Eric's Reviews > Mistborn: The Final Empire

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
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May 18, 08

Recommended for: People reading stuff between other series' releases
Read in May, 2008

I was expecting a bit more from the person selected to finish the last book of the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. I'm a little worried about that now, having read this book. But I'm sure he'll manage OK with all the notes Jordan left and the fact that he's wrapping up an existing story instead of coming up with a new one and that he'll have Jordan's editors to guide him. We'll see how well he fills in the holes. Aside from Jordan considerations, I'd call this book OK. In the non-Jordan/Martin world, it's better than a lot of others. Nice enough.

Story: Decent. Somewhat adolescent.

Writing Style: Decent. Faint whiff of cheez here and there.

Scope: Small

Male protagonist: likeable enough

Female protagonist: more likeable, more fleshed-out, a bit of complexity and some nice psychology and development to tease out.

Main supporting characters: likeable enough, if sketched thinly.

Magic system: Awkward. But also very creative and original. Original enough to be refreshing enough to mostly offset the awkwardness of it. I haven't seen anything like it before, which is nice. The curse of magic systems is that explaining too little makes them seem lazy and uncreative (yay, a spell), while explaining too much or making them too complicated lays them open to be picked apart. This one is the latter. When you think about how it would really play out within that world, you reach some logical dead ends. Not all dead ends, but some (as with other aspects of the story). Still pretty neat anyway.

Baddest bad guys: Awkward, lame. No getting around it.

Next-baddest bad guys: Boring, unflavored.

Ambiguous sorta bad guys (just misunderstood, really): really awkward and lame. Really bad. Boooo!

Story most similar to: Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Bastard series, but less swashbuckley. Thieving gang led by loveable rogue with tortured past but noble heart, capers, heists, disguises, banter.

Future prospects: 50/50. I'll give the next book a try. The scope has a chance of broadening and the big mystery referred to thinly in this book could turn out to be something worthwhile.
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