not an Evil Librarian

Unpopular Brandon Sanderson Opinions

380 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Orlionra said:

That Adolin flat out murdered a political rival? That that is pretty much assassination and sets a dangerous precedent? That Adolin acted out of passion and not out of compelled philosophical reasoning, so who is he going to kill next that won't deserve it?

Sadeas was a traitor and an unrepentant murderer, boasting to Adolin about his plans to commit further treason.

Given the way Sadeas's high social status insulated him from consequences, what other morally justifiable course of action was available to him?  Adolin did the right thing, and as near as I can tell the only right thing he was capable of doing.

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49 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

Sadeas was a traitor and an unrepentant murderer, boasting to Adolin about his plans to commit further treason.

Given the way Sadeas's high social status insulated him from consequences, what other morally justifiable course of action was available to him?  Adolin did the right thing, and as near as I can tell the only right thing he was capable of doing.

Unpopular opinion: Adolin did more harm than good in clandestinely executing Sadeas. 

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9 hours ago, Orlionra said:

Unpopular opinion: Adolin did more harm than good in clandestinely executing Sadeas. 

I'll go further in my unpopular opinion, the only interesting thing Adolin has done in all of Stormlight Archives is murder Sadeas. Other than that, he is a dull and thoroughly unremarkable character. 

Whew, feels better just saying that. Not having to pretend that reading about him reading fashion folios, investigating girth straps, and deliberating about what to wear is interesting in the least is a load off.

But because he is Adolin the resolution for the only interesting thing he's done is a non-committal shrug. A dull non-resolution is kind of perfect for a dull non-character. 

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14 hours ago, Hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I'll go further in my unpopular opinion, the only interesting thing Adolin has done in all of Stormlight Archives is murder Sadeas. Other than that, he is a dull and thoroughly unremarkable character. 

Whew, feels better just saying that. Not having to pretend that reading about him reading fashion folios, investigating girth straps, and deliberating about what to wear is interesting in the least is a load off.

But because he is Adolin the resolution for the only interesting thing he's done is a non-committal shrug. A dull non-resolution is kind of perfect for a dull non-character. 

How is it possible not to like the 4 Shardbearer duel in WoR

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On 2/24/2021 at 2:14 PM, Stumpythecognitiveshadow said:

I agree, Starsight had hardly any action and way too much politics. 

I can't believe the next Brandon book is Skyward three, that pushes off all the Cosmere books till forever(or like, three years or something).

Actually, when does the next Cosmere coming, and what book?

brandon generally switches off between cosmere and non-cosmere to take a break, so it's not that crazy. the problem is that he should be doing rithmatist 2 which is years overdue and instead he's doing book 3 of a new series. also, he could be finishing alcatraz. pretty sure the next book is mistborn era 2 book 4: the lost metal. there are only at least 6 books left in mistborn after that, and 6 stormlight, and Nightblood, and elantris 2, and... you get the point.

If he dies before finishing the cosmere, I'll go to the CR and kill him again!

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49 minutes ago, Hoid the Drifter said:

brandon generally switches off between cosmere and non-cosmere to take a break, so it's not that crazy. the problem is that he should be doing rithmatist 2 which is years overdue and instead he's doing book 3 of a new series. also, he could be finishing alcatraz. pretty sure the next book is mistborn era 2 book 4: the lost metal. there are only at least 6 books left in mistborn after that, and 6 stormlight, and Nightblood, and elantris 2, and... you get the point.

If he dies before finishing the cosmere, I'll go to the CR and kill him again!

I'm fairly certain Alcatraz is finished, there's just publishing stuffs getting in the way. 

So which do you think will come first: Rithmatist 2 or Elantris 2?

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1 minute ago, Orlionra said:

I'm fairly certain Alcatraz is finished, there's just publishing stuffs getting in the way. 

So which do you think will come first: Rithmatist 2 or Elantris 2?

An entirely new and unforeseen series.

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7 hours ago, Frustration said:

An entirely new and unforeseen series.

Oh please no.

Brandon would never finish SA then!

or Elantris, or warbreaker, or sixth of dusk, or rithmatist, or mistborn,  

Edited by Bejardin1250
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On 2/27/2021 at 9:51 AM, Hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I'll go further in my unpopular opinion, the only interesting thing Adolin has done in all of Stormlight Archives is murder Sadeas. Other than that, he is a dull and thoroughly unremarkable character. 

Whew, feels better just saying that. Not having to pretend that reading about him reading fashion folios, investigating girth straps, and deliberating about what to wear is interesting in the least is a load off.

But because he is Adolin the resolution for the only interesting thing he's done is a non-committal shrug. A dull non-resolution is kind of perfect for a dull non-character. 

Adiolin was fine in tWoK and WoR, its since OB hes character has suffered from being made a plot device for Shallan

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17 hours ago, Bejardin1250 said:

How is it possible not to like the 4 Shardbearer duel in WoR

Fair point, that scene is one of the high points in SLA and it really is a great Adolin story arc (though Kaladin steals the show with his "Honor is dead, but I'll see what I can do" line). 

4 hours ago, Quick Ben said:

Adiolin was fine in tWoK and WoR, its since OB hes character has suffered from being made a plot device for Shallan

I don't mind action Adolin, when he's doing something action oriented. It's the attempts to develop his non-existent personality that I don't really like. 

Personality: He's a nice guy. 

Flaws: A skosh too much harmless vanity, an obsession with dueling, the slight propensity to stab high prince's in the eye, and the somewhat endearing penchant for toussling his hair. 

Really, it's the small little affectations that he's given in place of a personality that bother me and I really dislike the whole girth strap investigation plot line in Wok. 

But if you love Adolin as a character, keep on loving him, I will attempt to suppress my groans, but I can make no such promises about my involuntary shudders. 

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9 minutes ago, Hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

I don't mind action Adolin, when he's doing something action oriented. It's the attempts to develop his non-existent personality that I don't really like. 

Personality: He's a nice guy. 

Flaws: A skosh too much harmless vanity, an obsession with dueling, the slight propensity to stab high prince's in the eye, and the somewhat endearing penchant for toussling his hair. 

Really, it's the small little affectations that he's given in place of a personality that bother me and I really dislike the whole girth strap investigation plot line in Wok. 

But if you love Adolin as a character, keep on loving him, I will attempt to suppress my groans, but I can make no such promises about my involuntary shudders. 

I don't love Adolin, i just think his entire character suffered from OB on because was relegated to a plot device for Shallan.

Chances to show more of him, came and were ignored by BS with the fallout from the Sadeas murder and the revalation about Evi's death.

Both of which are disappointing imo

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On 2/28/2021 at 10:25 AM, Quick Ben said:

I don't love Adolin, i just think his entire character suffered from OB on because was relegated to a plot device for Shallan.

Chances to show more of him, came and were ignored by BS with the fallout from the Sadeas murder and the revalation about Evi's death.

Both of which are disappointing imo

Fully agreed. In fact back when the series started I thought his entire arc was going to be learning how to carve out a new identity as a "regular person" in a world in which superheroes now exist and are the ones responsible for a lot of the heavy lifting in battle. For him to go from charming Prince and skilled warrior to a normie in a war in which he suddenly finds himself useless. Instead he has kind of just become Shallan's husband; with any interesting moments of introspection or self-doubt quickly sweeped under the rug in order to get back to Shallan's problems. 

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On 2/27/2021 at 11:18 PM, Orlionra said:

I'm fairly certain Alcatraz is finished, there's just publishing stuffs getting in the way. 

So which do you think will come first: Rithmatist 2 or Elantris 2?

Honestly, I want Rithmatist 2 first. Yes, there is more to the Elantris magic system that needs to be explained, and yes, Elantris 2 has been longer waited for, but Rithmatist needs a conclusion to its story, Elantris had a viable ending already. 

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I would have loved to see Feruchemy heavily in Roshar. That like the Cultivation's magic system would have been incredible.
 

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My theatre director is of the opinion that Brando Sando goes over/repeats things too much. An example he used was that in one scene it'll be like (I guess SA spoilers kinda?)

Spoiler

"Kaladin was depressed. Then he did this...etc."
Then the next Kaladin chapter it's
"Kaladin is still depressed and this is what he is still doing"

Then basically the same for all chapters. 

And I can kinda see where he's coming from, but I don't dislike that he does that, since I tend to forget details, I just remember the general idea and whether or not I liked it. So, repetition for me is good. *shrugs*

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On 5/9/2021 at 6:56 AM, Stumpythecognitiveshadow said:

Honestly, I want Rithmatist 2 first. Yes, there is more to the Elantris magic system that needs to be explained, and yes, Elantris 2 has been longer waited for, but Rithmatist needs a conclusion to its story, Elantris had a viable ending already. 

that is not unpopular, that's truth. 

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2 hours ago, Thaidakar the Ghostblood said:

that is not unpopular, that's truth. 

I have to disagree, unfortunately. Brandon should not be using his precious time to finish a series that’s not Cosmere. I loved Rithmatist, I don’t want a sequel until after Era 4. Skyward is bad enough in taking his time away from LM, we don’t need another.

But I see the other point of view on this and I am sure your not alone

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This is more of my issue with the fandom than Brandon or his works itself (and it's one that I've stated before), this fandom is too afraid of the YA genre as a whole. I think that's a silly thing to fear or to use as a reason to discount a book by an author whose other works one already likes. And guess what? If you want Sanderson to be a household name, that is where the odds are. Outside of Martin, what are the names of modern SFF authors who have had their works adapted into successful movies or franchises? JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth,* Leigh Bardugo, to name a few. What genre do they all work in? YA? Who is selling like hotcakes right now? Leigh Bardugo in YA. Sanderson has THREE YA properties that could work here - Mistborn** (which is sold as YA as well as SFF), Skyward, and the Reckoners. Besides, it's easier to recover from a bad non-Cosmere adaptation than it would be from a bad Cosmere one. 

YA is a giant growth market for Sanderson. To be afraid of it is to miss out on a great opportunity. 

 

*Roth is both a good and bad example. The first two Divergent movies did incredibly well. The third was poorly received, and I'm not even sure the fourth came out - they were going to replace the lead actress to continue the franchise, but I'm not sure that ever got off the ground. 

**If you want to sell or pitch Mistborn to new fans right now, the best place to do it is in conjunction with Leigh Bardugo's work. Comparing the plot to Sarah J Maas' Throne of Glass series and Bardugo's Six of Crows duology works. I've done so multiple times. Heck, at the bookstore near me, Mistborn sells better in the YA section than it does in the fantasy section! 

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9 hours ago, Use the Falchion said:

*Roth is both a good and bad example. The first two Divergent movies did incredibly well. The third was poorly received, and I'm not even sure the fourth came out

Wait, what?  There were three of them?

I saw the first one because the premise looked interesting, but it turned out to be an abysmal, audience-insulting piece of garbage, one of the worst movies I've ever seen.  How did that ever do well enough to merit a sequel, let alone two?!?

I'm serious.  How in the world does a movie that literally insults its target audience and calls them evil by 1) stereotyping everyone into a specific personality trait and then 2) taking the ones whose trait is "intelligence" (ie. the real-world demographic most likely to actually read the book or go watch a sci-fi movie in the first place) and turning them into the evil Slytherins?

If that premise somehow failed to utterly bomb, I don't want to live in this world anymore.

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29 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

Wait, what?  There were three of them?

I saw the first one because the premise looked interesting, but it turned out to be an abysmal, audience-insulting piece of garbage, one of the worst movies I've ever seen.  How did that ever do well enough to merit a sequel, let alone two?!?

The fans of the first movie and the genre pushed it forward. Don't worry, I too didn't like the first movie. The sequel was so, so much worse...

Anyways, the first movie made over $280 million world-wide on an $85 million budget. That warrants a sequel. 

Insurgent, despite receiving mixed-to-negative reviews for the most part, ultimately grossed a little over $290 million world-wide. That, for a YA movie and in 2015, was great money. And even if the budge was over $100 million, that's still double the budget earned back. That warrants a sequel. 

Allegiant grossed nearly $175 worldwide on a $110-140 budget. So...yeah, no sequel there. 

 

Allegiant was the camel that broke the YA and Post-apocalyptic dystopian future YA camel's back. Sure, the wave rode itself out with the Maze Runner trilogy, but those movies were good this was the last of the big-screen major releases. 

 

 

30 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

I'm serious.  How in the world does a movie that literally insults its target audience and calls them evil by 1) stereotyping everyone into a specific personality trait and then 2) taking the ones whose trait is "intelligence" (ie. the real-world demographic most likely to actually read the book or go watch a sci-fi movie in the first place) and turning them into the evil Slytherins?

Because the the target audience who reads this is most likely not the most intelligent or worldly because their brains aren't fully developed, and are looking for a form of catharsis because they see their own microcosms filled with such fractions, as if the entire world of Divergent was a metaphor for high school clicks and the teenage girls who may feel victimized by this? the point of the series is about nonconformity, and those who are sorted by intelligence are able to use that aspect for further gain. It's silly at best, but I do sort of see the point in that. It's no different than saying that in the future of the Harry Potter world, those sorted into Ravenclaw can become villains because they're surrounded by potential high achievers and very ambitious people, with no genealogy or bloodline to besmirch their name, and potentially enough experience with the Muggle world to be open to Muggle ideas and ideology, which always takes the Wizarding world by surprise. 

Besides, many books insult their target audience all the time. The Hunger Games sort of does - we as fans revel in the violence and spectacle of Katniss' life, when the whole point is that the system itself is messed up for allowing this...and that our society isn't too far off from something like this happening. (If we ever left it, given how colosseums are now just stadiums and boxing/MMA/kickboxing rings. We may not watch people fight to the death, but sometimes it looks like that. And gladiators may not be fighting lions now, but bullfighting still exists in parts of the world.) It's whether or not the insult is poignant that matters IMO. It's a whole trope thing

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThisLoserIsYou

 

34 minutes ago, Mason Wheeler said:

If that premise somehow failed to utterly bomb, I don't want to live in this world anymore.

It's not a unique premise, and it's what fans of Hunger Games were craving - a post apocalyptic society where people were sorted by traits/attributes/geographic location simply because "that's how things have been since XYZ world-changing event," and one girl breaks the system. I understand the appeal, it just wasn't well-done.

 

But the point remains. Divergent is still in the YA consciousness, and the books still sell pretty well. Hunger Games still sells very well for YA, and is a solid recommendation. There are still new fans discovering Twilight. If you can make it in YA and have a solid foothold there - preferably with a really good adaptation - then you can gain a legion of followers that will carry your name into the cultural consciousness for a long, long time. Also, and probably more importantly to this direct topic, historically, YA books that are popular enough to gain an adaptation have had a shorter wait-time between the book series coming out and an adaptation coming out. The final Hunger Games book was coming out while the movies were still going IIRC, and the first Divergent movie came out the year after the final book did. Imagine how great that would be for Sanderson.

Say something like Skyward gets adapted into a movie series: You've just finished the movies and you've read the books, but you're hungering for more by this author. In the case of other YA books, once you've read what got turned into movies, you've pretty much exhausted their bibliography. But for Sanderson, you discover 3-4 new YA series! But you finish those and want more, and then you discover that he's a fantasy writer too. You're hesitant, since you're not really into fantasy outside of certain authors (I'm thinking Maas, Bardugo, Black, and Claire), but you decide to give it a shot. You liked Mistborn, so why not try the sequel series? You discover that you actually like it a lot! And then you discover the Cosmere...and now you're a new fan and can't wait to tell all of your friends about the other books Sanderson has written. Rinse and repeat for an entire YA demographic, and...well, I think that's a powerful force for Sanderson to weaponize for his Cosmere books, if he still wants more control over an adaptation. 

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I mean, Sanderson is all ready a household name. You do not need a Netflix adaptation to be one or to make obscene amounts of money. 

Here's the thing: Brandon has written YA because, he claims, it helps refresh him and keep him from burning out. That's fine. It's part of the process to reliably get Cosmere books (which most Sanderfans are here for. Sorry/not sorry) so people shouldn't be too upset with them because they aren't really causing a delay. 

You know what does cause delays? Failed projects (Apocalypse Guard) and "offical branded stories" (Magic: the Gathering novella). Those two were the principle reasons for the delay in the Lost Metal.

Skyward isn't causing delays. It allowed him to fulfill contractual obligations when Apocalypse Guard failed and he's been able to write each installment at his typical pace. 

But we don't know if that'll be the case with future YA series. We also don't know if his other side projects are going to impact his writing speed (currently, it does not look like it. But if he keeps gathering side projects, something will have to give).

It does seem like he's aware of this, so hopefully after Skward is finished, his breather project will be Rithmatist 2 and not something new. Because if we are talking business sense, the longer it takes for that book to appear, the less business sense it makes to write or publish (and that assumes the current publisher of Rithmatist doesn't fold, get reorganized or bought complicating the fate of that book and any potential sequel).

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Posted (edited)

48 minutes ago, Orlionra said:

I mean, Sanderson is all ready a household name.

Only in the fantasy genre, which, outside of Tolkien, Martin, and Rowling aka three of the biggest authors in the world (and maybe Riordan if you want to count him) is hardly household. Outside of the fantasy bubble, Sanderson is a medium-sized-but-missable-fish-in a-MASSIVE-pond. A great adaptation turns you from that medium-sized fish into a household name. Iron Man was a C-list hero before his movie came out, even in the comics. Now he's one of the single most popular superheroes in the world, up there with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man. The Witcher is famous because of the video games, not the books. But now, people can choose between the books, show, and Netflix show. And do you want to know when the books started selling to many non-Witcher fans? When the show came out.

Even Jordan, who didn't have his book sales be overtaken until 2018 by Martin no less, is not a household name. But a well-done adaptation may get him there. Martin was a great fantasy author who did well in his genre, but once GoT picked up steam, his show became a cultural phenomenon. Sure, the prestige of the world and story have fallen, but people still know who he is, even if they don't "like" or "read" the genre. The same is true for Harry Potter and Tolkien. Many people who don't like Fantasy or SFF can still name the respective work and author, simply because it's a part of the cultural landscape. 

Sanderson simply isn't there, and while the Cosmere may be his addition to that landscape, I think there are easier ways to get to the door. 

 

48 minutes ago, Orlionra said:

Here's the thing: Brandon has written YA because, he claims, it helps refresh him and keep him from burning out. That's fine. It's part of the process to reliably get Cosmere books (which most Sanderfans are here for. Sorry/not sorry) so people shouldn't be too upset with them because they aren't really causing a delay. 

You know what does cause delays? Failed projects (Apocalypse Guard) and "offical branded stories" (Magic: the Gathering novella). Those two were the principle reasons for the delay in the Lost Metal.

Skyward isn't causing delays. It allowed him to fulfill contractual obligations when Apocalypse Guard failed and he's been able to write each installment at his typical pace. 

No argument or disagreement here. 

 

48 minutes ago, Orlionra said:

But we don't know if that'll be the case with future YA series. We also don't know if his other side projects are going to impact his writing speed (currently, it does not look like it. But if he keeps gathering side projects, something will have to give).

It does seem like he's aware of this, so hopefully after Skward is finished, his breather project will be Rithmatist 2 and not something new. Because if we are talking business sense, the longer it takes for that book to appear, the less business sense it makes to write or publish (and that assumes the current publisher of Rithmatist doesn't fold, get reorganized or bought complicating the fate of that book and any potential sequel).

I think there are two possibilities, with the information we have from last year's SotS and collaborative projects:

1) Brandon collaborates more on the YA ideas he has. Brandon and Dan clearly enjoy working together, as evidenced by Dan being the first person Brandon asked to help fix The Apocalypse Guard when it failed, and their current collaboration on Dark One: Forgotten.* Brandon clearly enjoys working with Janci, as he asked for her help with Alcatraz 6 and then asked her to write the Skyward novellas. Brandon probably enjoyed working with Steven Bohls, as he speaks highly of the Deathrise/Lux novellas...when he speaks about them at all. And Brandon and Mary Robinette clearly had fun on The Original. The same seems to be true with Peter Orullian and Songs of the Dead, but there's no timeline on that book. 

So you have Brandon working with people he enjoys, who are helping bring his ideas to life, while all he has to do is revise a draft every now and then? That sounds like a plus to me. It's a nice distraction that keeps the output consistent, gives lesser-known authors some visibility, and overall just seems like a blast for everyone.** Besides, it feels like a sign that Brandon is a big enough author to do this - Patterson, Riordan, and a third author I can't think of at the moment all do this as well. 

Fans will complain about how these "aren't Brandon's words/work/whatever" and don't need to be read because of it (or, if Isaac starts to write in the Cosmere, non-canon becaue it's not from Brandon's hands, despite Brandon probably collaborating and overseeing everything about it, and ultimately approving it), like I've seen some do with The Original and Dark One and whatnot. 

 

2) Brandon turns his YA side-projects into YA side-projects that exist in the Cosmere. This is just as likely to me, as Brandon has talked about that YA kite-based magic system story he had planned, as well as a potential YA story set on First of the Sun I believe. So Sanderson is still writing YA in a way that's a break from his heavier and tomes, but it's all in the Cosmere, which means we as fans feel like there may be progress. The problem comes in two eerily familiar forms. The first is that fans who don't like YA may feel conflicted and/or betrayed, now that they feel "forced" to read YA for the Cosmere stuff. The second is that these books aren't actually relevant to the Cosmere story as a whole, which means they're doing the same thing as the non-Cosmere stories in the eyes of those who don't like them and are "distracting" Sanderson from his true goals. (I just responded to someone on Reddit who brought up these exact feelings.)

 

 

*Also, just a fun WoB about future sequels to The Apocalypse Guard: (From March 25, 2020)

Quote

Use_the_Falchion

Is The Apocalypse Guard going to be a standalone? I know you've talked about promising fewer sequels in your books now, but with Dan Wells co-authoring this one, I'm curious as to how you'll treat it.

Brandon Sanderson

If it works, and the collaboration is good, then I would be open to doing sequels. Dan is fun to work with.

 

**Not sure how pay works in these cases though. I'd like to imagine Brandon takes far less than what a usually collaboration costs, simply because he doesn't need it, but I'm not entirely sure what their contract would state. 

Edited by Use the Falchion
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52 minutes ago, Orlionra said:

Here's the thing: Brandon has written YA because, he claims, it helps refresh him and keep him from burning out. That's fine. It's part of the process to reliably get Cosmere books (which most Sanderfans are here for. Sorry/not sorry) so people shouldn't be too upset with them because they aren't really causing a delay. 

And yet we've gotten two Skyward books (and two Stormlight books!) since Bands of Mourning came out.

Quote

You know what does cause delays? Failed projects (Apocalypse Guard) and "offical branded stories" (Magic: the Gathering novella). Those two were the principle reasons for the delay in the Lost Metal.

Skyward isn't causing delays. It allowed him to fulfill contractual obligations when Apocalypse Guard failed and he's been able to write each installment at his typical pace. 

I just have to wonder, just how broken was Apocalypse Guard that *this* was considered good enough to replace it?  Because let's face it.  Skyward was pretty good but Starsight... wasn't.

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1 hour ago, Mason Wheeler said:

I just have to wonder, just how broken was Apocalypse Guard that *this* was considered good enough to replace it?  Because let's face it.  Skyward was pretty good but Starsight... wasn't.

Broken enough that it caused more problems than it was currently worth. TAG had to mix its own ideas with the worldbuilding and magic system of the Reckoners too, and something in that original ending broke more than it reconciled. If he ever does fix the new version - which I believe he will - then it'd be fun to read that next to the old version, and see what wasn't working. 

As for Starsight, I'm not the hugest fan of that book either. Skyward is one of Brandon's best works to me, and to have it followed up by something that felt like I was reading Shallan's arc in WoR all over again mixed with the flight school of Skyward...didn't make for the best experience. I like both of these things, but together they didn't feel as interesting or original as Sanderson may have hoped. I'm sure I'll like it more on rereads though. 

But Sanderson's recent comments about him and the readers having different ideas and priorities really helped clarify things. (I think it was during the interview with The Dusty Wheel, but I'm not 100% sure.) To paraphrase, Brandon saw the Cytoverse as "the adventures of Spensa," with her doing cool things at cool times - the focus was always on her. Meanwhile, fans thought the focus was on Spensa and Skyward Flight up against these impossible odds and whatnot. This divide between what fans thought the series was and what the creator thought the series was is now a source of a divide. 

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1 minute ago, Use the Falchion said:

As for Starsight, I'm not the hugest fan of that book either. Skyward is one of Brandon's best works to me, and to have it followed up by something that felt like I was reading Shallan's arc in WoR all over again mixed with the flight school of Skyward...didn't make for the best experience. I like both of these things, but together they didn't feel as interesting or original as Sanderson may have hoped. I'm sure I'll like it more on rereads though. 

The thing that really bugged me was just that the plot didn't work.

We start off with making it really obvious -- and I mean really, painfully obvious even if you hadn't figured it out already from the last book -- how the cytonic hyperdrive works, and then spending the rest of the book treating that whole subject as a huge mystery complete with a Big Reveal at the end.

Then we go to the alien place and start doing spying stuff, and we get yet another retread of the "band of misfits underdog sports team" plot we've all seen a zillion times, including in the previous book.  We try to create a bunch of tension with the character with the provisional existence, but did anyone believe for a second that they wouldn't make it in the end?  And meanwhile, the characters we've actually come to know and love from Skyward are nowhere to be seen.

A bunch of shenanigans happen and Spensa confronts the Delver... and I've seen this ending before.  From Brandon!  It's basically just the climax of Calamity all over again.

Gasp!  The cytonic hyperdrive is exactly what the entire book has been making it abundantly clear it is, which fact was covered up by those in power for exactly the reason you'd suspect it would be! What a tweeeeest!

And then it ends on a cliffhanger, which wouldn't be so bad except that so did Bands of Mourning, and this book held up the resolution of it for an extra two years!

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