“It had been eight years. The pain of loss was still there. It never went away. It just got buried in time, like a rock slowly being covered over by dirt.”
And Brandon Sanderson strikes again.
I thought that maybe because this was intended for younger readers (middle to young adult) it will be duller and not as interesting as his other series that I've read so far. I thought that I will read it and just think of it as a nice stand-alone book. I thought that there couldn't have possibly been another new and cool "magic" system.
Wrong. Wrong. wrong.
Sure, it wasn't nearly as complex and interwoven as say Mistborn has been, but it was pretty darn amazing (also I wouldn't recommend comparing one Sanderson book to another - they all are great in their own ways). I will never stop being impressed with his ability to create compelling and dimensional characters, and I will never stop being surprised by twists and turns of his books. Even when I think I know what's coming the book comes out and surprises me anyway. And I love it!
“I'm like that," she said. "Wild mood swings. It makes me more interesting.”
If this was any other book I'd found the character of Melody to be over the top and maybe even annoying. But when Melody was put next to Joel it somehow made perfect sense! She wasn't just funny, she was extremely smart and all of her "odd" remarks held a lot of important truths and I really loved her for that. And most importantly - she was always herself. I think that she actually turned out to be a great role model (in her own unique way).
If I had to compare Melody to any other character in any other book, I'd say she is very much like Luna Lovegood (from Harry Potter series) - as they were both truly and unapologetically themselves.
“It's going to be painful."
"It's a fun tradition."
"So was witch-burning," Melody said. "Unless you were the witch.”
If you are not new to Brandon Sanderson's books you know that there is always that one character who loves books more than...well anything really. Joel is that character. Joel might be grumpy and stoic at times, but Joel is a true bookworm and you gotta love him for that. I really enjoyed his storyline and how everything turned out for him in he end.
“So much about life was disappointment. He often wondered how humankind endured so long, and if the few moments when things went right really made up for all the rest.”
I'm pretty sure that the concept of "chalk drawing infused magic" is far from new. But I haven't read many books that used that type of magic, so for me it was pretty fascinating. Plus it wasn't just chalk drawing - it was chalk drawing duels! And that's always fun.
I know I always mention how Sanderson is able to turn and twist the story in a way that makes you keep guessing - and this was no exception. Even when I thought I knew what was coming, somehow there was another twist that would throw everything off.
With that said, Brandon Sanderson needs to hurry up and write the next book because I need it now.
“My life," Melody declared, "is a tragedy.”