Sunday, November 27, 2022

Review: THE LOST METAL by Brandon Sanderson


Rating: 5/5 stars

We've been waiting six years for The Lost Metal, and I can safely say that the wait was well worth it. The Lost Metal is the best book in the second era of Mistborn books. I loved it. 

This book starts six years after the end of The Bands of Mourning, and our characters are in new places in their lives. Wax is largely retired, marking Wayne as Marasi's crime-fighting partner. But then a new explosive discovery pulls Wax back into the swing of things, and our trusted trio, with the help of some new companions as well, must do whatever they can to save Elendel. 

I love the character work in this book. My favorite was probably Steris and how she is finally being acknowledged and appreciated for her idiosyncrasies and emergency preparedness skills. Also Wayne was incredible. He delivers his usual quips and his banter with Wax is absolutely hilarious, but his overall growth and understanding of himself are so great to see. 

There were a lot of action and fight scenes in this book, which usually I don't prefer to read, but Brandon writes those scenes so well that I didn't even mind reading them and I flew right through them. 

The most impressive part of The Lost Metal, however, was the immense amount of cosmere crossover. Brandon did say that this would be the most cosmere-aware novel to date, and I can absolutely see that. I've read every cosmere book so far except for Rhythm of War, and The Lost Metal blows all of them out of the water with how many references to other worlds and other magic systems that it has. I was losing my mind as I was reading and picking up on all the subtle references sprinkled throughout the book. As far as I can tell, there are even references to unpublished cosmere worlds. It all makes me extremely excited to read the third era of Mistborn and the second arc of Stormlight because I’m sure the crossovers will be even more plentiful as the cosmere progresses further into the future. 

Overall, The Lost Metal was an extremely satisfying conclusion to the Wax and Wayne era of Mistborn and has lots of setup for future Mistborn books to come. It was funny, fast-paced, and tied up some loose plot points set in motion from a few books earlier. Absolutely read this series. 


Here is a list of references to the greater cosmere I found in The Lost Metal:
This is not a definitive list as this is just what I personally noticed, and I made the list largely after I finished reading, so I’m sure I missed a few things. Contains spoilers for the entire cosmere. 

—Marsh appears in the flesh.
—Kelsier returns.
—Wax has a vision of the battle of Luthadel.
—Wayne becomes a Mistborn for three seconds.
—There were obviously many more references, but these were the big ones.

—Moonlight can soulstamp and is actually Shai from The Emperor’s Soul.
—Codenames is actually Kaise, a relative of Sarene from Elantris.
—Seons appear. Codenames has one.
—The use of Aeons. 

—Roshar is mentioned by name many times.
—The Ghostbloods are mentioned, first by their symbol (three triangles interlocked) which is actually a stylized marewill flower, and then by name. Members are present on Scadriel, and it turns out the organization originated on Scadriel as Kelsier is their leader. Their motives (protect Scadriel at all costs) and many of their members are revealed. 
—Shadesmar / the Cognitive Realm is referenced a few times, and MeLaan travels there at the end.
—MeLaan is going to help a bunch of redheads at the end. Could it be the horneaters? Not sure, but maybe. 
—Wayne eats some chouta! 
—Dlavil, a Ghostbloods member on Scadriel, is siblings with Iyatil, a Ghostbloods member on Roshar.
—Potential references to Skybreakers, though not by name, when Steris receives help from a group of people to sink the ships. They fly into the air, which Steris interprets as Allomancy. One of them had a red tattoo on the back of his hand. 

—Mentions of items being Awakened.

—The word “cosmere” itself appears many times.
—Hoid is mentioned by name throughout the book. 
—TwinSoul can use aether magic, a possible reference to Aether of Night, an unpublished cosmere novel. 
—The Dor, purified Investiture, is mentioned and seen on-page.
—References to Shards, Splinters, Investiture, Connection, and Perpendicularities. 
—Shards named in this book: Preservation, Ruin, Autonomy/Trell, Odium, Whimsy.
—Mentions of the planet Silverlight. Also the note from Harmony to MeLaan that was stamped “Silverlight Mercantile.” 
—References to Bjendal and Mythos, potentially related to cosmere worlds we haven’t seen yet but that will come in the future.
—I remember seeing references to White Sand as well, but I can’t remember exactly what they were.
—Ominous references to Discord. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

Review: A DAY OF FALLEN NIGHT by Samantha Shannon


Rating: 5/5 stars

A Day of Fallen Night is set about 500 years before The Priory of the Orange Tree. It’s a mutligenerational, multi-POV political fantasy that’s very intricately detailed and a little bit longer than the first book. Priory is one of my favorite books of all time that I have not stopped talking about or hyping up since I read it the month it was released. I cannot tell you how excited I was to learn that there was going to be more books written in this world, since Shannon originally planned it as a single book. 

I want to point out right away that you do not need to read Priory prior to reading Fallen Night. In fact, if you haven’t read either book yet, I would start with this one. I feel like this story is the kind that is best told in chronological order but with the knowledge that the author wrote the books in reverse chronological order, that she already had everything planned out ahead of time. Both books, though, are standalones with different characters, so you could read them in either order you like. 
It was very interesting to see the subtle changes to the world that we knew in Priory. Of course history changes over time, and this is seen in the slight changes in spelling between some of the city names in the two books. I love that this small detail made the world feel so much richer and more realistic. 

We have four POVs but way more than four main characters. Our storytellers are: 
Dumai: 27, a godsinger at the High Temple of Kwiriki in Seiiki (the East). Daughter of Unora, the Maiden Officiant, and Emperor Jorodu. 
Tunuva: 50, tomb keeper for the Priory and guardian of the remains of Cleolind Onjenyu, who founded the Priory in Lasia (the South). 
Glorian: 15, daughter of Sabran VI of Inys and Bardholdt I of Hróth. Sole heir to the Queendom of Inys (the West) and figurehead for their religion. 
Wulfert: 18, a sailor from Inys and childhood friend of Glorian. He comes from mysterious origins. 

I don’t want to say too much about the storylines for the individual characters because I don’t want to give anything away, but if you know your history of this world, this installment takes place during the time of the second great eruption of the Dreadmount, which released the five High Westerns and their wyverns into the world and caused the Grief of Ages. Each character must deal with the effects of the Draconic Army wreaking havoc on their land while also dealing with a lot of personal trials and political machinations in their own nations. 

Three of the four POV characters have someone come in to their lives who they aren’t really sure if they are a friend or a foe. It was very interesting to read about these characters becoming close to these outsiders, only to wonder if they were going to be betrayed or not. This book definitely punches you in the heart at times. 

Somehow I loved all of these characters and their relationships even more than those in Priory, which I didn’t think was possible. I especially loved seeing how intricately linked they all are to each other and how their stories intertwine. 

I loved this book so much and I have already preordered two copies because I will reread this for the rest of my life. I love this rich and detailed world that Samantha Shannon has created, and I am so excited that she has a third book planned!! It will be a few years before its release, but it’s another prequel and I really hope it’s the story of Cleolind and Galian and the first great eruption of the Dreadmount. I will read anything that takes place in this world because I love everything about it so much. If you love epic fantasy, rich worldbuilding, flawed and relatable characters, dragons, and excellent writing, then do yourself a favor and read this series. 

Note: Do NOT look up this book’s characters in the glossary in The Priory of the Orange Tree because it does spoil some critical scenes that happen in A Day of Fallen Night. I wanted to see if this book’s main characters were listed there, and they were. But then I made the mistake of reading their bios and I thought, “welp, I guess I know how this character is going to die, and what decision that other character is going to make about this big thing” etc. So yes, save yourself the spoilers and finish this book first before you learn how the characters were remembered in history. It’s very awesome, however, to see how much of this story that Samantha Shannon already knew was going to happen when she crafted Priory. The lore and history of this world is so incredible deep and rich. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Review: THE ATLAS PARADOX by Olivie Blake


Rating: 2.5/5 stars

I was excited to read The Atlas Paradox because I quite enjoyed The Atlas Six, but unfortunately, this sequel was kind of boring and slower-moving than it should have been. I felt like the book was longer than it needed to be, and I was glad when it finally was over. 

This novel, like this first, continues to be very character-focused and less plot-focused. In fact, I would say The Atlas Paradox was so character-focused at times that neither I nor Olivie Blake nor any of the characters had any idea where the plot was going. 

I have no idea what The Atlas Complex, the third installment, will be about seeing as the initiates have all graduated from the Alexandrian Society now and this book didn't really leave off in a place that indicated what would happen next. 

I still fully intend to finish off this series as I really enjoy reading about all these characters, but I do hope the final volume will offer more of a solid direction for the plot to go in. I like Olivie Blake's writing style and I've enjoyed getting to read many of her books outside of the Atlas series, so I look forward to seeing what she will come up with when this series is finished. This series will likely remain Blake's most beloved and widely read series, but I feel like her best work is still out there waiting to be written. 

Review: THE SIX DEATHS OF THE SAINT by Alix E. Harrow


Rating: 1.5/5 stars

I read this story solely because it's by Alix E. Harrow, whose stories I generally really enjoy reading, and who I've read everything from so far. I didn't know anything about The Six Deaths of the Saint beforehand besides who the author was; I just jumped right in. 

I honestly didn't really enjoy this story that much. For one, it just didn't make that much sense to me, and I didn't understand what Harrow was trying to communicate with this story. It also didn't have any of her signature beautiful prose that I've come to love in her other works. 

This is a quick read; it took me less than forty minutes to read. The Six Deaths is told in a mix of second-person POV and first-person POV. Usually, I really like reading stories told in second-person, but I don't think it really worked in this instance. I felt that it made the characterization more convoluted, and I'm left still wondering who is who and why any of it matters. 

I can't say whether or not I will be reading any of the other stories in Amazon's "Into Shadow" collection as Harrow's story was the only one I was really interested in, but since they're all pretty short, I might give them a try later on. I know I will be reading any future novels from Harrow, but this story of hers was a flop for me, unfortunately.