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      Oathbringer Spoiler Policy   11/13/2017

      Oathbringer is out! Let's make our policy on spoilers clear! 1. You must preface topics with Oathbringer spoilers with the prefix [OB] in the front 2. You are only allowed to post spoilers and spoiler topics in the Oathbringer Spoiler Board, Cosmere Theories, and some select work-related forums. 3. For posts in the Oathbringer Spoiler Board you do not need to use spoiler tags inside a topic marked [OB]. For Cosmere Theories, you also do not need to put spoiler tags inside your topic if the topic has [OB] in the title. However, for Cosmere Theories, if you are adding Oathbringer stuff to an old theory without the [OB] tag, those must go in spoiler tags and you must make it obvious outside the spoiler tag that the spoiler is regarding Oathbringer content. 4. For select things that do require talking about OB spoilers, in Events, Coppermind, and Arcanum forums, those are allowed but keep OB spoilers in spoiler tags 5. Avoid and minimize spoilers in topic titles--even though those two boards will not appear in the Recent Topics ticker, topic titles still appear in Recent Activity and the forum home.  6. You aren't allowed to post Oathbringer spoilers in places other than listed, even with spoiler tags.  It will be nine months and then the Oathbringer board will be re-merged with the Stormlight board and you will not need to tag these spoilers. If you'd like to move something in the Stormlight Archive board to the Oathbringer board, to update it with new Oathbringer information, Report the post and we will happily move it to the Oathbringer spoiler board. Part-by-part Reactions Though the Oathbringer Spoiler Board will be very spoilery, very fast (maybe don't come there until you've read the book, as people do have copies that bookstores sold early), you'll have these five topics for reactions if you want to nerd out: Part 1 Reactions
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Review: From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain by Minister Faust

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The superhero era has come and gone. The war has been won, the world’s villains are all behind bars, and the heroes are no longer needed. That doesn’t mean they don’t have problems, though ... and Dr. Eva Brain-Silverman, psychologist, is here to help.

The world’s most powerful heroes have been ordered into therapy, and their jobs depend on the results. But therapy only becomes more difficult when Dr. Brain announces the death of the revered Hawk King, a personal mentor to many of Brain’s charges. Bad feelings erupt, dirty secrets emerge, and what seems like a crazy conspiracy theory suddenly becomes a very real threat . . . if only to the sanity of some of the world’s greatest heroes.

There are some truly brilliant things about this book, not least of which is the premise. The novel is written and formatted as a self-help book for superheroes, authored by none other than Dr. Brain herself. The novel is interspersed with brief “psychological” interludes, but mostly relies on Brain’s observations of her case studies: the heroes who become this novel’s main characters and form the backbone of the plot. Oh, and don’t forget to read the advance praise for Unmasked, Brain’s fictional self-help book—it’s hilarious.

The format is more than just a cool gimmick. One of the most impressive things about this novel is just how efficiently Faust uses the self-help format to portray Brain’s character. While I don’t like Brain (more on that later), I’m absolutely confident that I dislike her and doubt her in exactly the ways I’m supposed to. Although the novel isn’t really about her, she’s certainly its most engaging character. The other characters, unfortunately, weren’t portrayed quite so deftly. Let’s start with the small things:

I hate them all.

To be fair, readers aren’t supposed to like these characters. But even aside from spending a whole book with unlikeable characters, there are lots of problems here. For one thing, almost every character uses some kind of dialect. It’s a superficial problem, sure. But it’s also extremely prevalent, and seems to exist for the express purpose of making each character as annoying as possible. In fact, there’s so much emphasis on the characters’ various eccentricities, problems, and annoying habits that some of them initially feel more like caricatures than characters. They do become more believable as the book progresses, and some of them even become more likeable. Some of them, on the other hand, just become more disagreeable.

The biggest problem with all of these unlikeable characters is that there’s just not enough payoff to make enduring them quite worthwhile. The novel’s ending is ambiguous, and while it’s appropriate in a lot of ways, it works more on an intellectual level than a visceral one. This applies especially to Brain herself—I was sure that Faust’s brilliant portrayal of the narrator was leading up to something spectacular, and in the end Brain’s role doesn’t matter all that much.

Even so, this book is absolutely worth the read. There are some interesting ideas here, and some aspects are very well done indeed. At times, though, reading it might feel more like work than play, and you might experience a little disappointment along the way.

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