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63 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent follow-up to Mistborn
Brandon Sanderson's The Well of Ascension is the sequel to Mistborn, a very strong beginning to a new trilogy. Bridge books are always dicey things--many fall into a sophomore slump, meandering along trying to get from A to C with the required stop at B (because everyone knows a fantasy story can't be told in only two books, let alone one). Luckily for fans of the first...
Published on October 4, 2007 by B. Capossere

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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'll just give you the gist of the story (very few spoilers)
Elend: There is an army outside Luthadel. It happens to be led by my father. I'm king now, maybe I should do something about this.

Dockson: Indeed- wait, what? We made you king? Aren't you, like, 15 years old?

Elend: Ah, shucks, that isn't very nice. I'm 21.

Dockson: Well, you are a good guy so I'll let it pass. This will be mentioned...
Published 20 months ago by Zach Barker


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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'll just give you the gist of the story (very few spoilers), March 29, 2013
This review is from: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
Elend: There is an army outside Luthadel. It happens to be led by my father. I'm king now, maybe I should do something about this.

Dockson: Indeed- wait, what? We made you king? Aren't you, like, 15 years old?

Elend: Ah, shucks, that isn't very nice. I'm 21.

Dockson: Well, you are a good guy so I'll let it pass. This will be mentioned repeatedly throughout the book. Honestly, you are so good.

Vin: (Glances around the room, making sure everything is safe) Hey guys.

Elend: Holy crap you are so paranoid! I love you though. I worship the ground you walk on. Let's make a bunch of mist babies. Have I mentioned how adorably paranoid you are?

Readers: Actually, considering her upbringing and the fact that you are now king, she doesn't seem paranoid. She is just being smart.

Elend: No, no, trust me guys. She is soooo paranoid.

Readers: But, don't you mention how assassins try to kill you every month? And that she is essentially the only one protecting you?

Elend: Guys, seriously. She is paranoid.

Readers: Sigh, Ok...

Vin: You know how I seemed conflicted about my role and who I was in the last book? Well, that was unresolved and we are now going to drag it out for 400 pages.

Zane: Hey, what's up? I'm another Mistborn and I'm the bad boy. I wear all black. By the way, Elend wears all white. There is no symbolism in that AT ALL.

Vin: Woah, who are you?

Zane: Oh, I work for Elend's dad...you know, the one who is currently commanding an army that is besieging the city?

Vin: Considering my predilection for not trusting anybody, it would be consistent with my character to treat you as a hostile enemy. But, I'm just so intrigued! Another Mistborn!

Zane: Elend is using you Vin. You are nothing but a tool to him.

Vin: If that were true, wouldn't Elend just command me to go slaughter his father's army by myself? I mean, I'm so powerful now all I have to do is blink and people's heads explode.

Zane: Nope, he is using you.

Vin: Actually, I'm the one who insists on being his personal body guard and roaming the mists at night. He never once asks me to do that and in fact hints that he would prefer I stay safe inside the castle.

Zane: Read my lips. TOOL.

Vin: You have convinced me! It's not like you have an ulterior motive for causing me to doubt Elend.

Zane: Not at all. While I'm here, I could easily kill all the team members with a single coin while they slept. In fact I could kill your entire army very easily simply by being quiet and not continually letting you know I'm here. But I won't.

Vin: Because you are honorable?

Zane: Um, no. Just because.

Sazed: Hey guys I'm back! Guess what? The mists are eating people now. We should maybe do something about that.

(The characters proceed to pretty much ignore him).

Vin: Crap, it looks like someone has killed one of the team members and replaced him with a Kandra! You know, like Renoux in the last book.

Elend: Wow, this is serious. BUT Kandra can't use Allomancy. Seeing as how the entire group can use Allomancy except for Dockson, and Vin can pierce copperclouds, you should go and test them right away. Like now.

Vin: Eh, how about I wait for 200 pages and you continue to tell them all your secret plans?

Elend: Sounds good!

Vin: Ugh, I'm so conflicted! I wish I could be the girl Elend deserves, wearing pretty dresses and being supportive all the time. This line of thought is not supported by anything Elend does and actually conflicts with the whole "You are a tool to him" theory, but oh well. I love the mists! But I'm so angsty about my relationship with Elend! Ah, the mists! But angst! Hmmm, mist, angst, mist, angst, mist.....mangst?

Readers: This is incredibly boring.

Elend: Alrighty, I'm going to meet my father. Alone.

Breeze: That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.

Elend: Hey, don't be a meanie! You see, that is the point! He will think me stupid for meeting him without protection!

Breeze:...That's because it is stupid Elend. At least take Vin. Oh, and while you are there, you could take the Kandra working for you. That way, you could kill your dad and replace him with your Kandra, therefore effectively being in control of his army. He could just order the enemy army to attack the second army now at your gates. Problem solved.

Elend: Um, no.

Breeze: Ok, why not?

Elend: Cuz I'm a good guy?

Breeze: No, you are confusing "good" with "insanely inept at being a king". God I wish Kelsier was here.

Cett: So I'm in charge of the other army. Mind if I cause the government to depose Elend and then set me up as king?

Readers: Wait, how did you get in the city?

Elend: We don't ask those kinds of questions.

Readers: But he is a cripple! He can't walk! If he was able to get into the city, then why didn't he just send a couple of his troops in each night and hide out until the entire army is in the city, thereby taking everybody by surprise??

Sanderson: (covering ears) La la la la la, I can't hear you! Stop asking questions, the characters don't ask these questions!

Readers: Ugh, who cares anyways, I'm just glad Elend is no longer allowed to act like an idiot while in power.

Elend: But wait! I'm a good, honorable guy!

Readers: So we have heard.

Cett: How about while you guys are deciding, I bring my troops in here? That ok?

Elend: Ya, sure, what could possibly go wrong?

Readers: (Loud groaning) So, it's now been 400 pages, nothing has happened and we have yet to even address the title of this book.

Vin: Well allow me to up the drama! I think.....THE MIST IS ACTUALLY THE DEEPNESS.

Readers: We already figured that.

Vin: Oh ya, well what about.....I THINK I AM THE NEW HERO OF LEGENDS.

Readers: That was clear from Book 1.

Vin: Fine! Then I think I need to.....GO TO THE WELL OF ASCENSION.

Readers: Thank the Lord baby Jesus, finally!

And the book proceeds as it should from there. The ending (and the really cool and developed magic system) is the only reason this book gets 3 stars.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THE SADLY SLOW SEQUEL, November 20, 2009
This review is from: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
With this book, THE WELL OF ASCENSION (WOA), Brandon Sanderson continues his MISTBORN trilogy. Unfortunately, unlike MISTBORN, this novel came across as more of a chore than a cheer. Here's my take on it . . .

STARTING FROM SCRATCH (FOR THE MOST PART)

Let's face it, the previous book, MISTBORN, could have nearly been a stand-alone novel. Towards its conclusion most of the plot threads had been tied up--the Lord Ruler defeated, the skaa freed, and Vin/Valette gets to hang out with Elend. About the only thing that didn't get resolved in that novel was this: What about the Mist that is still floating around the world?

As a result, WOA starts off with a situation that, while plausible, comes across as forced simply "for sequel's sake". WOA starts off with the now-free city of Luthadel facing an army outside its gates. This army is led by a nobleman (Straff Venture) that chose to leave the city in the previous book. More armies come to lay siege to Luthadel and all are led by characters who previously had small roles.

THE SADLY SLOW SEQUEL

You would think that a newly-freed city being threatened by three armies would make for quite the page-turner.
Not quite.
Sadly, a lot of time in WOA is spent just waiting for something to happen. For the vast majority of the novel, the armies do nothing but sit there, Elend Venture learns how to be a king and Vin grows a little distrustful and kills off numerous nameless assassins (which didn't pose that much of a threat anyway. To paraphrase Austin Power's father: "You don't even have a name tag! You've got no chance!")

At the beginning of the book there are a couple of maps. One of Luthadel and one of The Final Empire. Part of the reason why I think this book dragged so slowly is because the vast majority takes places in and immediately around Luthadel. There are two small excursions in the Final Empire taken by Marsh & Sazed and Vin & Elend, but that's all.
Reading about characters cooped up in a city is about as exciting as watching a movie that has only one set-piece or background--a little more variety would be nice.

DEJA VU

As I pointed out in my earlier review of MISTBORN, this series is basically ELANTRIS turned into a trilogy. Both ELANTRIS and the MISTBORN trilogy have a great deal in common. So much, in fact, that Deja Vu is almost guaranteed. In WOA, the scene with the Well of Ascension reminded me heavily of the ending of ELANTRIS.

SAVING GRACES

As much negative I've said about this current volume, there are some good things about it. One of the new characters, TINDWYL, quickly became one of my favorites, especially when she was advising Elend on the matters of "how to be a king".
Brandon Sanderson focuses alot more on religion, philosophy and prophecy than most other fantasy authors I've read, and he often has some very interesting things to say about them. In general, the way he draws parallels between Alendi and Vin is very well done.
Finally, like most novels, the last hundred pages are a quick and satisfying read, full of plot-twists and revelations.

OVERALL

Although not on par with his previous book, WOA kept me interested just enough to keep reading to the end. Also unlike the previous book, WOA ends leaving many things unanswered, paving a more obvious way for a sequel than MISTBORN did.
A sequel that I am definitely looking forward to.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What happened in this book?, February 24, 2012
This review is from: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
I was going to give this book 3 stars, if solely for the last 100 or so pages. I honestly checked to see if the higher rated reviews was about the same novel I was reading, so I kept on going, if only to see this great twist ending I kept hearing about. But then I decided, you know what, no, I'm giving it 2 stars. The reason I decided to dock it so low was because after the first one succeeded in having me riveted, this dragged me through a banal 600 pages before I actually cared. And not in a sophomore slump kind a way, more like a, creatively uninspired kind of way. I can tell you now, the ONLY reason why I stuck this one out is simply because I bought the trilogy boxset and felt like I would have wasted my money if I didn't read it. The unfortunate trade off came when I realized I had wasted weeks of my time instead of my money. If it wasn't for that reason alone, I would have put this book at the bottom of my to read pile and not cared to finish the trilogy. Getting through this book was a chore. In my humble and honest opinion, this shouldn't have even been a novel, or a trilogy for that matter. The first Mistborn just should have been a stand alone novel, such as Elantris.

The biggest reason I can think to give this book 2 stars is that it just didn't know what it wanted to be. It split itself into thirds; a political societal warfare novel, a campy teen romance novel, and a save the world from the fallen Gods/mist novel, and it did none of them well. The latter by the way, literally doesn't even become relevant until well after half way through the book. You'll spend much of your time wondering why this is even called the Well of Ascension. I'll break things down:

1.Plot- I love political conflict in fantasy stories, but this missed the mark. Elend Venture is the new king of Luthadel, and outside his walls sits two armies, one being his father Straff, and the other being Cett, a king from an opposing dominance. It begins with a great fight scene involving Vin intercepting Cett's assassins, but.... That's about as much action as you will see for a VERY long time. Fine, I don't need action to be entertained, but it is the way things play out that leaves much to be desired. This is largely what this book is about, and it falls into the biggest flaw Sanderson has with this trilogy; characters sitting in a room speculating about what to do with other characters. If this was meant to build 'that impending doom' like I've heard others say, it just doesn't come off that way. And Elend is such a boyscout of a 'good man' (by the way, Vin calls him that at least 100 times) that I found myself actually disliking his character. No one is that whole heartily 'good'. Unfortunately, speculation is what most of this book is. Speculation, no development, no action, no consequence. It is simply boring.

2. The characters- I gave the first book a pass on lax character development simply because I knew this was a trilogy, and that there was room for growth. And in all honesty, Kelsier was awesome enough to make up for more than all of his unremarkable crew members, including Vin. If anything, Sanderson made Kelsier too likable, seeing as how he's only around for one book. I think even Sanderson realized this, because almost all of the main characters resent and even demonize Kelsier throughout much of this book. As if that would negate just how awesome of a character he really was. I didn't buy it, and I REALLY missed Kelsier in this one. I was praying that he would spring back from the dead and take over as a main protagonist. I didn't realize how badly this novel would suffer without him until I spent a couple hundred pages having Elend as his replacement. What the heck happened to his character? What happened to the charm and quick witted remarks he had in the first novel? He just isn't interesting enough. And Vin is no better. She is so insecure in this novel it hurts. When she's not flying through the mists, she's worrying about Elend and if she loves him or if he loves her. She is so whiny and frantically over emotional that it comes off as unbelievable for her to be instinctively right on so many things in the novel. NONE of the characters, save for Sazed and the newcomer Mistborn Zane, are interesting enough to hold their own. And the villains Straff and Cett are so one dimensional that they are borderline cartoonish. The only relationship I found enjoyable was Vin's ever changing relationship with her kandra OreSeur. Oh and the Terriswoman Tindwyl was a nice addition, if only for her ability to berate Elend, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

3. Redundancy- Lastly, but certainly not least, is the fact that Sanderson will repeat himself, over, and over, and over, and over again. This is a glaring and infuriating flaw that forced me to skip as many as 10 pages into the book at any given time and still be on board with what was happening. Things that are explicitly said in the narrative are then repeated in the dialogue regular and often. Not the least of which is the fact that we are reminded that Vin was beaten, has an ear ring from her mother, and had an abusive brother, at least once every viewpoint turn. It is almost an insult to the intelligence how much he repeats how allomancy, feruchemy, and other magic works. By this point, its water under the bridge. It would be nice to let our hands go. There are times when the flow of action stops cold in its tracks simply to explain how the magic works. It reads more like Mistborn for Dummies, rather than a Mistborn novel at times. If you think that I'am exaggerating, highlight how many times Vin slayed the Lord Ruler, or Vin was a street urchin, or 'they will all abandon me' thought phrase, and you will lose count like I did. This is the reason why this book is too long.

I will have to finish the third book, if only to get my money's worth.
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63 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent follow-up to Mistborn, October 4, 2007
Brandon Sanderson's The Well of Ascension is the sequel to Mistborn, a very strong beginning to a new trilogy. Bridge books are always dicey things--many fall into a sophomore slump, meandering along trying to get from A to C with the required stop at B (because everyone knows a fantasy story can't be told in only two books, let alone one). Luckily for fans of the first book, Ascension doesn't fall into that trap.

For those who haven't read the first book, what are you doing reading a review of the second? Anyway, stop reading now, because it's nearly impossible to discuss Ascension without reference to prior events in book one. Spoiler warning. If you know Mistborn well, skip the next paragraph.

Mistborn is set in an ashen, mist-filled world whose myths tell of a time when plants were green. The world is dominated by the Lord Ruler, a seemingly immortal tyrant who had ruled for centuries, ruthlessly oppressing the majority population of Skaa, as well as the much smaller class of nobles. The Lord Ruler is also the hero who centuries ago defeated the mysterious "Deepness", saving the world from complete destruction. The magic system in Mistborn is "allomancy". Allomancers (a small percentage of the population) can "burn" certain metals to give them superhuman abilities, such as super-strength, super-senses, etc. There are only 10 such metals known and most allomancers can burn only one. True mistborns, however, can burn all. One powerful and charismatic mistborn, Kelsier, leads a group of thieves in their greatest caper--taking down the Lord Ruler. Integral to his plans is a street urchin girl named Vin, a more powerful mistborn than Kelsier. By the end (spoiler), the Lord Ruler is killed, as is Kelsier, and the Skaa are freed.

One of the pleasures of Ascension is that it picks up where most fantasy novels end. Ding dong, the Dark Lord is Dead. What's left to tell? Turns out plenty. First of all, the rebels start to learn that it's easy to carp from the sidelines but when it's your turn to actually rule, things aren't so simple. They also face the rule of "unintended consequences". Sure, the tyrannical Dark Lord is dead. But all that tyranny had a plus side--people were too scared to fight among themselves. Now civil war has broken out and young, bookish Elend Venture, the new king of Luthadel, faces three besieging armies, all trying to take his city and the rumored stockpile of treasure amassed by the Lord Ruler.

Oh, and that "free the Skaa, end despotism, move toward rule by the people" stuff that sounded so good in conspiratorial alley-meetings? Turns out sometimes "the people" aren't so smart. Or grateful. Not to mention the nobles continue to plot to find ways to retain their power, even if that means giving up the city to one of the armies.

The newly-freed Skaa, by the way, are wondering why they aren't getting regular stockpiles of food and tools etc. When they slaved on plantation estates they were horribly treated but someone fed them. Now they have to do it themselves and winter is quickly approaching.

And finally, the whole "Lord Ruler saved the world from a great evil" propaganda may, it turns out, have been right. And with the Lord Ruler gone, that evil may be back. The mists are now coming during the day and are starting to kill people.

If that sounds like a lot to deal with, it is. And that's not to mention the son-wanting-to-kill the father subplot, the brother-versus-brother subplot, the Vin and Elend romance subplot, the new bad Mistborn in town subplot, the other romance subplot, and, well, you get the idea.

Sanderson is juggling a lot here and the truth is he does it with a lot of aplomb. There's a sense of true fun in the telling of this story, despite its dark moments. It doesn't quite have the humor or Oceans 11 banter of Mistborn; it is a much more introspective, darker book in many ways, but it still feels like the author had a great time with it. And there are funny parts. The magical system remains a strength due to its utter originality and the way it gets refined and furthered, though the allomantic battles are a bit hard to follow at times. The secondary characters, with one prime exception and two other less-pronounced ones, aren't as strong as in Mistborn, but the focus on Elend and Vin makes up for that somewhat as they are compelling characters in their own right, if not as charismatic as Kelsier. Vin's victories seem a bit too predictable at times, but Sanderson balances that somewhat by not being afraid to have some major side characters die off. Even better is that the book sometimes spills off into very unpredictable directions, though that's all one can say about that. And the ending, though perhaps a bit rushed/abrupt, nicely closes off one story while greatly expanding the larger tale, much as happened in Mistborn.

Truth be told, the Mistborn series is one of the more original and enjoyable reads in fantasy I've had in some time. It's original in its own fashion, turning away from the typical fantasy tropes but without simply following down the path of the earlier "rebellious" fantasies, the once-new but now familiar "gritty" epic fantasies such as Martin or Erickson (both of whom I'm fans of). The series is highly recommended.
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94 of 118 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last 175 Pages are Very Good. But, First 400 Pages..., June 4, 2009
EDIT (03/16/2014): Upon re-reading this book (almost 5 years from my first reading), I'm updating my rating just a bit. I still feel that the book is too drawn out and padded. But, if I just accept the fact that it's about internal developments instead of external ones, then I'm happier with its focus. So, I'm increasing my rating by 1/2 star. That means the book is now 3-1/2 stars out of 5, and I'm rounding it up to a Very Good 4 stars out of 5 (it might not deserve a full 4 star rating, but it certainly doesn't deserve just a 3 star one). The rest of my original comments, below, still stand.

___ ORIGINAL REVIEW ___

"The Well of Ascension" is the second in Brandon Sanderson's "Mistborn" series. Unfortunately, even though the last 175 pages of the book are very good, the first 400 pages or so are mostly a waste of paper. In a nutshell, those first 400 pages amount to the repetitive documentation of all the angst suffered by the main characters over all the armies sitting outside their walls, political problems, and "who am I" soul-searching. The thing that should have been the focus for the book (i.e., the Well of Ascension) is ignored until the end. This makes reading the book feel more like a chore than a pleasure. If Sanderson had condensed the first 400 pages down to 50 (or even 100) pages, it would have been a very good book. But, as is -- meh: the best I can rate it is an OK 3 stars out of 5.

The novels currently in Sanderson's "Mistborn" series are:

1, 2, and 3. Mistborn Trilogy <== Get this omnibus edition -- it's cheaper than the three separate books
4. The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but with poor pacing issues and copy editing, November 16, 2010
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First, let me say that I loved Mistborn; it was one of the best fantasy novels I've read in years, and I went to buy Well of Ascension immediately after finishing it. It was creative, fast-paced, had a lot of likable characters, and its plot was nicely self-contained despite obviously being part of a larger series.

Well of Ascension was still enjoyable, but I felt like it fell far short of the original. For one, it's much slower paced and there's a lot of filler material; it feels like the author only had enough ideas for a two-book series but wanted to make a trilogy, so the second book got stretched into two. The result is several hundred pages of ultimately pointless political bickering, and Elend and Vin spend way too much time angsting over their relationship. The author also repeatedly reiterates things he's said several times before, which I can only assume is to pad out space. The pace finally picks up near the end of the book, and then we're treated to a very predictable ending that you've probably been expecting since sometime in the middle of the first book.

Don't get me wrong, there are still a lot of enjoyable parts to the book. Vin and OreSeur's interactions are always interesting, as are Vin and Zane's, but sometimes those just feel like treats that are inserted between blocks of Elend talking about political philosophy. We also learn quite a bit more about how allomancy works and how the world is designed, but it's obvious that all of the big twists are being saved for the last book.

One thing that I can't blame on the author, though, is the numerous errors that appear in the Kindle edition of the book. It feels like a print copy of the original novel was scanned and run through OCR software, then only given a cursory once-over by a copy editor. The book is filled with numerous glaring spelling errors; some of the more obvious ones include a few instances of "Ham" to "Flam" and "We'll" to "Weil", and there was even one instance of the titular object of the book being spelled as "Moll of Ascension." "Nervous" was so badly misspelled at one point that I can't even remember how the letters were arranged. That all seems rather embarrassing for a big publisher, especially one that's bold enough to charge as much for the Kindle edition of the book as a new copy of the paperback.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I Hammered My Way Through In Loving Memory of Book 1!!!, June 29, 2011
THERE ARE MINOR SPOILERS
I'd like to first start off and say that book 2 is NO book 1. Granted the last segment is good. It was too much of a burden getting there. There were many points in the book where I wanted to burn the book it was so annoying. I would give this book a 2.5 if I could but since the ending was good. I gave it a 3.

I'll go into detail below about the negatives.

1) Vin and Elend's relationship. It is one of the most UNBELIEVABLE and AWKWARD romances. In book 1, you kind of saw the chemistry and it made sense. One could see them pushing through their differences and, hopefully in the future, grow into a mature relationship. In book 2, all hope of that is destroyed. There aren't ANY scenes where you feel that they should even stay together. I found myself many times rooting for Vin's other love interest just because it made more sense. I completely understand how opposites attract but it was just so strange reading Vin go slaughter a group of assassins and then come act like a Tween couple stuck in the puppy love stage with Elend immediately after. It was just too unrealistic and extremely tiresome to read.

2) Extremely slow paced. I won't get into this too much but let's just say this book could've been named something completely different like "Mistborn: People Gathering Outside While We Bicker Inside" or "Mistborn: Teen Insecurity and Its Dire Symptoms on a Kingdom" or my personal favorite "Mistborn: Being Redundant Helps for Redundancy". This book has so much filler I would put it up there with some of the Wheel of time books. You know, how the whole book is tiresome and then something EPIC happens at the end. Ya, its like that but not as interesting because the politics and teen insecurity happens over and over and over and over and over again. Very tiresome.

3) Elend in this book. Its not entirely the character that's the problem, but the situations that he is put in. They are so stupid and could've been completely avoided. I don't understand why Sanderson would make Elend so righteous that he lose his status as king because he couldn't tell a lie/not say anything about the clause and THEN turn around have Elend shank his former friend and then kill a Koloss just because he was wondering what was in its pouch. WTF? You ask. Yes, indeed Elend is psychopath (jking). I still don't understand how I can like the character but hate almost everything they do but the paradox is here.

3) Vin's disapproval/misconception of Kelsier. I HATED THIS ABOUT THE BOOK! This drove me up the wall, more than the teenage puppy love awkward scenes, more than the stupid political ploys that wound up doing nothing, and even more than the sheer Elend's uselessness as king. We know Kelsier as the self-sacrificing hero of book 1 that wooed us all over with his awesomesness. With that being stated, can any of you please send me the memo where Elend in any way, shape, or form is better than the Survivor? There was a section in the book that Vin states Elend is a better than Kelsier and then goes to say Kelsier was ruthless blah blah blah. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?! I'm sorry but Sanderson EXTREMELY dropped the ball here. Vin goes on to turn Kelsier in a ruthless maniac that eats babies and kicks the elderly in her mind. All the while, Elend is the golden boy that can do no wrong and is the Heaven in human form to her, while he forsakes his kingdom and its people to another man who is a supporter of one of the books main bad guys!!! I feel Sanderson tried to make Kelsier the good "bad" guy to make Elend and Vin seem more righteous. It only pissed me off. Kelsier died, paying the ultimate sacrifice for the good of all skaa in book 1 and book 2 Vin belittles his actions. I can go on and on about this because it's so frustrating.

4) Vin is a poor replacement for Kelsier in book 2. Before I go on, yes, I am a fanboy of Kelsier. He was an awesome character that did many things to earn him respect in my eyes. After he died, we had vin. At the end of book 1, Vin was pretty bearable. In book 2, Vin's loses all credibility and just becomes one of the most annoying main characters I've read in a series. The reason I say this is because Vin seems REALLY bipolar in this book. Yes, I understand Sanderson is trying to make her SEEM more human by giving her uncertainty but you just want to take her out back and shoot her many times during this book she is so annoying. It would have been a different case if there was more development of her personality. I felt, even in book 1, she didn't really have too much of a personality other than her "holy crap hide and become small". Yes, she had her moments, such as her blowing up at the crew, but it still felt out of place because there wasn't a REAL distinct feel to her. You didn't notice it too much because Kelsier had enough personality for both of them. Without him in the equation, you really start to notice her character design faults. When you add the annoyances of being in a unbelievable, puppy-love romance, Vin is the most annoying character in the book.

5) The final bad thing about the book is how easy things come to Vin in this book and how great she is. It just seems so fake. Examples of this are, of how her handwriting is amazing or of how she was dancing in her new dress at the shop and the keeper says he has never seen someone so graceful. Or how her bluntness usually turns out to be the best for the situation. Or how Everything just works for her. TOO EASY!!! Hell, she even gets stabbed in the chest by a dagger, shrugs it off, and goes on to defeat the attacker who is using Atium. Her killing Rashek left a bad taste in my mouth because of how stupid the fight was. It's turning into a really bad episode of Dragonball Z, where the main character is getting rolfstomped the whole time and then out of nowhere gets a bunch of power and wins. No originality, no skill.

Positives of this book

The last 1/5 of the book

I gave this book 3 stars for the ending section of the book. Doesn't make up for wasting my time throughout most of the book but whatever. The stage is now set for book 3. Hopefully, it is mind blowing
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the most exciting author in sci fi/fantasy today, June 21, 2008
This review is from: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
Brandon Sanderson has been called upon to finish Robert Jordan's master work for a reason, his world-building is innovative and compelling, his characters are well-fleshed and developed and his plotting is near flawless. In this, the second of the Mistborn series (write faster!), the question of what happens when the dark-lord is vanquished is answered as the heroes of the first find themselves struggling to maintain control over the events they created. And maybe they did not know as much as they thought...

Since this review is very early in the sequence of what will undoubtedly prove many favorably ones to come (or see hardcover edition), I'll avoid the spoilers, and again simply call on Mr. Sanderson to get us the next in the series as fast as possible -- my only caveat is that I want Memories of Light (the last WoT) book too.

I recommend this series without reservation, and suggest likeminded readers treat themselves to Sanderson's Elantris as well.
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40 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Final Empire was too good to be true, March 23, 2009
This review is from: The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'll be vague as to avoid spoilers from either of the books. I read and loved the first book in this trilogy. The second book, The Well of Ascension just destroyed my love for the series. I would recommend the first book in a heartbeat (it's a pretty self contained novel, it has a pretty solid conclusion), and I would recommend not reading the following books.

The cast of characters in the second book are far less likable than the first. The main characters in the novel I personally found to be annoying and lacking any kind of charm. The action from the first book is gone. The action that IS in this novel feels like it was placed there at an editors request. The conversation probably went something like...

Editor: "Brandon, I noticed that nothing happened whatsoever for the last 400 pages, maybe you should stick in some pointless action scenes to liven things up a little bit."
Brandon: "Well, I feel like some action would damage the depressing, slow, monotonous tone I'm trying to achieve with The Well of Ascension. Maybe we can compromise for something actually happening every 300 pages?"

I read 440 pages of this book before I had stop from the lack of progress being made story wise. Read page 1 than flip to page 440 and basically nothing of note has happened. Much, and I mean MUCH of this book could have been stripped out. I'm sorry but I do NOT need a chapter about Vin going to buy a bloody dress. The biggest problem with this book is that it changed from a DOING book; action and kicking butt stuff... to a talking book. Holy crap, everyone in it had something to say and half of the time it was of no interest whatsoever. So much time is spent yacking and so much of the yacking is done by boring, uninspired characters.

Elend: "I don't know what to do, I feel so sorry for myself, I'm a moron"
Vin: "I dont know who I am. I am so disturbed. I wish I was a better mistborn. The mist makes me feel so special inside, I wish Elends touch was as nice as this misty goodness. No one understand me!"

Yack Yack bloody yack. You get this stuff for atleast 440 pages (probably the whole book). Holy... it's like CSPAN in novel form.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy that fufills the hype, August 30, 2007
I continue to think about The Well of Ascension long after I read it. That is what makes it a great book. It is a clever, provocative, and entertaining sequel. I like how Sanderson grounds it in simple ideas and emotions: love, duty, religion, trust, etc. This novel should be read carefully; the author is precise with his words and creates a riddle that is both hard to solve and satisfying once it is resolved. I can think of no other fantasy author who compels me to think about what I've read--to the extent of rereading pages--as much as Sanderson does.

As good as this novel is, it is not without its shortcomings. I still think that the Allomantic action is hard to follow with its Pushes and Pulls. I also think that the romance between Vin and Elend lacks passion. They behave more like best friends than lovers. Not only is there is a notable absence of sex, but their attraction seems to stem from respect and curiosity more than physical desire.

If you are looking for a new fantasy series that lives up to the hype, I recommend Sanderson's Mistborn novels.
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The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2)
The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, Book 2) by Brandon Sanderson (Mass Market Paperback - June 3, 2008)
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