Sadly, I just realized my NetGalley copy expires in six days, and there's no way I'll be able to finish it by then. So I'm putting it back on my to-re...moreSadly, I just realized my NetGalley copy expires in six days, and there's no way I'll be able to finish it by then. So I'm putting it back on my to-read shelf for the time being.(less)
I've lost interest--mostly because the main character, Tish, has no mind of her own. She worries a lot in her head about not being in another relation...moreI've lost interest--mostly because the main character, Tish, has no mind of her own. She worries a lot in her head about not being in another relationship (after her divorce) where she is controlled. But she falls right into that with the alpha-male love interest, Criminy. She tells him what she wants, and he decides exactly how to accomplish that without her input. He says jump, and she jumps.
The primary problem with this dynamic is that most of the interesting stuff seems to be happening in Criminy's head. He creates a plan and then gives it to her in bits in pieces. I can't feel tension or excitement because I'm not in Criminy's head. And there's little going on in Tish's head, since she doesn't know what's going on until Criminiy tells her what's what.
As a result, the story ends up being very linear: They go to Point A. They go to Point B. They go to Point C. I can't possibly predict where they'll go next or get excited about it because Tish doesn't have a clue. And at the same time, there's zero mystery, because Criminy has all the answers. When a solution is needed, Criminy presents it. Voila!
To add insult to injury, I'm not at all attracted to Criminy, despite his being the primary love interest. First of all, he's bossy and controlling. Plus, I can't help but imagine him exactly like the guy on the cover, since his description is consistent with that. Although that is a sexy torso, the overall effect is not attractive to me. Kind of cheesy and creepy.
I have only a vague idea what it's about. But it's by Sanderson, so *cue droning robot voice* . . . I will read it. I...morePre-read reaction, October 2011:
I have only a vague idea what it's about. But it's by Sanderson, so *cue droning robot voice* . . . I will read it. I must read it.
If an author came to me and said: "I have a great idea for a magic system. These guys called Rithmatists draw in chalk on the ground, and their chalk drawings have power. They can draw chalklings, which can be given instructions. Some chalklings can actually injure people, especially the wild chalklings. Those guys are dangerous!" I would tell this author: "Have you lost your mind? Chalk bad guys? Ooooh scary. I'm shaking in my boots here. Oh wait, I'm actually not. And I'm also not wearing boots—cause it's summer."
And I would be wrong.
Joel, the main character, has always wished he were a Rithmatist, although he knows he can't be. He's studied Rithmatic lines and knows more about them than many Rithmatists. So when a few Rithmatists are kidnapped, Joel inserts himself into the investigation and proves helpful.
The kidnapping mystery, though interesting, wasn't even the best part of the book. And I don't believe there was enough information given to the reader (at least not for this reader) to figure out what was going on before everything was revealed toward the end. I would have preferred to have a chance at guessing the ending. But that's fine; I still loved the book. The ending did a good job of tying up all the threads in the story, and introducing a new thread to be explored in a sequel.
Throughout the book, without overwhelming the reader, Sanderson presents Rithmatic principles that help us understand his magic system in better detail. the book includes renderings of some Rithmatic defenses, as well as chalklings drawn by some of the Rithmatist characters. While I imagine some people might flip right past the renderings (which I don't think would make the book any less enjoyable), I examined each one. Sanderson put so much thought and detail into this magic system that I couldn't help being dragged along for the ride.
Even before reading this book, I was a fan of Sanderson's. Now I'm just awed.(less)
Sanderson is one of my favorite authors--right up there with Patrick Rothfuss and Laini Taylor. The Alloy of Law is not my favorite of his books, but...moreSanderson is one of my favorite authors--right up there with Patrick Rothfuss and Laini Taylor. The Alloy of Law is not my favorite of his books, but it did not disappoint.
Returning to the Mistborn world was like coming home again. You probably shouldn't read this book if you are not already familiar with that world. I recommend reading all three of the original Mistborn trilogy before picking up this one. Sanderson didn't waste any time giving readers a tutorial on his magic system. Instead, he dove right in, expanding on the foundation set by the prior Mistoborn books. While I was thrilled not to have to read an explanation of the magic system with which I am already familiar, I imagine the magic would have been difficult to follow without having read the other books. Also, the book makes numerous references to religious beliefs and religious figures that would be lost, and probably confusing, to those who haven't read all three of the original trilogy.
The magic used in The Alloy of Law includes primarily two types: Allomancy and Feruchemy. Both of these magics are based on the use of metals, where each of sixteen various metals provides a distinct power in each of the two magics. An Allomancer is capable of "burning" one type of metal inside his body, which provides the Allomancer with the power of that metal. A Feruchemist is capable of tapping the power of one type of metal, which he wears in contact with his skin.
In the original Mistborn trilogy, the most powerful of Allomancers were "Mistborn," each of whom were capable of burning every Allomantic metal. And Feruchemists were endowed with the ability to tap the power of Feruchemical metals. In The Alloy of Law, there are no Mistborn; each Allomancer gets only one metal. Likewise, each Feruchemist gets only one metal. "Twinborn" are those who are both Allomancers and Feruchemists, but they get only one metal for each magic.
Sanderson introduces new metals that were unknown at the time of the original trilogy. Combining the concept of Twinborn with new metals (and corresponding new powers) provided an exciting twist to the magic system that I already new.
At its root, the plot was your typical steampunk mystery. The main character investigates a serious of robberies and gets into loads of trouble along the way, running into a nearly immortal bad guy. There was a bit of romance thrown in, as a young woman taken hostage in one of the robberies develops a fondness for our hero. This was just an exciting book with numerous action sequences involving a creative and original magic system.
I gave this book four stars, instead of five, because there were a number of points in the book that I caught myself skimming. Throughout the book, there were sections in which the thoughts of the three main characters were described. Their thinking didn't change much throughout the book, and thus, this eventually got old. Yes, I know what Wax is thinking because it's the same thing he was thinking the last time you told me. Yes, I know what Wayne and Marasi are thinking too.
Another place I skimmed was . . . the climax, which is a particularly bad place to catch oneself skimming. The action sequence at the climax was really really long. Action is good, but I thought this bordered a bit on overkill. Someone else might think that all that action is truly fantastic, but I was ready to move on to something else well before it came to a conclusion.