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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > 2009-08 Mistborn: negative opinions?

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Did anyone not like the book, or not like something about the book?

PS I'm asking because a) I saw one person gave it a 1 in the poll, and b) I had some issues with it too, so I'm curious if there are others.

message 2: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta | 178 comments Nope- loved it. OK - liked it and then finished the series and loved it.

What were your issues? I am planning to re-read the series this winter and would love to keep in mind some others' critical thoughts while I do.

message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I kept thinking someone should get metal poisoning. It was kind of long for the story it told, too. Both of those weren't big points.

The biggest issues I had with it were the fragility of the mines & the long period of time that all endured. No one had ever managed to kill a Steel Inquisitor or figured out their secret. That stretched it a bit much for me.

message 4: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) Jim, I think that the main reason nobody had killed an Inquisitor before was simply that no one had tried. Or if they had, done so half-heartedly and failed. One big thing about the skaa was how run down and lathargic they were. They probably hadn't had the initiative or the drive to take on an Inquisitor.....

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) They talked about multiple uprisings & wars for 1000 years, Chris. Just seems like a long time & a lot of opportunity for something to go wrong. Not that the inquisitors were fragile, but it stretched things too much for me. The book was pretty old, too.

Fantasy often uses really long time periods that don't make a lot of sense to me. Maybe because I'm too used to our own world where things change so fast.

message 6: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Things change fast now or for the last 50-100 years. Go back just a hundred years before that, before the telegraph, and simple written communication between two people would take weeks.

I think part of the reason fantasy will use long time spans stems from a character or race with an equally long life span (approaching immortality). A benevolent race or being with eternity to look forward to doesn't lend itself to dramatic storytelling. Given the adage 'absolute power corrupts absolutely' mixed with near immortality often results in a fine kettle of plots to simmer and stew for eons.

Having read the entire series, I understand why and how the ska remained subjugated for so long and who their real enemy, torturer and tyrant is.

message 7: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Mawgojzeta wrote: "What were your issues?"

Okay, let me preface this by saying that, over all, I did enjoy this book, especially the first 500 pages or so. That part is very entertaining, epic but still light, like a more tightly paced Robert Jordan. The pages practically turned themselves, and I found myself looking forward to reading more every day.

Also, the rest of this post will contain HUGE SPOILERS for this book (not for the rest of the series, which I haven't read yet).

- The first thing that really annoyed me was that, after 500 or so pages of alternating between just 2 viewpoint characters (Vin and Kell), suddenly Sanderson felt the need to put in a chapter from Elend's viewpoint. I don't mind multiple p.o.v.'s, but if you're going to do that, do it consistently and don't just throw in someone else after 80% of the book is over.

- I felt some of the book felt very staged and contrived. "I'm moving character X from point A to B, even if it doesn't necessarily make sense, because X needs to something there to advance my plot." The most noticeable example was when he switched command of the army from Hammond to the skaa rebel leader (I forget his name), who then takes the army on that ill-fated attack. I know Sanderson puts in a flimsy reason for this, but to me it doesn't make sense to switch commanders halfway through, and I tend to think that Kelsier and Hammond would have agreed. There were several other examples of this (Vin going from the country estate to the city for no good reason, and so on).

- The Big Self Sacrifice Scene just didn't work for me. Sorry. It had no emotional impact whatsoever, and I felt severely let down at that part of the book. I kept thinking what someone like Guy Gavriel Kay would have been able to achieve with such a long build-up and those characters.

- In that same scene, Kell beheads the Steel Inquisitor. Now, I loved the idea of the Inquisitors --- those things are Creepy with a capital C. Very cool. But, throughout the whole book, they're positioned as this invincible force, feared by everyone, even Kellsier runs away from them - and then suddenly he discovers that beheading one kills them. Very anticlimactic - more because it suddenly killed all the mystique Sanderson had built up around the Inquisitors.

- I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I saw the revelation that the Lord Ruler is a Ferrismen coming from miles away. I kept hoping there would be a twist.

- Finally, I had real problems with Marsh being turned into an Inquisitor. At first it seems like the Lord Ruler picked him as a revenge (after all he tells Kell, after Kell beheads the first Inquisitor, "those things are expensive to make"), but that wouldn't make sense --- why give one of your enemies that power? So Marsh is picked, after all the many years that the Lord Ruler's organization has been around, and there is NO ONE ELSE who is more qualified or more deserving or more talented than Marsh to become an Inquisitor? Doesn't make sense to me at all - but of course it's convenient for the plot, so he can disable the other Inquisitors and Save the Day.

I know all of this sounds a big negative, but bear in mind that I really did enjoy 80% of this book. I was ready to give it 4 stars, but I just thought it fell apart at the end. That being said, I'm still planning to read the other 2 Mistborn books. So far, out of Sanderson's books, I think Elantris is by far the best one, then Mistborn, and then Warbreaker.


message 8: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta | 178 comments Stephan: The Inquisitors are so cool- totally agree. And, Elantris is my favorite of his books.


I took the conversion of Marsh into Inquisitor to be sort of a lesson to all: that even opponents can be made into proper servants of the High Lord. I believed, while reading the book, that the High Lord had used this tactic in the past and it worked so there was no reason to for it not to work again (in the High Lord's mind). Anyway, that was my impression.

Being that I have read the entire series I am going to have to be very careful, because I am afraid I will blur what happened in the second book (beginning) with the first.

I did not feel movements throughout the book were staged poorly while reading it the first time, but am interested in how I will feel the second time around. Being that I read the first book knowing a second was in the works, I might have forgiven some of it believing that later it would make more sense (I don't know...)

I would love to hear what you think when you finish the series.

message 9: by Edward (new)

Edward Butler | 19 comments Stefan wrote: "Did anyone not like the book, or not like something about the book?

PS I'm asking because a) I saw one person gave it a 1 in the poll, and b) I had some issues with it too, so I'm curious if t..."

I hated it. I thought that the magic and the fights were cartoonish, the characters hackneyed, the setting drab, the whole thing just immature and a chore to finish. Worst fantasy novel I read this year, especially after all the hype.

message 10: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) I actually really enjoyed the fight scenes, I thought they were 'well-staged', they reminded me of chinese fantasy movies with all those folks flying through the air and achieving impossible stunts. Only this time there was a physical reason for it, it wasn't all mystical, they were using 'allomancy'.

The problems I had with the book have already been mentioned: It was too long and although I understand why Kelsier had to die, I also felt the moment lacked the emotional punch it required.

Also, a lot of the length of the book was taken up with lengthy explanations of what was going to happen, a lot of advance telling followed up by showing.

Finally, the point of view switch - yeah, a bit weird having it happen so late in the novel. Although it was interesting to get inside Elends head - he's obviously going to play a greater part in the next novel, it was awkwardly done.

message 11: by Shanshad (new)

Shanshad Whelan | 28 comments I really enjoyed the books overall--the first one did have some points where the explanations of Allomancy and the repetition of diary entries seemed a bit much. And while I enjoyed the relationship between Vin and Elend, that remained the single most predictable part in the first book.

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