Monday, October 22, 2018

Review: WHITE SAND, VOL. 1 by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 4/5 stars

I read an excerpt of White Sand in Arcanum Unbounded earlier this year and fell in love with the story. I couldn’t wait to read the full-length graphic novel adaption.

In Arcanum Unbounded, the panels were just black and white, but in this actual graphic novel, there are full-color illustrations. The art style is not my favorite—it’s rather gruff—but every image is very detailed, which I can appreciate.

At first, I thought I was going to give this book five stars—it’s a Sanderson book, after all, and I absolutely loved the beginning. But after I got into reading more of the story, I was left wanting more. Some of the details surrounding how the world is set up and how the sand magic works and how the Daysiders are different from the Darksiders seemed like it was missing to me. I would read the last panel on a page, and then the next panel on the next page started with “two days later” or “days passed” or something like that, and it felt like the dialogue was cut off mid-conversation and part of the story was missing.

I am disappointed that I feel this way because I absolutely love this world and its magic system, but I think the feeling of missing something comes with the territory of reading a graphic novel.

White Sand was originally a fairly lengthy prose novel. It’s an unpublished work of Sanderson’s, but it is the where this story comes from. If I read the actual novel, with all the descriptions and details included in the prose, plus with all of the minor side-plots and conversations that naturally get omitted from the graphic translation, I do not think I would feel like anything was missing; I think I would enjoy the novel more than the graphic novel. I will have to read it to find out, though.

I think White Sand is a very strong story nonetheless, and I look forward to reading the other volumes. (Part of me wonders if I should read the prose novel first so as not to spoil myself.) In my opinion, this story would make an amazing movie because of how the sand magic would come to life. I hope someday it (or anything by Sanderson) becomes a movie for the world to enjoy.

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