Well, I suppose it had to happen sometime. I’m rating a Brandon Sanderson book less than four stars. He’s written about five million of them, so statistically this was a very likely outcome, eventually. And now it has, and we can all move on with our lives.
I really enjoyed the first two novellas in this series. The premise is great (a genius who has schizophrenia channels his illness into the creation of imaginary people who he calls aspects, all of whom are experts in one field or another). And it was so fun seeing it in action in the first two books! But here, everything starts to fall apart. There were hints that Stephen was losing control of his aspects in the first two books, it was intriguing to see where Sanderson took it, and even while he’s falling apart here, it remains interesting. My problem was with the ending.
I did not feel like the ending worked as a resolution to the story I was reading. Sanderson has said that this series, and especially this third novella, are really personal to him. And I get that! But sometimes when you make it really personal for yourself, it doesn’t always translate to other people. I wasn’t reading a story that had anything to do with paralleling Stephen and his aspects with the way a writer thinks about his characters. It’s just not something that resonates with me in relation to this story. So the fact that the ending was keyed towards resolving something I didn’t need resolved, just made me feel like the story I was reading doesn’t have any resolution at all.
Oh, well. I guess you can’t win them all. I’m sure I will again in the near future enjoy a Sanderson book. (I have high hopes for Skyward!)