Mike, I don't see what you're talking about. None of the negative reviews I just read also had Goodkind reviews. In fact, I checked a couple of the 5 stars and they gave Goodkind 1 star rates for his books. If anything, the opposite is true. There's definitely something up with Sanderson fans and it's not looking good.
I just finished Alloy of Law tonight and it's a huge mixed bag. I'm really not thrilled with it. I get it's a side story with a more light approach, but that's just not what I've come to expect from a Mistborn book. I hope Memory of Light is a return to the expected style.
Anyway. I haven't finished it yet (no time!), but it feels like a mix between the Alcatraz feel and the Mistborn world so far. Lighter and less... driven. I'll evaluate fully later, but I am already not expecting it to be Way of Kings.
:: Edit :: Just finished. Fun book, and the Ars Arcanum was quite worth reading, for those who are already familiar with the other Cosmere books he has written. There are some... lazy?... characterizations (Wax's hangups, buddy-cop routines, lawman philosophy, etc). Not badly done, mind you, and would not be out of place in any procedural, but not what I expect from Sanderson. It's odd to see such mundane motivations in a Sanderson setting. I hope that this is a setup, was Mistborn, for standing those expectations on their heads in the next couple of books.
The rest was great fun. This is not Alcatraz at all, excepting a couple of puns. Not what I'd hand someone to start them out on Sanderson, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. :: Edit ::
That's OK. Sanderson has said many times that he writes this kind of book (and indeed, this book!) as a change of pace to keep from getting worn out on any one style or world. He was writing Alcatraz books alongside the great WoT releases. Worlds apart. I wouldn't worry. He's hit the last two out of the park.