- Series: White Sand
- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment (September 19, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1524104868
- ISBN-13: 978-1524104863
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.4 x 10.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 191 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Brandon Sanderson's White Sand Volume 1 (Softcover) Paperback – September 19, 2017
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*Physical aspects: the book itself is well made. The pages are glossy, the print quality excellent, & the dust cover is pretty.
*Art: it's solid. Not the best but far better than average. The art has a busy quality to it, with lots of pencil shading that makes it look a bit murky, rather than a clean contemporary comic book style. Not bad mind you, just a little busy.
*Cheap: a hardback graphic novel for around $15? That's a deal.
THE OK: (nitpicky stuff)
*Exposition: a problem with graphic novels is the over reliance of exposition. In this instance, there are lots of "info dumps" via characters talking to each other, but actually explaining the plot to the reader. I prefer a "narrator approach" to this sort of thing, because I think it's out of character for two characters to be talking to each other about things they clearly already know. It's nitpicky, I know, but if you look at some of the most skilled comics writers, you'll see very little of this. For instance, Geoff Johns often employs a "narrator" to fill in the reader, often just the character thinking to himself, which feels more natural than exposition. There is no avoiding at least a little bit of exposition, but this was a little heavier than I prefer.
*Characters development: The main character is pretty well developed, but Khriss, the "mysterious Darksider who hides secrets of her own" felt like she was kind of cardboard. I have faith this will improve in future volumes.
*Magic system: the sand mastery thing does not feel well fleshed out to me, which is surprising for a Sanderson novel. He's known for great magic systems. I suspect the art is where there is an issue communicating the intent, because the sand magic is mostly just represented with little pencil squiggles. At the end of the book it is easier to see, since it is made of glowing lights, but during a huge fight scene in the beginning I was really struggling to see the sand magic. I'll assume this will get better in future volumes.
Overall, a good read, and looking forward to volume 2, where maybe my nitpicky stuff will be fixed? Brandon Sanderson is the shizz, so I'm sure this will end up being a worthy addition to the Cosmere.
Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere—the greater universe in which the majority of his books takes place—was recently optioned for film and licensing rights for $270 million, which is nothing-to-sneeze-at success, if you ask me. I’m eager to see the visual adaptations of his books, but I worry that because I’ve got such a vivid picture of them in my mind, I’ll be disappointed by one or another quality of the films. It happens all the time. (Dune’s getting a third chance, too. I wonder where that’ll go off the rails.)
But the excitement of seeing any of Sanderson’s worlds come to life, especially one as hauntingly beautiful as Scadrial (the planet on which the Mistborn series takes place), is too exciting to overlook. I mean, if this series is done right, the larger Cosmere universe will easily rival Marvel or Star Wars. Sanderson’s creations are that good. Better, even.
Which brings me to White Sand, the first book of the only graphic novel in the Cosmere universe. The planet Taldain (home of White Sand’s story) is as rich and intriguing a world as any of Sanderson’s others, if a bit monochromatic at first. We meet Kenton, member of an order of Sand Masters—able to wield ribbons of sand to spectacular martial effect—on the eve of the order’s annihilation.
The world, the sands, the suits, the faces—everything’s white. For what should ostensibly be a flat world, there’s a great and seemingly sinister depth lurking. But for what it’s worth, this story didn’t connect with me the way his written novels did. I can’t point my finger at why, though. White Sand has all the makings of a great Sandersonian epic: spectacular vistas, great magic, human drama, strange and terrifying changes to the status quo, but I found myself, more than once, wishing that I could also read White Sand as a novel.
I remain confident that the story of White Sand will blossom in volume two, in which I hope to learn more about Taldain—which seems to be a planet without axial rotation, as it has a light side and a dark side—and the curious folk that fill out the rest of the planet that isn’t in the magical monastery.
But back to this idea that the story didn’t have the same staying power of his prose work. The art is fantastic, the writing solid, and the final product is top-shelf, but I wasn’t absorbed into White Sand the way I’d hoped to be. But because I’m a die-hard Sanderson fan to the maxxx, I will sequester myself in my bedchamber, reading and re-reading White Sand until I get it.
That, or I’ll just wait for volume two, which is set to release in June, 2017.
White Sand is available on Amazon.