthrough, especially given how unexpected it is to the beneficiaries of that decision. Even though it may seem like the obvious moral decision.

Both of those decisions are the climactic fruition of the primary protagonists' character development throughout the book. So the fact that you only saw the end of the book as a series of "M Night Shamalan twists", tells me you're not connecting with the characters in a way that is necessary to really reap the best aspects of the series.


The next books throw various wrenches and complications into the fairly straightforward ethical messages of the first book. But some of the arcs in the second book in particular are kind of frustrating and the main plot doesn't progress much compared to the third one. It's a lot of set up and development for Shallan. Szeth and Taravangian also start to figure more prominently.
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Spoiler:
There is no dark side of the moon, really...
As a matter of fact it's all dark.

Last edited by TheGillotine; 10-02-2019 at 02:40 PM..
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