The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn)

A street urchin discovers that she is Mistborn, able to synthesize metals that give her superhuman powers, and falls into a plan to overthrow the seemingly immortal Lord Ruler.

I listened to The Final Empire on audiobook, and I have to say I was really impressed by the narrator’s ability to give every character a different voice. It really made the story easy to follow, especially because the characters themselves were not particularly well-drawn.

Oops–did I start criticizing already? Well, another reason I liked listening to the audiobook was because I didn’t miss a single word. Therefore, I was able to suss out that in response to a line of dialogue, characters would either smile, frown, pause, or blush furiously. So lazy. I particularly hate “pause.” What does that connote, exactly? My mind got to wandering, trying to figure out how Brandon Sanderson could’ve used that wasted space to develop his characters. I couldn’t help but think about Francine Prose’s marvelous chapter on Gesture in Reading Like a Writer.

However, my mild annoyance with the inferior prose stylings did nothing to inhibit my delight with the story. I loved the world Sanderson created, and his action scenes showing the Mistborn manipulating metals to soar, leap, fly, and fight were incredibly visual and well-choreographed. The mythology of the world sucked me in, and I’m actually eager to read/listen to the next two books in the series.

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