I’m not saying I didn’t like this book–I did, and I already have the next two queued up (only just learnt that there’ll be a fourth! My brother did NOT tell me this, I’m not saying I wouldn’t have started had I known but also would I have started if I’d known? Unclear. But apparently the fourth is coming soon and so I “won’t have long to wait, I don’t understand why you’re being so finicky about this, imagine the rest of us who have been waiting years”).
From an n = 2 maybe it’s just that I don’t get into Sanderson’s trilogies until book 2? Amusingly, the example I was using to explain to my friends the relation between the first and second trilogies was Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. Aka, the first series takes place in Ye Olde Times, and then by the second series we’re in The Industrial Age. I feel like there’s a second level to the parallelism though–while AtLA had a very cohesive arc from the very first episode/intro, Legend of Korra always felt like a series of season-long arcs that nevertheless tried to amp up the intensity to similar levels. So instead of one Fire Lord, you had three (four?) different Big Bads.
I’m not saying that this new series is exactly the same but I got a similar vibe. Wax goes from Roughs lawkeeper to reluctant lord pretty quickly, all things considered, and I never quite got a handle on him or the world he was in. While I don’t think that everything in this novel needs to tie to the original mistborn series, it’s a little disorienting to go from a world where a handful of people are mistings and every fewer are mistborn to everyone being Twinborn.
The other part that irked me a little–while the original Mistborn series has Vin as the prototypical Not Like Other Girls girl, she does remain the Survivor and the centre of the novels. It’s nice, and a bit of a change. Here, Marasi is a pivotal female character but she’s stereotypical in a different way–bookishly brilliant, IRL awkward–and lacks some of the same vibrancy and deft character sketching that Wax and Wayne get. It’s their book, clearly, but I vaguely miss the adventures of Vin-and-the-guys.
THAT BEING SAID, as I noted I’m still going to read the next book, and Sanderson clearly has a plan for the Big Bad Arc. As I have decided after only reading one of his series, one should never assume that Sanderson has not meticulously plotted the path of the books ahead. More to the point, many people I trust have said that this next series eventually soars to new heights, so I’m excited to see where they’ll go.
And, of course, I’ll take any small notes about our beloved characters from the first series! Sanderson should deserve all the credit for how well he pulled off the tonal change and world evolution–really thinking about elements of a society and how they change over time. That he’s writing a new series set at the start of the digital age (start of programming)?? I cannot imagine how that would work, but I trust that it will.