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330 Stormwarden

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About GroundPetrel

  • Birthday 09/16/1996

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    Paleontology and associated fields, xenosociobiology and associated fields, internally-hard science fiction and fantasy (Brandon's stuff, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Schlock Mercenary), SFF in general, writing (not very good at it), drawing, Dungeons&Dragons, reading, extreme birdwatching, Star Trek.

    I have many, many interests. :)

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  1. I kinda liked it, but I had some major reservations. --The worldbuilding wasn't really deep enough IMO, I get that it's partially that way on purpose to be revealed like an onion as we go but with the insanely fast pace that throws it out of whack. --The hero is...a mashup of Vin and Kaladin really. At least in feel. His concept's pretty cool, but he's still basically "if Kaladin's arc was more like Vin's" and that's really not fun for me. --This thing is way too storming fast, especially on Mirandus. Key point: One character dies and I felt nothing, because I hadn't had time to get to know and love him. Like, he dies faster in screen time terms than , I think. That's what really damages the story for me. I don't really feel like I KNOW the Mirandus characters the same way I do the mom and her client. Which is why the courtroom plot works and the Dark One eh. --I think that Mr. Wise Wizard is behind a lot of this mess to some degree. The creepy villain is great but I think he's playing a revenge game here (and just has really bad APD). Probably the weakest Sanderson book I've ever read--that still puts it above most authors though. Still want to see more.
  2. Fair I guess. (Also I checked the WOB records and apparently Thaidakar is still restricted to Scadrial's system by the time of Wax & Wayne which is after Stormlight, which is a shame because I really, REALLY want to see him and Shallan face off. I would love to see him play her like a harp in the first half of whatever arc they end up in, only for her to turn around and out-gambit him in the most spectacular possible way in the end. I feel that they should be not quite friendly rivals with an immense respect for each other lol)
  3. I expect a gambit pileup, for one. I think TOdium is going to spend most of the book freaking out and trying to un-screw the mess Rayse left him in. I think Kaladin will live, Szeth will not; Shallan will discover Thaidakar's end goal (and confirm that he's from another planet) even as he tells her some BS (I suspect that his end goal is to kill all the Shards and give their power to Sazed so that Sazed can take them, fuse them, and then go do nothing at all for eternity so that the cosmere can finally be free of the Shards' fumbling and wars). Dalinar will Ascend, probably becoming Honor, and then be killed by Kelsier/Thaidakar (who I believe will be able to reach Roshar as a result of something Shallan does early in the book, resulting in her trying to stop him towards the end), who will attempt to steal the Shard but will be thwarted by concurrent schemes of Shallan and TOdium, resulting in someone else getting Honor and being completely unready for it (my money's on Navani for what it's worth). Cultivation has to step in to help hold Odium back and the other Shards take note, making the situation on Roshar deteriorate even further and faster. That's my half-baked thoughts, anyway!
  4. I'm talking just about book 1 (I'd argue that the later books are much more original/not direct ripoffs, albeit with themes and elements that have been done before, but then I've devoted WAY too much time to Christopher Paolini and how he (1) was treated very unfairly by his anti-fans, (2) was held back as a writer by Eragon's success, and (3) actually has some good ideas underneath his overpromoted self-insert fanfic). Book 1 has: Luke Skywalker/Eragon lives on a farm with his uncle. He gets a Special thing/call to adventure. Obi-Wan/Brom rescues him from danger. He discovers that his uncle is dead at the hands of Bad Guys and is angry and upset. Luke and Obi-Wan go to meet up with Rebels but get distracted after a couple brief fights with mooks by going in to Darth Vader/Durza's fortress to rescue a Princess. Here Luke/Eragon sees how powerful Darth Vader is and Obi-Wan dies to save him but they escape with the Princess. Luke makes friends with a cool scoundrel (granted this is much later in the narrative and Murtagh is kinda different from Han but the general outline is still there) and they and the Princess get to the Rebels but are pursued by Bad Guys. Bad Guys led by Darth Vader arrive to destroy the Rebels. The Rebels have a plucky plan that relies mostly on Luke being a badass and saving the day. Luke fights Darth Vader and gets his butt kicked pretty good but his friends arrive to distract Darth Vader and Luke saves the day. Some elements are a bit different but the outline is still pretty similar.
  5. TBH it's very hard for an adult author to unintentionally rip off other work in a novel. It does happen, but it's usually obvious. Eragon for example is Star Wars with dragons--the plot is basically the same, complete with a Darth Vader to serve the offscreen Emperor, a princess to save, an edgy badass friend, and a special magic sword. Sword of Truth is a bunch of Wheel of Time CONCEPTS with the serial numbers filed off with a much more tropey plotline, but I would argue it's not quite a ripoff. (terrible series, but not a ripoff) Wheel of Time starts off as a bunch of Star Wars and LOTR tropes mashed up and also draws inspiration from Arthurian myth and Slavic & Germanic mythology, but it's IMO ridiculously difficult, almost impossible, to argue that it's a ripoff. Heck, even if your work is inspired by another can still be pretty original! For example, I tried to do NaNo last year (before burning out due to the writing load in the middle of grad school) with a concept that was basically "The Boys, but less cynical and the Homelander character is intelligent", and the plot had nothing to do with The Boys outside of "evil corporation enacts conspiracy to gain power over the government", it's basically a detective story with a few super fights based around a divorced FBI agent lady who's a mind controller (initially without knowing it) and hates it.
  6. I'm going to be honest--I strongly suspect that the Ghostbloods were founded by Kelsier. Probably somewhere after having himself stapled to a new body and setting himself up as Jesus for the second time.
  7. Fair point. (also, man, Sazed became an asshole after Ascending! And he's one of the least terrible gods!) I think my main concern is that the Kelsier we met in The Final Empire would leave a bunch of Investiture just roaming around unchecked after somehow assassinating the Shards, and everything we've seen so far suggests that that is a very bad thing.
  8. I think that Adolin is as close to a perfect character and person you're going to find, myself. Anyway, this is going to sound stupid, but TOdium reminds me of Emperor Palpatine (POS casts himself as the hero to seize power via intrigue+murder and gets drunk on it, roughly), and Moash of Darth Vader (unstable could-be-hero goes really really bad in a moment of weakness and gets worse because he doesn't want to confront that it's all his fault). That's my 2 cents anyway.
  9. I mean, what I kinda want to see is Kelsier becoming a more heroic person who hesitates before indulging his worse instincts and tries to make the universe a freer place? Like, mellowing out and becoming the Big Good as a not-quite-redemption story? Meanwhile with Hoid going the other way--I'm not saying he isn't a puppet master already, I'm thinking, what if his arc is more, becoming a tyrant who goes from trying to nudge people into going in the general direction he wants, to trying to control the universe to go the way he wants? Kinda an order vs. chaos thing like in Mistborn, but this time the chaos is the better option. (also it'd be hilarious IMO if they "swapped sides" so by the end of the storyline Thaidakar is backing Roshar and Hoid backing Scadrial in some kind of space war)
  10. Jasnah is ace according to WOB IIRC. Also there's Gavinor as the heir, plus she wants to move away from monarchy towards democracy anyway. Huh? Out of his gut decisions that I've seen (Kelsier/Thaidakar's entire storyline in Secret History, TOdium, the changes to WOR with respect to who is killed, the change to Kaladin vs. Szeth), only one of them IMO has actually been bad (Kaladin vs. Szeth, which IMO was very clearly Szeth committing suicide in the original and Kaladin not understanding that until it was too late).
  11. I personally think that Kelsier might be becoming a better person. IMO it fits Sanderson's typical worldview and writing style to have a bad person become better through taking the opportunity to be a good guy and help others. (Also I've kinda cooked up this objectively crazy hypothesis that Hoid/Cephandrius/Midius/whichever is going to become a puppetmaster Big Bad and Kelsier/Thaidakar is going to become a sort of pro-self-determination Big Good but with sort of like reverse followers? Like, Hoid wants something we'd as readers consider bad but good people in-universe are working for him, and Kelsier wants something we'd consider good but has a lot of scumbags working for him? And Kelsier accidentally or semi-intentionally helps bad people become good?)
  12. I think the biggest issue I had was that the pacing was weird. Like, so much of Dalinar's bits feel like housekeeping of the continuity. And Shallan's plot felt like it dragged a bit. Words of Radiance was definitely tighter, almost too much so. This feels kinda awkward and gangly I guess. The twist is awesome though.
  13. I don't think that this will happen but the concept is so inherently hilarious that I like it anyway.
  14. The good god/evil god thing is built into the concept. The bad-guy god deliberately evokes European Christian heavenly-father concepts in his good-guy disguise, and Envy and Lust use illusions to appear as angelic and helpful figures (Lust uses white robes and a halo effect, Envy adopts the "wise old sage" persona) throughout the story. The shim who are mostly decent people look like scary animals. The bad deity basically convinced the humans through his servants that the good deity was weak and incapable of winning the forever war that was going on, and what do you know, there just so happened to be this shining new hero-figure who totally wasn't the bad deity in a disguise who showed the human armies the way to Glorious Victory against the retreating minions of darkness (who were retreating because the good deity had just given them sentience through the sacrifice of part of his being and was super distracted). (also, history buff here--the Treaty of Versailles contributed to German political instability, the rise of the Nazis specifically (as opposed to the other right-wing groups; the Communists had their big chance in 1918 and failed for a number of reasons including jumping the gun, which resulted in their discrediting for much of the Weimar period) depended much more on Hindenburg doing a coup in Prussia that significantly weakened what Weimar institutions were still functional, then giving Hitler high office after the non-Nazi right wing parties got their butts kicked in an election due to not getting much done. Hindenburg basically laid all the ground work, without him and the Enabling Act Hitler wouldn't have been able to consolidate power as he did. WW2 Japan was the consequence of a LOT of different things including a period of extreme political instability and military radicalization that was enabled by the military elite during the early 1930s--AKA the "government by assassination" period where junior officers were literally murdering PMs for not being rabidly racist and imperialist enough. The decision to attack America was heavily influenced by the Russo-Japanese war, blatant racism on the part of the idiots in charge, and Tojo looking at Japan's war-footing military productivity vs. America's peace-footing military productivity and saying "ha, we produce 50% more guns and tanks than these pathetic fools, we'll totally thrash them!" because Tojo was kinda a moron that way. Showa-era Japan was an elephant of a clusterfrakas.) Anyway the political situation is that basically, there's some poor white tribes in the north, who get used as mercenaries sometimes by the rich state in the middle of the human lands; the Midlands are united under one state, which has historically had very weak central government and was dominated by feuding satraps with a fig-leaf of loyalty to the Overkings who relatively recently consolidated power. Think an extended period of disorder somewhere between the Sengoku Jidai and the Diadochi period in terms of chaos, but with intermittent extended periods of peace. The state religion is fairly authoritarian and socially intolerant (women's rights are pretty good though because female mages are needed for military service). The Borderlands are a sparsely populated region whose dominant ethnic group is basically the "hick" relatives of the dominant, cosmopolitan Midlanders; they are extremely clannish, where anybody who's born into the group is accepted, even if they look really weird, but outsiders are mistrusted for years even if vouched for by an insider. They're on the far side of the Midlands from the main war zone and don't give a damn about it. Ash is basically accepted at home because her mom grew up in the little town, and brought Ash home when Ash was like a month old, and anyway Ash is a good hunter which is valuable to the community. The Midlander empire is looking for room to grow and started exploring the Waste to see if there was anything economically viable to extract there, and ran into the shim who were coming in from the other side. Due to the influence of the Seven conflict broke out, and a bunch of important nobles died, the church started portraying the shim as savage monsters who it was OK to kill (like the typical concept of orcs--the idea here is that the beast-people with prehensile tails and clawed feet and snouts with saber teeth and no external ears are actually pretty decent folks led by generally decent people while the human leaders are the real monsters). The shim have a semi-nomadic pastoral and hunter society, due to physical sexual dimorphism (males have clawed hands, females have more dextrous nailed hands) females are more often leaders and a male shim elder notes that his position as lore-keeper is considered unusual. They have a strong oral tradition and their society revolves around an oath they developed to the good deity--the good deity is basically all about freedom but the irony is shim society is very traditional and conservative and the ritual adulthood rite is very important to them. I'm trying to build out an arc in the middle where a human officer (high noble rank but low military rank which is unusual, doubly so due to his sterling record) is sent to chase down the good guys because of the fallout of Mom's failed attempt to stop the Overking from doing a punitive expedition, catches up to them, and points out just how suspiciously convenient the whole situation is, then lets them go and orders his men to say they failed, which sparks Mom's reconsideration of the entire situation (she had been trying to ignore the visions when they showed the granting of sentience to the shim which upset Ash a lot when Mom told her group about the vision), eventually leading to her figuring out that Lust is messing with her head. Ash is basically a wide-eyed kid going to the big city and then on an adventure and a lot of her stuff is being messed up by the experience--when mercenaries attack her mother's house and she kills some of them she's basically nonfunctional while her mom gets to removing the bodies, and Envy picks her apart over the course of the story and builds it up to a crisis point. I'm really worried about this character arc because Mom's character arc came together relatively easily IMO and this one relies on emotional stuff to make Ash believable. Boyfriend was raised in the not-terribly-trans-friendly Midlander society and while he's disillusioned from it he's also surprised by alternatives he encounters. The main Midlander human society is basically meant to be an imperialist hegemonic regime with a stratified society and entrenched aristocracy that venerates warfare and absolute rule. They have Middle Persian sounding names and use terms like "cataphract" instead of "knight" but there are elements of absolutist France there too. There's an impoverished mercenary recruitment ground of white people to the north and countries of black people to the south that are hard to conquer for geographic reasons (rugged terrain, very unfriendly to Midlander militaries) so are mostly let be as long as they don't try to mess with the status quo. Oh and I'm trying to show cultural differences through in-universe legends and fairy tales; Midlander stories are all about young noble heroes heroically slaying many foes and conquering vast realms, while Borderlander stories are all about the importance of taking care of family and friends and have a lot more of a freewheeling ethos with all sorts of wacky gender and sexuality hijinks. Shim stories are all about men who are strong defenders of the clan and women who are wise and stern leaders and both types of protagonist killing mind-controlling villains and justly punishing voluntary traitors and oathbreakers. Midlander society has an honor concept but it's very external and authoritarian, shim honor concepts are more internally focused to a point. Elemental manipulation's drawback is basically the key plot-relevant bit; it otherwise shares the general traits of being based on gestures and movements with ATLA. The important part is that the more you use it the more it takes out of you so Boyfriend is constantly having to take a drink of water to replenish himself. After he and Ash beat Envy (after he already took out a zombie golem thing), he's basically suffering severe dehydration and has to be half-carried out to the horses where he soon has trouble staying conscious. He isn't even about big flashy moves either, his two best tricks are using a controlled pile of dust to snake it inside something's armor and then rip it apart from the inside, and turning the ground to quicksand before solidifying it again.
  15. I really want the seven sins to be really tough to beat, no talisman or special weapon or whatever to kill them. At most the god-sword can mess with their powers a bit because of its origin. These guys are the immortal elite goon squad of an evil god, they have to be ridiculously tough and powerful as well as versatile. Currently I have Lust using hammerspace storage to hold swords, tossing out translucent forcefields he can step on when fighting a flying foe, and using magic shields Envy gave him; Envy has short-range teleportation, summons metal flechettes to throw, stuff like that. He also survives getting his neck slit long enough to do a contingency teleport and presumably patch himself up. Lust only gets killed after being impaled, electrocuted, and then hit with so much more wattage on top of that he burns to ash. Wrath should be physically near-invincible. Stuff like that. I do kinda like the idea of somebody not liking this god-war stuff, maybe there's a third species who were the world's natives and are pissed that this divine clusterfrakas got imported to their backyard? But that's kinda beyond the scope of the immediate 'bad guys want to trick good people into doing bad with a fake Campbellian hero-prophecy story' narrative.