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Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

Law Cheetah posted:

The Rithmatist is YA and I like it a lot. Steelheart is YA and its bad.
Steelheart is definitely the weakest Sanderson book I've read.

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mallamp
Nov 25, 2009



I think Steelheart is great.
To me the divider is Way of Kings, everything before that (apart from first Mistborn, but that's possibly just because it was my first Sanderson) is bit blahh and everything after is good.

Xachariah
Jul 26, 2004



Honestly I don't notice any difference between Sanderson's supposed YA books and his supposed non-YA books. There's no sex and limited swearing either way.

Steelheart had a baby get murdered in its mothers arms by an insane super villain in the first chapter and plenty of violence throughout. It's not really "immature" compared to Mistborn or Stormlight.

I think the Young Adult label is just marketing nonsense.

mewse
May 2, 2006



Xachariah posted:

I think the Young Adult label is just marketing nonsense.

I think it's probably just about graphic sex scenes like in Ken Follett stuff

Lobsterpillar
Feb 4, 2014


Xachariah posted:

Honestly I don't notice any difference between Sanderson's supposed YA books and his supposed non-YA books. There's no sex and limited swearing either way.

Steelheart had a baby get murdered in its mothers arms by an insane super villain in the first chapter and plenty of violence throughout. It's not really "immature" compared to Mistborn or Stormlight.

I think the Young Adult label is just marketing nonsense.

One of the main requirements for the YA label is to have a teenage protagonist. Not always, but mostly.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Lobsterpillar posted:

One of the main requirements for the YA label is to have a teenage protagonist. Not always, but mostly.

So Mistborn should fit.

Since it's being bandied about, my own reactions to all the Sanderson books I've read, in the order I read them:

Mistborn 1: Some pacing issues, but loved it.
Elantris: Intolerably boring, didn't care about any of the POV characters, gave up about 40% of the way in.
Warbreaker: Liked it entirely because of Vasher and Lightsong. All pages not containing either are wasted pages.
Mistborn 2: Not bad but too much time spent on uninteresting hero (Elend) and uninteresting villain (Zane).
Mistborn 3: Awesome. Only complaints are that Sazed angsting got old long before it finally ended, and that the big reveal was really obvious really early.
Way of Kings: Couldn't stand Shallan, loved it otherwise. Never liked a Sanderson POV character less than Shallan.
Emperor's Soul: Amazing.
Words of Radiance: Probably my favorite fantasy book ever. Especially impressed that Shallan abruptly became an interesting character.
Steelheart: Liked it a lot, also dragged down by both big reveals being not hard to figure out even for a brain-turned-off reader like me. Not crazy about the first person narrative by a Mary Sue type character, but eh, YA.

I also think highly of the three Sanderson Wheel of Time books. Towers of Midnight may be my favorite book in the whole series.

Eric the Mauve fucked around with this message at Oct 19, 2014 around 03:56

SystemLogoff
Feb 19, 2011

Shutting...Down...


I'm going to end up reading the Emperor's Soul again. Thanks thread.

Legion too, I think.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

Eric the Mauve posted:

So Mistborn should fit.

Since it's being bandied about, my own reactions to all the Sanderson books I've read, in the order I read them:

Mistborn 1: Some pacing issues, but loved it.
Elantris: Intolerably boring, didn't care about any of the POV characters, gave up about 40% of the way in.
Warbreaker: Liked it entirely because of Vasher and Lightsong. All pages not containing either are wasted pages.
Mistborn 2: Not bad but too much time spent on uninteresting hero (Elend) and uninteresting villain (Zane).
Mistborn 3: Awesome. Only complaints are that Sazed angsting got old long before it finally ended, and that the big reveal was really obvious really early.
Way of Kings: Couldn't stand Shallan, loved it otherwise. Never liked a Sanderson POV character less than Shallan.
Emperor's Soul: Amazing.
Words of Radiance: Probably my favorite fantasy book ever. Especially impressed that Shallan abruptly became an interesting character.
Steelheart: Liked it a lot, also dragged down by both big reveals being not hard to figure out even for a brain-turned-off reader like me. Not crazy about the first person narrative by a Mary Sue type character, but eh, YA.

I also think highly of the three Sanderson Wheel of Time books. Towers of Midnight may be my favorite book in the whole series.
Rithmatist is quite good, you should read it. I really want to turn its magic system into a game, it's too bad I'm such a lazy git.

mallamp
Nov 25, 2009



Cicero posted:

Rithmatist is quite good, you should read it. I really want to turn its magic system into a game, it's too bad I'm such a lazy git.
If you like boardgames, there's pretty cool game (released last year so should still be easy to find) called Tash-Kalar where you fight each other by setting up patterns on board to summon creatures etc. It's not quite the same, but kind of close.

mallamp fucked around with this message at Oct 19, 2014 around 12:08

thespaceinvader
Mar 30, 2011

The slightest touch from a Gol-Shogeg will result in Instant Death!


Yeah, thinking about it Tash-Kalar is surprisingly rithmatistish. There are a few things that launch projectiles and such, even. The major difference is that getting to the controller character isn't the goal of the game.

A rithmatist board game could be pretty sweet, actually.

Dalael
Oct 14, 2014


Lobsterpillar posted:

I got it in paperback when it first came out. I don't think they even had it in hardcover. Or do you mean as a not really massive, easier to handle book (eg. split into two parts like they did with the way of kings?)

I've seen it in hardcover. It feels about as thick and the book is biggerin terms of height. My guess is they used bigger font or some douchery like that.

Dalael
Oct 14, 2014


Mortanis posted:

He just seems like he's not a fan of being in a group, and I certainly don't fault him for that.

Seriously, who can blame him? Most people are either assholes, dumb or annoying. When you combine them in a group, that becomes exponential.. Case and point: Reddit

EVGA Longoria
Dec 25, 2005

Let's go exploring!


Anyone here read The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington? It was recommended to me on Amazon last night, and the reviews credited it as being very influenced by Jordan and Sanderson. Few chapters in and it feels like something Sanderson could've written. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...nw_myk_ro_title is the URL, it's free for Prime owners in the lending system or $3 on Kindle.

It is a bit Young Adult, but I figure Sanderson fans shouldn't be bothered by that - I'm not.

Kraps
Sep 9, 2011



Speaking of Steelheart I just finished listening to the short story Mitosis . It's a silly story but I enjoyed it. It reminded me of the Scott Pilgrim movie.

It's a very silly story.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


EVGA Longoria posted:

It is a bit Young Adult, but I figure Sanderson fans shouldn't be bothered by that - I'm not.

That sounds like a feature to me, not a bug. Bought.

Thyrork
Apr 21, 2010

CAUTION: Edges are sharp enough to cut reality.


Eric the Mauve posted:

That sounds like a feature to me, not a bug. Bought.

Agreed.

Karnegal
Dec 24, 2005

Is it... safe?


I think one of the defining features of YA (I'm speaking generally) is the way that interpersonal and particularly romantic relationships are handled. It's very "high school." In Sanderson's work specifically, Steelheart is very much in that vein - "wowzers a pretty girl! I am now in love. Do you like me Y/N?" That stuff is fine when you're also developing your social skills, but it feels a bit shallow when you're an adult. I feel like most people should look back at their teenage selves with a little bit of embarrassment, but those types of people are your YA protagonists.

A lot of the time, you get clearly defined good and bad people without nuance.

Rumda
Nov 3, 2009

*bip*


Yeah but David is literally socially retarded.

EVGA Longoria
Dec 25, 2005

Let's go exploring!


As far as YA stuff goes, I generally find that it involves some compromises to the structure. Simpler vocabulary, shorter sentences. Since the story is shorter too, there's usually fewer side plots and less detail to the main plot.

Not everything falls into that, and something being YA doesn't make it bad. It's just a different kind of book.

subx
Jan 12, 2003

If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

EVGA Longoria posted:

As far as YA stuff goes, I generally find that it involves some compromises to the structure. Simpler vocabulary, shorter sentences. Since the story is shorter too, there's usually fewer side plots and less detail to the main plot.

Not everything falls into that, and something being YA doesn't make it bad. It's just a different kind of book.

Sometimes they are better for audio since the plots tend to be more straightforward, so if you miss a small piece here or there you aren't completely lost.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Karnegal posted:

I think one of the defining features of YA (I'm speaking generally) is the way that interpersonal and particularly romantic relationships are handled. It's very "high school." In Sanderson's work specifically, Steelheart is very much in that vein - "wowzers a pretty girl! I am now in love. Do you like me Y/N?"

It's just my own opinion, but I think many adult relationships work more like this than we're comfortable admitting.

In Steelheart's specific instance the David/Megan relationship rings true to me. David has dedicated his life to killing Epics, and here is a smoking hot girl close to his age who kills Epics. It would be preposterous if he didn't instantly go ga-ga for her. Megan spent the whole book regarding David with a mixture of contempt and bemusement (even when not engaging her Epic powers) and doesn't have any kind of "I love you too" moment after she learns how he lugged her almost dead body around and decided to defend it to the death rather than making good his own escape, she's just overwhelmed and confused.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Karnegal posted:

A lot of the time, you get clearly defined good and bad people without nuance.

This might go a ways toward explaining why Steelheart is commonly regarded as YA and Mistborn isn't--Mistborn has more of that nuance. Vin slaughters guys who are just doing their jobs, Kelsier brutally murders any noble he happens across no questions asked, Cett is a devious warlord who nevertheless throws his lot in with the good guys once he's satisfied he can't beat them, and even the Lord Ruler is presented as a sociopathic rear end in a top hat who is trying his best to protect the world.

Holy_Zarquon
Oct 2, 2004

His allegiance lies with the monarchy!


Eric the Mauve posted:

This might go a ways toward explaining why Steelheart is commonly regarded as YA and Mistborn isn't--Mistborn has more of that nuance. Vin slaughters guys who are just doing their jobs, Kelsier brutally murders any noble he happens across no questions asked, Cett is a devious warlord who nevertheless throws his lot in with the good guys once he's satisfied he can't beat them, and even the Lord Ruler is presented as a sociopathic rear end in a top hat who is trying his best to protect the world.

I agree entirely, but I have a feeling that Steelheart is gonna get less black and white..

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Holy_Zarquon posted:

I agree entirely, but I have a feeling that Steelheart is gonna get less black and white..

I hear the titles of the other two planned books are Firefight and Calamity, and note the first and (almost certainly) third books are named after their primary antagonists. Interesting, that...

Karnegal
Dec 24, 2005

Is it... safe?


Eric the Mauve posted:

It's just my own opinion, but I think many adult relationships work more like this than we're comfortable admitting.

In Steelheart's specific instance the David/Megan relationship rings true to me. David has dedicated his life to killing Epics, and here is a smoking hot girl close to his age who kills Epics. It would be preposterous if he didn't instantly go ga-ga for her. Megan spent the whole book regarding David with a mixture of contempt and bemusement (even when not engaging her Epic powers) and doesn't have any kind of "I love you too" moment after she learns how he lugged her almost dead body around and decided to defend it to the death rather than making good his own escape, she's just overwhelmed and confused.

Man, I sure hope that "many" adult relationships don't work like that.

Again, most of this is speaking of YA generally rather than Steelheart specifically

Does it (the bolded text) ring true as a relationship or a specifically teenage relationship? Part of growing up is being able to look back and recognize that you were naive when you were younger. YA, particularly YA that features teenage protagonists, tends to have the sort of romantic relationships that are very emotional, but not very realistic in the long term - it's all "I'll love you forever!" and such. I'm sure that when we were teenagers most of us had what we considered to be a fairly serious relationship. At the time we probably thought it was true love, but it invariably ended, and looking back as adults we can see it more as a combination of teenage infatuation and inexperience rather than something that could have been forever. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with those relationships -in fact, i think they're important for helping us to grow up and mature. What I am saying is that now that I'm an adult my idea of what a relationship is differs significantly from what I thought it was when I was in high school, and I would hope that most of you would be able to say something similar.

YA romantic relationships aren't satisfying as an adult reader because you can recognize them for what they are - you might get a little nostalgic or think "that's cute," but they're generally written to be taken seriously because the actual YA audience (teens) DO take that sort of relationship seriously. I mean, when you read about 16 year olds talking about "eternal love" or "soul mates" can you really buy into it? To do so, you have to ignore your years of experience and accept a young adult's view of the world.

On my other point (and I think we're on the same page here)-
YA also tends to like to wrap things up neatly (like the clear-cut good and evil stuff). Steelheart is a pretty good example of this: Where are they grey characters? Every epic we meet that isn't gifting their powers is a bad person (we'll talk about Megan in a minute). We get that using their powers somehow makes them bad, but the good guys are the ones that choose not to use their powers on themselves or only do so in life or death circumstances. The rest of the epics are pretty much comically evil, and thus we feel no real problems with them being killed. All of Prof's crew are clearly good guys that we're supposed to like. The only grey character is Megan who gets to cop out of being a complex character because she loses her memory constantly. If Megan was actually struggling with using her powers and being a bad guy or trying to not use them and help the Reckoners, it would be more interesting, but that's not really the case in the first book.

Again, all of this is totally fine if you're a teen. Characters who feel all their emotions really intensely are relatable. But if you're an adult, hopefully you're up for a little more nuance in your characters and stories. I'm not saying never read YA, but certainly don't read it exclusively, and if you do read it recognize the issues that come with lit targeted at teens.

nucleicmaxid
Aug 23, 2007


Karnegal posted:


Again, all of this is totally fine if you're a teen. Characters who feel all their emotions really intensely are relatable. But if you're an adult, hopefully you're up for a little more nuance in your characters and stories. I'm not saying never read YA, but certainly don't read it exclusively, and if you do read it recognize the issues that come with lit targeted at teens.

I'm pretty sure that, as an adult, it's ok to read some escapist fiction, especially from an author you tend to enjoy.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


Karnegal: I had written a post but thought better of it and will instead observe only this one thing, that teenagers and fortysomethings alike are compelled to be in relationships by the same two (very much commingled) things: We hate feeling alone, and we need sex. Everything else is rationalizing.

Every person I know that's currently in a committed relationship believes that... well, let me step back. Every person I know, age 14 through age 65, that's currently in a committed relationship says that they believe this one is The One. You might know someone who will say "well, I don't know anyone better right now and I realize it probably won't last forever, but it's better than being alone." I don't. Deep down inside a lot of us may know that's true, but very few of us get so far as to allow that thought into our consciousness, much less actually say it.

You are of course right this far, that YA certainly is distinguished by its superficiality; it makes no effort to investigate the deep whys. It provokes us to thought not by attempting to explain things, but by leaving them for us to try to explain for ourselves. My own personal preference is often for light reading that I can digest and think through afterward, instead of philosophy packaged as fiction.

DarkHorse
Dec 13, 2006

Vroom Vroom, BEEP BEEP!

Karnegal posted:

On my other point (and I think we're on the same page here)-
YA also tends to like to wrap things up neatly (like the clear-cut good and evil stuff). Steelheart is a pretty good example of this: Where are they grey characters? Every epic we meet that isn't gifting their powers is a bad person (we'll talk about Megan in a minute). We get that using their powers somehow makes them bad, but the good guys are the ones that choose not to use their powers on themselves or only do so in life or death circumstances. The rest of the epics are pretty much comically evil, and thus we feel no real problems with them being killed. All of Prof's crew are clearly good guys that we're supposed to like. The only grey character is Megan who gets to cop out of being a complex character because she loses her memory constantly. If Megan was actually struggling with using her powers and being a bad guy or trying to not use them and help the Reckoners, it would be more interesting, but that's not really the case in the first book.
I think there's slightly more grey than you're giving credit for, though I'll admit not much: Steelheart is shown to have exaggerated his lethality, including fabricating deaths so he'd be more feared. Meanwhile, he's created a stable if iniquitous fiefdom. You could explain that away as him just wanting to be a king and that killing off his subjects would be counterproductive to that, but I suspect we may find out Steelheart was trying to help in his own flawed way, much like the Lord Ruler in Mistborn. As for Megan, she only forgets when she dies, so presumably she was helping the Reckoners a lot long after she could have eradicated them or revealed their whereabouts to Steelheart. Or, perhaps she did, and Steelheart let them go so there'd be fewer epics around (either for less competition or to try and help.

I might be reading too much into it, but the possibility is there, and Sanderson has shown that he likes reevaluating and redefining characters after they've been established.

api call girl
Aug 1, 2004

whoa, what just happened here?



DarkHorse posted:

I might be reading too much into it, but the possibility is there, and Sanderson has shown that he likes reevaluating and redefining characters after they've been established.

Even, and especially, after they're already dead.

subx
Jan 12, 2003

If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.

Eric the Mauve posted:

Every person I know that's currently in a committed relationship believes that... well, let me step back. Every person I know, age 14 through age 65, that's currently in a committed relationship says that they believe this one is The One. You might know someone who will say "well, I don't know anyone better right now and I realize it probably won't last forever, but it's better than being alone." I don't. Deep down inside a lot of us may know that's true, but very few of us get so far as to allow that thought into our consciousness, much less actually say it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gaid72fqzNE

Phummus
Aug 4, 2006

If I get ten spare bucks, it's going for a 30-pack of Schlitz.

I'm doing a reread of Words of Radiance and just got to the last interlude. That, combined with Kaladin's situation just suck the wind right out of the book for me. I remember last time it just seemed to stall there.

Dalael
Oct 14, 2014


Phummus posted:

I'm doing a reread of Words of Radiance and just got to the last interlude. That, combined with Kaladin's situation just suck the wind right out of the book for me. I remember last time it just seemed to stall there.

By Kaladin's situation, do you mean his overall arc story, where he is and what happens to him, or the fact that he slips in and out of depression half the book? For me, that definitely was not a turn off. I felt like it adds depth to the character and makes him alot more relatable. I'm kind of sick of books where the hero stands tall the whole time no matter what happens.

Family gets murdered, i'm sad for a day or two and move on to an advanture. Best friend gets melted down by a dragon. No worries, I'll sleep it off! Whole life is screwing you over, you have armies looking for you, powerful people doing their best to kill you.. You haven't slept in a real bed in months, half the time in freezing weather and rain... Who cares, I can just whistle and all is fine!

If I had been in Kaladin's shows, I would have killed myself or simply given up the will to live before even making it to the shattered plains. I can understand that he's depressed all the time. Whenever he gets back up, something gets him back down.

Karnegal
Dec 24, 2005

Is it... safe?


Eric the Mauve posted:

Karnegal: I had written a post but thought better of it and will instead observe only this one thing, that teenagers and fortysomethings alike are compelled to be in relationships by the same two (very much commingled) things: We hate feeling alone, and we need sex. Everything else is rationalizing.

Every person I know that's currently in a committed relationship believes that... well, let me step back. Every person I know, age 14 through age 65, that's currently in a committed relationship says that they believe this one is The One. You might know someone who will say "well, I don't know anyone better right now and I realize it probably won't last forever, but it's better than being alone." I don't. Deep down inside a lot of us may know that's true, but very few of us get so far as to allow that thought into our consciousness, much less actually say it.

You are of course right this far, that YA certainly is distinguished by its superficiality; it makes no effort to investigate the deep whys. It provokes us to thought not by attempting to explain things, but by leaving them for us to try to explain for ourselves. My own personal preference is often for light reading that I can digest and think through afterward, instead of philosophy packaged as fiction.

I wrote a post arguing this with examples and such, but after re-reading it, I feel like this is poised to go back and forth with you saying "no, teenage relationships and adult relationships are pretty much the same at their core" and me saying "no, as you mature you no longer look at things the same way, and it changes your interpersonal relationships." This is sort of a fundamental premise to our arguments so unless one of us abandons or position, I don't think we'll see eye to eye.

I'm just a little perplexed by your experience. It seem like either you pretty much were/knew only very mature young adults, or you're presently associating with rather immature people. I can't not look back at most of my high school romantic relationships without a bit of a wince (not that they were uniformly bad or anything, but man was I dumb/inexperienced some of the time), and I certainly hand't mastered interpersonal relationships either. My friends still bag on me for a particularly embarrassing rant I once gave before walking out, and they're right.

DarkHorse posted:

I think there's slightly more grey than you're giving credit for, though I'll admit not much: Steelheart is shown to have exaggerated his lethality, including fabricating deaths so he'd be more feared. Meanwhile, he's created a stable if iniquitous fiefdom. You could explain that away as him just wanting to be a king and that killing off his subjects would be counterproductive to that, but I suspect we may find out Steelheart was trying to help in his own flawed way, much like the Lord Ruler in Mistborn. As for Megan, she only forgets when she dies, so presumably she was helping the Reckoners a lot long after she could have eradicated them or revealed their whereabouts to Steelheart. Or, perhaps she did, and Steelheart let them go so there'd be fewer epics around (either for less competition or to try and help.

I might be reading too much into it, but the possibility is there, and Sanderson has shown that he likes reevaluating and redefining characters after they've been established.

Man, I hope not. I think Sanderson is already really prone to reusing the same structure in his books, so I'd prefer not to see a reiteration of Mistborn.

Iunnrais
Jul 25, 2007

It's gaelic.

Sixth of Dusk just came out. Not as good as the emperor's soul, I think. I'm really not sure of the ending. What on earth did he mean by saying patji has shown us the way?

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JackKnight
May 10, 2014

Tres'Tria


I've read all of Sanderson's books that I am aware of. He is one of my favorite authors. His magic systems are very well thought out and unique for each series, and yet they all have similarities due to the shared universe his stories exist in. Love it.

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