kaellok

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846 Shardbearer

About kaellok

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  • Gender
    Male
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    Pacific Northwest
  • Interests
    Reading. Writing. Teaching. Playing games! Video games, board games, tugging at the strings that all people have so that they dance to my will.

    Not murdering people. I have developed a large number of strategies to NOT murder people. Some of my closest friends are equal parts relieved and horrified at the number of people I haven't killed. (There was a year there where they were concerned that the number of people I have killed would exceed 0. Then I quit my job, and everything has been better.)

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  1. I do not remember Cuna ever being referred to by gender, but instead by name or they/them. A brief flip-through of the book also confirms using Cuna by name or they/them, even when a he/she might have made more sense if appropriate. On p.421 of the hard-cover edition, Morriumur views the eldest grand Numiga as 'they', although that description is somewhat nebulous and might be Morriumur talking about how Morriumur looks inside the pod, instead of how Numiga looks to Morriumur while Morriumur is in the pod. My cursory flip-through didn't find any instances of a dione being referred to as he/she, but instead by name or they/them. There were plenty of times when a dione was around a species using he/she, or Spensa describing their voice as masculine/feminine. As an aside, apparently at some point I started thinking of diones as resembling humanoid hammerhead sharks, and I have only just now realized that that isn't really supported by the text.
  2. For me, Skyward is the easy choice, even though I also love Starsight. (I started my re-read of Skyward on Thanksgiving, and then finished Starsight last night--technically this morning; so, I read them both very recently, and these thoughts are fresh in my mind.) A cliffhanger ending will always taint my overall enjoyment of the book at least slightly. And there's HUGE cliffhangers at the end of Starsight. Does it make me want to read the next book? Yes! I'm very excited for what will happen, but it's also left a slightly sour taste left in the mouth. The aftermath/ending in Skyward also did not completely undo most of the plot-related climax which had just been dealt with. Is Detritus still hours away from being destroyed? Yes. Are the Delvers still a threat, because of Brade and the weapon which Winzik and their faction controls? Yes. Do the humans have any way off of Detritus? No. (Sure, they have a colony of the slugs, but we've also been shown that it takes some kind of machinery interacting with them to make the cytonic hyperdrive work; otherwise, Spensa stepping into the portal at the end would make no sense at all, since she has Doomslug with her.) The problem with a cliffhanger like this is that it could (and I argue should) have been used to start the next book, rather than end this one. The natural ending point is there, just after Jorgen finds all of the slugs on Detritus. Or maybe just a few paragraphs after, when Spensa awakes in the hospital and Cuna tells her that the Delver is gone, that he's been talking with Admiral Cobb, and things look great; even through in how she thinks something feels off! Just leave it at that, though. I really feel like instead we got the worst ending in any published Sanderson work, despite an absolutely great overall novel.
  3. She could very easily still be a source of information about all of that. Even if we assume that she was born, say, a hundred years after the exodus to Roshar, knowledge of such an event would still be culturally relevant (and thus maintained). People that she knew would have made the journey. And, since she was one of the 'intended' Heralds, I find it doubtful that she would be ignorant about the Dawnshards, even if her knowledge was only second-hand or theoretical. At worst, she would be unable to provide first-hand, primary knowledge about these events, but she should still be able to help with second-hand reports. I just can't imagine fighting side by side with your father for a thousand years and never learning about the planet that he fled from, ya know?
  4. While this is true, YA / New Adult / Comedy can get away with a lot more use of exclamation marks and interrobangs (question mark + exclamation point, and perhaps my favorite piece of punctuation). I find myself having to write them all in as I want them in the first draft, and then have to edit them out later as I use them to an EXCESSIVE degree. Also, following more explicitly about conflict, every scene should have both emotional and plot-related conflict in general. Every scene MUST have one of the two; if it has neither, then you know it's filler that is not needed. Lisa Cron has talked a lot about 'the third rail', and using it to drive story and plot and characters, in various blogs and also Story Genius (a great resource to use when creating a novel). Essentially, every character but especially the main character of the story should have some major goal--what they think would bring them perfect happiness--as well as a misbelief about the world which prevents them from achieving this goal. This misbelief will have been established and reinforced throughout their life. The story, however, is the world knocking on their door and forcing them to see how and why they're wrong. Every scene with the character needs to touch on that rail in addition to the normal plot and story stuff. Looking at Way of Kings, Kaladin wants his friends and family to be safe--that's his goal. His misbelief is that all lighteyes are inherently evil. His story, then, becomes one of challenging or reinforcing that belief. The other major thing to take away from Lisa Cron's book is that every character, no matter how major or minor, has their own motivations and desires. While the reader may (and many times shouldn't) ever know what they all are, as the author you need to have much more clarity. The more major the character is, the more you need to know about them. Even the most minor characters in the most minor scenes requires you to know why they are there, what they hope to achieve, and what the results of the scene will cause them to do (maid enters to clean the room, sees the hero violently dialoguing with the villain, and then flees--to summon the guards that arrive a few minutes later).
  5. Even more than this, the reason why Odium has not picked up the Shards that he has Splintered (Dominion, Devotion, Honor, and Ambition) is because he doesn't want to change.
  6. You are technically correct that Odium is not the actual embodiment of evil or destruction in the greater scheme of things, and it's probably a bit reductionist for us to argue that he is--but that was also the smallest point that has been made in this thread. I also think that you are conflating 'actual supernatural force of evil' "Dark Lords" such as the Dark One from WoT and The Despiser from Thomas Covenant with the Evil/Dark Lord trope that exists; that's really just an option, rather than a requirement. As to whether he is the Epic Fantasy Dark Lord or not, Odium really, really does fit the trope in more than superficial ways (and the Lord Ruler is the deconstructed Dark Lord trope, like it or not). Let's compare Sauron, the archetypal epic fantasy Dark Lord, with Rayse/Odium (even though Morgoth v. Odium is probably a far better comparison in terms of power and personality). Both have great power, and both use that great power for death/destruction and subordination of others, and both have specific goals that are not compatible with the typical understand of 'good'. Neither are inherently evil, but are instead evil through the choices they have made and the actions they take. Sauron started the Second Age with positive intentions, taking those who had been bereft and left alone as his own people, to offer them succor and guidance; Odium aided the Singers after humans were invading their lands and breaking treaties. Sauron has powerful and corrupted men that serve him (the Nazgul) while Odium has the Unmade. Both make seem to make their stronghold a Hellscape: Sauron has Mordor, and its choking desert waste with the fortress of Barad-dur, and Odium has Braize, considered by the major religions of Roshar to be literally Hell. Sauron has hordes of orcs and other fell and twisted creatures, and Odium has the Fused. Do they both use methods that would be considered evil by most to work their will? You know, torture, fear, murder, mind control, etc.? Yep, they both do all of those things (see: orcs, see: Singers). Are they evil personified? Yes, but because of the choices and actions they make, not because they are inherently required to be evil. There is one major difference between the two of them, other than their scale of power: Sauron starts as a builder, and is obsessed with order and coordination, hating disorder and confusion. We don't really know what's up with Rayse, except that he was probably a hateful person at the time he picked up the Shard. So while Sauron is determined to remake Middle Earth in his own image, Rayse wants to be free to go around murdering people who could be a threat to him (see: Ambition, Dominion, Devotion, Honor).
  7. I guess the only remaining question to ask is if Shallan is really Shallan
  8. Because narratively, it's really cool to have happen, but if every Radiant Order had it happen, then the story would become over-saturated and dilute its awesome-factor. I remember a previous WoB that said that it was due to one of the Surges, but either my Google-fu or memory is weak, as I can't find it anymore.
  9. Nale revives Szeth-son-Neturo using a fabrial, likely one similar to the one used by the Radiant in Dalinar's vision (the one with the inky black things in WoK, where he defends his 'wife' and 'child' with a fire poker; not at home, and I've forgotten the name of chapter). iirc, there's a WoB where Sanderson confirms this. The timing of the use of the fabrial was purposeful, and close to not being successful. Basically, Szeth died but his spirit hadn't yet left his body when Nale healed it. Edgedancer novella spoiler There is no evidence to suggest that bonding with a dead Shardblade allows someone to use Stormlight at all, for healing or otherwhise. An Honorblade, such as Szeth wielded, does allow the use of Stormlight, though. He uses it to heal from a multitude of otherwise-deadly wounds even in the first prologue of WoK, after all. What Szeth says about this is that he can't heal from damage done by Shardblades. It's possible that he was wrong, or that Honorblades don't allow full healing, because Kaladin definitely heals from such a wound in his first duel against Szeth. Edit: I'm really good at putting spoilers inside of spoilers inside of spoilers when I really didn't mean to.
  10. Do we know that Mr. T wrote the diagram on his 'most perfect day'? It was his smartest day, without question, and Mr. T almost definitely thinks that it was his most perfect day and his most perfect self. However, the Mr. T bits make it pretty abundantly clear that intelligence =/= perfection. That's kinda the whole point of the intelligence vs. compassion debate. That's why there's been so much debate about whether the Diagram can actually save humanity, or if it was doomed to failure from the beginning as a red herring. That's the only reason why Mr. T is in any way interesting as a character. I highly doubt that Mr. T at his smartest was not supposed to be Mr. T at his 'most perfect', and that his 'perfect day' is yet to come--and it will be the day when he is the most compassionate. Unless, of course, it will be all of the days where his intelligence and compassion are perfectly balanced, thus signifying that it is the average person en masse who will save the world from hatred.
  11. I somehow missed the short story Defending Elysium until yesterday, but read it immediately since they're in the same universe. Substantial Defending Elysium spoilers:
  12. Are we talking Heralds that die in the front 5, or in SA as a whole? I'd bet lots of money that none of the current-Heralds are alive when SA-10 ends. If I were Odium or his forces, then I would concentrate on trying to find the Heralds who haven't been very conspicuous or obvious in order to kill them first. After they're dead, use Nale to attack Ishar, and then kill them both from surprise while they're distracted and weakened. Odium seems to be a vengeful guy, and those ten stood in his way for a LONG time; I think that he would allow himself to be imprisoned for a bit longer if it ensured that he'd be able to destroy them.
  13. Very fair points made, @Ripheus23. I think I only read the first 2 books of Thomas Covenant, so the Despiser might have become more interesting/badass with a more detailed look. I mean, I did read several synopses over the years of the series to try and find what it was that other people enjoyed that I was missing, but even what you have said in explanation does not change my mind much (although I do appreciate it). An entity that represents all evil in the world is just inherently un-cool imo. I actually have had The City at the End of Time by Greg Bear on my shelf for a few years, but haven't got around to reading it yet. The Typhon, while ranking up significant badass points (I mean, c'mon, it's eating all of time), doesn't seem to actually be cool, though, unless the Wiki page is missing something It seems like it's a mostly impersonal force of nature, rather than an intelligent and malevolent being acting of its own volition. Based on what we saw of Preservation and Ruin on screen I would say that they are also not cool; we're essentially just seeing natural forces acting. We get a little bit of personification of them, which I maintain is required for full cool-points. Typhon seems to fit in this same category, though. A hurricane might be badass and destructive, but unless it's sapient it's not cool--even if you ramp it up to reality-ending.
  14. You make some excellent points, @galendo, however I think that the Forsaken need to be compared to the Unmade, rather than the Fused. I think that gives a +5v3 advantage to the Dark One, simply because we don't know a lot about the Unmade at this point, but they are inherently far cooler than the Fused. I also think that Odium absolutely gets to count current Roshar as his, as he is pretty directly responsible for its current outlook and how it has been shaped. The Dark One gets a lesser credit for the 3rd Age, but some nonetheless, as he has continued to affect the world even beyond his prison. Your point 7, Recreance v. tainted saidin is one where I agree that the Dark One gets an overwhelming victory. I honestly don't think that myrdraal are cooler than thunderclasts, and put the fused as better than trollocs by far, so point 4 I also disagree with the metric you are using, and would give a 5v3 advantage to Odium. I think that I would give it a +13 v +10, advantage Odium.
  15. Given that at the end Spin says that for whatever reason something political has changed with the Krell or other aliens which was causing the increased aggression, it's very possible that there's at least some sort of monitor on the planet itself. And yet those cadets have only a few hundred hours of training at most (4 months = 120 days, at 12 hours per day training = 1,400 hours TOPS) of flight time. And most of that is still in the simulator. Also assuming that their calendar is roughly equivalent to ours. Meanwhile, Jorgen came to the flight with more than 2,000 hours before they ever started. The most unrealistic thing is that they don't spend more time training pilots. The second most unrealistic thing is that they spend more time training pilots how to fight than to fly. There's some reasoning behind this (politics and socioeconomic factors, the rich interested in starting/perpetuating wars but not paying the cost for them) that gets a few sentences in the story, but never truly developed to the extent that it would make such factors actually reasonable. They live in a deeply flawed society that allows barely-adults to fight the enemy in vessels that are their only means of continued survival, but are utterly unwilling to give them the training required to not waste both the pilot's life, but also that of their ships. Mockpits and fighter simulation should be a substantial portion of the schooling for literally anyone who is interested past a certain age. Despite my criticism, I loved the book, and was able to forgive it many of the unrealistic things while reading it, and eagerly look forward to its sequels. (I ended up reading it in 2 sessions: the first 30 pages, then the rest of the book.) I mostly was let-down by the mysteries that were set-up or how realistic the society is, but the reason why I loved Skyward so much was the characters and their arcs through the story.