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Books 2 and 3 are cures for insomnia!
on September 26, 2014
It looks like a common thread among reviewers who gave it 2 stars: read the first book, which was excellent, then had to trudge through the subsequent two books because it came in a box set. Well, that's what I did and I'm so glad it's finally over. I would have given the first book four stars for it's imagination and it's well written action. I did think Sanderson's writing could use some work. But otherwise, the first book is a very entertaining fantasy novel and that story should have just ended there. Since everything needs to come in a trilogy these days, someone (not sure if it was necessarily the writer) decided that there needs to be two sequels. And the problems with books 2 and 3 can be summed up like this:
One would think if a reader is reading book 2 (or 3) of a trilogy, that reader would have already read book 1. Well, Sanderson obviously doesn't think that way. So both books 2 and 3 features constant repetitions of the plot in the first book.
At around 700 pages per book, Sanderson (or his editors) got really bad at separating what's necessary for storytelling from pointless drivel. In book 2, for example, the first 500 pages could be summed up as city under siege, Eland is a philosopher and not a ruler, gets overthrown.
Because it's all the rage, Sanderson felt the need to add a love triangle storyline. So he came up with a half brother for Eland and Vin is strangely attracted to him because he is Mistborn, despite the fact that he's crazy, physically attacks her, and is working for Eland's evil father who is probably trying to kill them all. The love story is so unconvincing that I don't believe any reader thought for one second that Vin would choose him over Eland. So why bother? The support characters are also terribly uninteresting. Of the thieving crew consisting of Ham, Breeze, Dockson, and Clubs, I can't tell any of them apart. In book 1, Kelsier was interesting enough to carry the story. Once Kelsier was gone, thanks to Sanderson's repetitive writing style, the only thing I got out of these characters is that Ham's wardrobe consists of vests, Breeze's wardrobe consists of suits, Dockson...nothing there, and I don't even know who Clubs is.
Repetition...oh, did I say that already?
When it comes to Spook doing important stuff, I wished I could have worn Spook's blindfold. He's a tineye. He burns tin. Tin gives him extra sensory powers. He keeps burning it because it allows him to see really really well. Like, really well that he needs to blindfold himself or there'll be too much light. He burns tin, by the way, sometimes flaring it, to allow him to see in the dark. Tin gives him extra sensory powers. He sees really well in the dark. In the daytime, he needs to wear blindfolds. But at night, in near darkness, his flared tin allows him to see. He can't understand how normal people can see without tin. He's a tineye, by the way and he flares tin. He's also cold all the time because he burns tin. He's burning tin now, so he can stalk this girl he's never talked to but she's pretty and she looks sad so she must be a Good Person!
Repetition (part ad nauseam):
Sazed gets very sad in book 3. He's lost all faith and doesn't find joy in anything. Hey, that's cool and I don't need to read a story all about shiny happy people. But it's also incredibly boring reading about someone moping about for 100+ pages. If 100+ pages of internal moping struggles wasn't bad enough, sometimes Breeze would come over and ask him what's wrong and then you'd get another 20 pages or so of the two of them talking about Sazed's moping. Sazed would then explain to Breeze all his reasons for moping that he's already internally struggled against in the last 100+ pages.
In short, I mainly read books right before bed, propped up on my pillows. Well, I had to stop doing that with the last two books because reading even a single paragraph was enough to put me to instant sleep. I ended up downloading an eBook version and reading it (skimming a lot) when I got bored at work. Even then, that's come close to putting me to sleep at my desk.