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seasonedbudgie

Hey I did a short review of The Emperor's Soul

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Although it's one of my most favourite Cosmere works, it does have a few shortcomings, yeah, it's rare to see a criticism of Emperor's Soul, so this was pretty refreshing! 

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Posted (edited)

On 1/3/2021 at 0:04 AM, seasonedbudgie said:

Hey guys I hope you like my review:

 

So, the Emporer is meant to the be main character's motivations. The reader is not meant to be invested in his well-being because of his character, he doesn't have one. We are invested in whether or not the main character can get him back because we see the main character is getting progressively more and more invested in getting him back, which may start getting in the way of her escape plan and get her caught. It is an incredible feat that is built up throughout the novella as difficult, and we see that she was able to complete it through quite a bit of grinding (Gets college flashbacks). So, the lack of personal investment in the Emporer isn't really a flaw when it isn't even something that is intended.

As for the main character, you do not give any good points on why you're not invested in the main character except that you 'knew' she would not die. While I admit that it was highly unlikely she would die in the book, that is not a very good point considering you can say that for many characters, not to say knowing a character will not die can't break an investment, but you need a little bit more than that, for an example of what I mean, having an immortal character in a very action-filled book, you're not going to be invested in the character's action scenes because you know he will survive them all, something else besides his life needs to be put at stake to get our investment. That doesn't really work here, though, as her life is very much in peril and she almost does die several times, only surviving through careful planning, and her relationship with Gaotona was very well done, if small. 

So you saying you're not very invested in the character is not informative or helpful and can be easily countered by me saying, 'I was invested in her'. You cannot really counter that, like how I cannot counter your lack of investment, but that doesn't really help anyone. Yes, you're not invested, but why, and again, the argument, I knew she would live, isn't very good. We often know that certain protagonists will live, part of the investment is HOW they manage to live. Like, you realize that if you read a book and know exactly every character that lives, I can still re-read it and be invested in those characters and their journey, right? You're argument is basically saying you can never re-read something and be invested because you know what will happen. 

And, I know this is meant to be a 'chill and short review' and that this is a small book, but you can talk a little bit more, mate. It's not like you're editing this. You just need to set up the camera, record, and then post, and I don't believe you're reading of a script either (Which isn't necessarily bad, but that also means that these should be easier to make than a scripted video.) You're skipping over a lot, and you can try and elaborate just a tad, talking for two or three more minutes is not that hard. Like, you did a series on Elantris, it can't be that hard to add a few minutes to an Emporer's Soul review when you're skipping a lot and barely saying anything. Put in a bit more effort, you clearly can.

Quote

Although it's one of my most favourite Cosmere works, it does have a few shortcomings, yeah, it's rare to see a criticism of Emperor's Soul, so this was pretty refreshing! 

@Honorless This video does not do a good job of explaining any shortcomings, so don't know how this is refreshing.

Edited by Aspiring Writer
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9 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

So, the Emporer is meant to the be main character's motivations. The reader is not meant to be invested in his well-being because of his character, he doesn't have one. We are invested in whether or not the main character can get him back because we see the main character is getting progressively more and more invested in getting him back, which may start getting in the way of her escape plan and get her caught. It is an incredible feat that is built up throughout the novella as difficult, and we see that she was able to complete it through quite a bit of grinding (Gets college flashbacks). So, the lack of personal investment in the Emporer isn't really a flaw when it isn't even something that is intended.

As for the main character, you do not give any good points on why you're not invested in the main character except that you 'knew' she would not die. While I admit that it was highly unlikely she would die in the book, that is not a very good point considering you can say that for many characters, not to say knowing a character will not die can't break an investment, but you need a little bit more than that, for an example of what I mean, having an immortal character in a very action-filled book, you're not going to be invested in the character's action scenes because you know he will survive them all, something else besides his life needs to be put at stake to get our investment. That doesn't really work here, though, as her life is very much in peril and she almost does die several times, only surviving through careful planning, and her relationship with Gaotona was very well done, if small. 

So you saying you're not very invested in the character is not informative or helpful and can be easily countered by me saying, 'I was invested in her'. You cannot really counter that, like how I cannot counter your lack of investment, but that doesn't really help anyone. Yes, you're not invested, but why, and again, the argument, I knew she would live, isn't very good. We often know that certain protagonists will live, part of the investment is HOW they manage to live. Like, you realize that if you read a book and know exactly every character that lives, I can still re-read it and be invested in those characters and their journey, right? You're argument is basically saying you can never re-read something and be invested because you know what will happen. 

And, I know this is meant to be a 'chill and short review' and that this is a small book, but you can talk a little bit more, mate. It's not like you're editing this. You just need to set up the camera, record, and then post, and I don't believe you're reading of a script either (Which isn't necessarily bad, but that also means that these should be easier to make than a scripted video.) You're skipping over a lot, and you can try and elaborate just a tad, talking for two or three more minutes is not that hard. Like, you did a series on Elantris, it can't be that hard to add a few minutes to an Emporer's Soul review when you're skipping a lot and barely saying anything. Put in a bit more effort, you clearly can.

@Honorless This video does not do a good job of explaining any shortcomings, so don't know how this is refreshing.

He did say that we're supposed to get more invested in Ashravan as Shai gets more invested in bringing him back but we don't really meet Ashravan in the book, and that kind of lowers the stakes for him a bit. For me, I would say it would've helped if there was more of a feeling of Shai getting really invested in him and then bringing him back but kind of realizing that she might know him like the back of her hand but they're still strangers. That would've been cool.

Shai's imprisonment felt low stakes to him. I think that's a valid point. Like, even if you know that this character is going to get away, there should be a feeling of "but at what cost?" that was lacking there because the main character herself wasn't worried. To me, it was perfectly fine, she was a master of her craft, confident, cunning, logical & calculating in her thinking, and that stopped her from really worrying, even as she realized she perhaps should've been more worried and less invested in the challenge of reviving Ashravan.

Subjectivity doesn't automatically make it an invalid interpretation. People have different tastes and reviews are about how a book made you feel. You both have perfectly justified responses to the book. Books are meant to be subjective to a degree, the reader is meant to interpret them.

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1 minute ago, Honorless said:

He did say that we're supposed to get more invested in Ashravan as Shai gets more invested in bringing him back but we don't really meet Ashravan in the book, and that kind of lowers the stakes for him a bit. For me, I would say it would've helped if there was more of a feeling of Shai getting really invested in him and then bringing him back but kind of realizing that she might know him like the back of her hand but they're still strangers. That would've been cool.

Are we supposed to? Because that didn't seem like what the book was doing. And if he claimed that, explain how the book was trying to do it. WOuld have developing Ashravan helped the story, yes, but saying it's a flaw that they don't make the reader invested personally in the Emporer as a character doesn't make sense when both the book isn't attempting that, and the MC isn't technically personally invested in the Emporer, she's invested in her creation. 

 

4 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Shai's imprisonment felt low stakes to him. I think that's a valid point. Like, even if you know that this character is going to get away, there should be a feeling of "but at what cost?" that was lacking there because the main character herself wasn't worried. To me, it was perfectly fine, she was a master of her craft, confident, cunning, logical & calculating in her thinking, and that stopped her from really worrying, even as she realized she perhaps should've been more worried and less invested in the challenge of reviving Ashravan.

Why? That's the whole issue is that he doesn't explain why her imprisonment had low stakes. I may very well agree with why he thinks that, but he doesn't explain it, which is infuriating if I went into this video thinking I was going to learn something about his points against TES.

 

7 minutes ago, Honorless said:

Subjectivity doesn't automatically make it an invalid interpretation. People have different tastes and reviews are about how a book made you feel. You both have perfectly justified responses to the book. Books are meant to be subjective to a degree, the reader is meant to interpret them.

Definition of a review: a formal assessment or examination of something with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary. A review is not just a way to share your feelings. And my complaint is that he doesn't explain why he feels that way. I did not say his interpretation was invalid, I said his one argument that he didn't feel invested was crap because it can be used for a majority of content and implies you cannot be invested in a character if you know what is going to happen to them when re-reading is a concept. It's not a good argument, and he should have developed the point better.  Don't start doing the whole 'everyone's opinion is equally valid' argument, if I said that Shai had murdered Gatona at the end of the book, I can't just say it's my opinion, that's factually wrong. if that's how he feels about the book, fine, but to say these are flaws isn't true with the points he's made, and I think he needs to develop them far more than he has. 

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Definition of a review: a formal assessment or examination of something with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary. A review is not just a way to share your feelings. And my complaint is that he doesn't explain why he feels that way. I did not say his interpretation was invalid, I said his one argument that he didn't feel invested was crap because it can be used for a majority of content and implies you cannot be invested in a character if you know what is going to happen to them when re-reading is a concept. It's not a good argument, and he should have developed the point better.  Don't start doing the whole 'everyone's opinion is equally valid' argument, if I said that Shai had murdered Gatona at the end of the book, I can't just say it's my opinion, that's factually wrong. if that's how he feels about the book, fine, but to say these are flaws isn't true with the points he's made, and I think he needs to develop them far more than he has. 

Scroll down and you'll find: "a critical appraisal of a book, play, film, etc. published in a newspaper or magazine." Though I suppose my critical thinking professor wouldn't asked for a bit more too but this isn't really a formal thing, it's a reaction video. Aren't you being a bit too salty about this?

I didn't say everyone's interpretation is equally valid, that reminds me of modern art & I don't like that. Also a lot of people whose political opinions I don't agree with. But never mind that. I did say "subjective to a degree", mate.

4 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Are we supposed to? Because that didn't seem like what the book was doing. And if he claimed that, explain how the book was trying to do it. WOuld have developing Ashravan helped the story, yes, but saying it's a flaw that they don't make the reader invested personally in the Emporer as a character doesn't make sense when both the book isn't attempting that, and the MC isn't technically personally invested in the Emporer, she's invested in her creation. 

 

Why? That's the whole issue is that he doesn't explain why her imprisonment had low stakes. I may very well agree with why he thinks that, but he doesn't explain it, which is infuriating if I went into this video thinking I was going to learn something about his points against TES.

 

Definition of a review: a formal assessment or examination of something with the possibility or intention of instituting change if necessary. A review is not just a way to share your feelings. And my complaint is that he doesn't explain why he feels that way. I did not say his interpretation was invalid, I said his one argument that he didn't feel invested was crap because it can be used for a majority of content and implies you cannot be invested in a character if you know what is going to happen to them when re-reading is a concept. It's not a good argument, and he should have developed the point better.  Don't start doing the whole 'everyone's opinion is equally valid' argument, if I said that Shai had murdered Gatona at the end of the book, I can't just say it's my opinion, that's factually wrong. if that's how he feels about the book, fine, but to say these are flaws isn't true with the points he's made, and I think he needs to develop them far more than he has. 

True, it was a very short video, like he read it and here's his thoughts & immediate reactions. It wasn't very in-depth but he wasn't really trying to? He wasn't writing a formal critical essay or anything, just reacting to a book he'd heard a lot about that did not meet his expectations. He just pointed out a few things that didn't work out for him.

Edited by Honorless
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4 hours ago, Honorless said:

Aren't you being a bit too salty about this?

I watched a video that I find poorly made and I'm sharing my thoughts on why. Think that's fair especially when people keep referencing it as a great example of someone criticizing The Emporer's Soul. 

 

4 hours ago, Honorless said:

Scroll down and you'll find: "a critical appraisal of a book, play, film, etc. published in a newspaper or magazine."

How does this definition contradict my point? It's still not what he is doing. 

 

4 hours ago, Honorless said:

didn't say everyone's interpretation is equally valid, that reminds me of modern art & I don't like that. Also a lot of people whose political opinions I don't agree with. But never mind that. I did say "subjective to a degree", mate.

Your argument implied such. But agreed, you did say to a degree. 

 

4 hours ago, Honorless said:

True, it was a very short video, like he read it and here's his thoughts & immediate reactions. It wasn't very in-depth but he wasn't really trying to? He wasn't writing a formal critical essay or anything, just reacting to a book he'd heard a lot about that did not meet his expectations. He just pointed out a few things that didn't work out for him.

Him sharing his thoughts does not make him immune to criticism. He made judgment calls on the novella itself, which can be responded to, and even if this was just sharing his experience, I still claim it's poorly made when he could try and explain the reason for why he may have felt this way with another, I don't know, two minutes. Just two. Nothing you've said counters my point that the video and his arguments are not well made and could have been developed more, you've just been giving him excuses and implying I should not be so 'harsh' on him.

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19 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

I watched a video that I find poorly made and I'm sharing my thoughts on why.

That's fair.

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