Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians

By Brandon Sanderson.

+1 for cleverness, but -2 for not going anywhere except to the sequel. Sure, a lot of stuff happens, but it seems to be there more to introduce all the clever ideas you'll need to know for book 2 than to advance the plot or develop the characters. (Well, maybe they are all just supposed to be silly, but there are a few hints of something more...) Also, points lost for foreshadowing that I will probably have forgotten by the time I read the sequel, such as the line about hair dye and the somewhat negative impression I got of a certain character.

On the other hand, there is lots of cleverness: people who have magical Talents for breaking things, arriving late, tripping and falling to the ground, and saying things that don't make sense. Honest. Also, witty observations about how stairs are more advanced than elevators, lanterns than lightbulbs, and swords than guns.

It was also reminiscent of A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I haven't even read, due to the narrator's repeated insistence that he isn't nice.

Cute and clever overall, but it doesn't seem to go anywhere much. Perhaps books two and three will be more rewarding... when they come out.

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