Shadows of Self – A Review

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Well, this is exciting. Any time a new Sanderson novel comes out, especially one set in the Cosmere, I have a little field day. It’s been well over a year now since we got a new Cosmere novel (the last was Words of Radiance, which I reviewed here), and the hype has really built. Due to the importance of some of the Cosmere-wide tidbits in Shadows of Self, this review will have some spoilers, not only for Shadows of Self, but also for others of Sanderson’s works.

Shadows of Self

Shadows of Self is the fifth and latest installment in Brandon Sanderson’s popular Mistborn series. Properly the second book in “Era 2” of Mistborn, Shadows picks up a year after the events
of Alloy of Law. Continue reading

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Book of the Week: August 21st, 2015

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Wow, I totally forgot to upload this yesterday. So you get a Book of the Week on a Friday, this time. Anyway, this week we’re doing a bit of a different genre, and going toward the lighter side of things after going really dark with The Real Story last week. This time, the Book of the Week is Rifles for Watie.

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Rifles for Watie

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Book of the Week – August 13th, 2015

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The Book of the Week is back! I know it’s been a couple weeks, and this has been harder to keep consistent than I thought it would. First, my computer decided to consistently freeze while I was on vacation—resulting in zero posts for over a week, and no writing done on Seeds of Sand, the way I’d planned—and then I came back to Colorado and started a new job almost immediately. It’s been a busy couple weeks.

But anyway, I’m trying to get back on schedule with things now. The Book of the Week is The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story by Stephen R. Donaldson.

The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story

The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story

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Winter Dragon: The Wheel of Time TV Pilot

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Wow. So I had no idea this was going to be a post, much less that I would have a subject to talk about. I don’t think anyone in the fandom did. This is kinda monumental. Tonight, the Dragon rode again on the winds of time.

I actually watched an episode of a TV adaptation of The Wheel of Time. I’m still getting this through my head. This is a thing that I never, never thought would happen. I’m still a little bit in shock, so consider that as I write this review.

I…actually enjoyed it.

It wasn’t perfect. I don’t think it’s possible for a cinematic adaptation of WoT to be perfect. It’s too big a task. That said, the “Dragonmount” prologue covered in the episode tonight could have been perfect. Or, at least, close. The crazy thing is, I don’t think it’s the writers’ fault that it wasn’t. Overall, the writing was quite good. The dialogue was actually pretty great, adhering to the text of the book when it needed to and departing from it when necessary. The acting was decent; Lews Therin was portrayed fairly well and Ishamael was quite good.

Holding it all back was the budget. In two spots was CGI used; one was actually excellent. The Healing of Lews Therin was done really well, and I loved the visual. The other instance…well, it suffered from a lack of budget. LTT becoming the Kinslayer was, in theory, executed well. The flashback strikes and confusion presented were right on, but the actual effects were lacking.

And therein lies the biggest problem with this episode: the team simply  did not have enough budget to do the scenes justice. There were two major scenes that didn’t hit home, and both suffered because of that monetary restriction. The first was the flashback to the Kinslaying, and the second was the penultimate sequence of Lews Therin leaving to kill himself. It was clear that they didn’t have the financial means to film an epic suicide-by-One-Power scene on the slopes of Dragonmount.

But within the constraints the production had, I actually think this was a well done episode. If things can proceed, and gain the backing that a show like Game of Thrones has, it could be very well done.

I will leave it at that. I have a few other, small quibbles (such as the fact that Ilyena was not blonde despite being accurately referred to as “Ilyena Sunhair”), but in the grand scheme of a Wheel of Time show, they are insubstantial. Overall, I enjoyed the result.

For more about the Wheel of Time, check out my reread!

UPDATE: Apparently Harriet and Bandersnatch had nothing to do with this, and aren’t happy about it. Additionally, and I’m not going to pretend I understand the intricacies of who owns what rights, but it seems that Red Eagle doesn’t have the rights. It’s Universal, and on the surface, they weren’t involved in this episode. So that’s troubling. I’m not sure what to think now, except the fact that this has all brought a TON of attention to WoT, and hopefully that can be parlayed, one way or another, into a high-budget and successful TV adaptation.

Firefight – A Review

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Brandon Sanderson’s newest effort, Firefight, is the second book in his YA Reckoners Trilogy. I read Steelheart, the first book, and enjoyed it on the whole but found some things to be a little frustrating; on the other hand, I very much enjoyed the characters of Megan and Prof, and their respective reveals.

Large spoilers for Steelheart and smaller for Firefight follow. Continue reading

What To Think? – A Review of The Slow Regard of Silent Things

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The Slow Regard of Silent Things is an odd book.

I knew coming into this that it was not going to be The Doors of Stone. I knew what it was going to be: a short side story about Auri. I knew that it was going to give her more life on the page; that it was going to give me more insight into her background and her personality.

I was right. And I was so, so wrong. Continue reading

Words of Radiance – A Review

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The following is a review of Book Two of Brandon Sanderson’s colossal epic fantasy series, The Stormlight Archive. While I will be refraining from posting any major plot spoilers, there are still some thematic elements discussed herein. If you’ve only read The Way of Kings, I’d recommend proceeding with caution. Continue reading