I've finally read Brandon Sanderson's legendary novel "The Final Empire." Yes, years after it has come out I've taken my first steps into the Mistborn Saga, and I must say... It was fantastic.
I bought it during a Kindle sale; the first Mistborn Trilogy, for just a few dollars. I won't lie, I got it on my Kindle because I was not a huge fan of the current edition's cover art. Don't judge a book by a cover, especially a genre book, Fantasy in particular. This was something that was on my reading list, and the first novel I ever read of Sanderson's was Way of Kings, which was also great. (Yeah, I came to this party way late in the game.)
Now, I'm not a huge fan of the Kindle, as in ebooks generally annoy me. They have their perks: many books without the weight, an almost instant buy for anyone with money and internet access, and reading in the middle of the night, or in low-lit areas is now a breeze!
Still, reading is not merely about the story for me, personally. I love the smell of a new paperback book. I love the feel of the pages. Even some of the soft-matte covers, give a book a unique quality that adds to the enjoyment of it. Not to mention the cover art!
Of course, bound books that exist outside of that elusive digital universe can be a double edge sword. As I said earlier, I was not a fan of the cover art for this book. And, as I also said, most genre books... well, just don't look too much at that art. Same with the binding; some books have horrible, stiff and poorly plastic'd (this sure sounds like a real word) cover that curl, split and fray easily. Oh, this is pure woe for the avid reader. The avid, "don't bend my spine because seriously this book is my child and I'll re-read it a million times, and it will still look new because I'm a tad OCD when it comes to my books, no, seriously, OCD is the correct term here it is totally cool I use it don't be offended" sort of reader understands this.
And thus, the Kindle sale (I promise I'll get to this review eventually), really put me in a good position. "Hey," I said to no one because it was dark and I was alone browsing books online. "It's so cheap, and I get three books, and I can really try out my Kindle for real now." I nodded to myself, very content with my brilliant logic. "Also, if it turns out to be great, I'll just suck it up and buy the actual book. Then, when people ask me why I'm reading such an odd cover'd (real word) book I can defend my choice with how cool it is."
Now. Onto the review: Sanderson sits at the forefront of contemporary fantasy with his novels. They are generally easy to read, with straightforward and direct language. His action scenes are described sensibly, and in a very visual fashion that allows the reader to follow. His characters, while maybe not the most complex, are real and you never have to try and "understand motivation," like some poorer novels. He writes that step or two above genre pulp. It's engaging, fast paced and fun while leaving you with a sense he is genuinely trying to deliver you a quality product.
I won't bore anyone with the details of the plot, other than, while in the beginning, it comes off as flimsy, and laughable. Don't get stuck on that. Push through it. Vast rewards await all those who stick with it until the very end. Great twists, even some that you can see coming really are rewarding in that "fist pump cause it was great even though it was sorta lame/cliche."
As for your basic summary, we are following the exploits of a young girl named Vin who has been betrayed by everyone she has ever been close to. She is part of a thieving gang, in a world full of falling ash, scorched and desolate wastelands, and prevailing mist filled nights. The world is ruled by an all-powerful, and evil Godlike being, and even for the nobles (the lucky, wealthy ones) if you step out of line you may be assassinated by a member of your own class, or by one of the ruler's scary henchmen! Woooo!
What happens next? I know, but I won't say. Just read it, if you haven't already. And if you haven't, well, you are even slower to get onto this train than I was. So... don't be such a me, and get with it already!
4.5 stars total. Not the BEST fantasy, but a damned near perfect pulpy-like genre tale told with wit, great plotting and a friggin' good ole' time.