Below is an excerpt of my full review of the first four books in the Alcatraz series:
This review goes in line with that of the Alcatraz series, more specifically the attitude of a Smedry. You see, they are trouble makers, and are prone to getting themselves into life threatening situations. They have an uncharacteristic attitude when dealing with any situation. The more danger, the more excited they are. Through thick and thin, Smedry's are rarely to be found with a sour mood. They are bubbly, charismatic, bold, audacious, and have a knack for getting themselves into trouble. Wait, I said that did I not? Gack! You see, I imitating a number of characters found in this book. Granpa Smedry, Alcatraz, talking dinosaurs. Yes, you read correctly, talking dinosaurs with a British accent, and as we know, those Brits are refined, calm, and well-mannered; dinosaurs are no exception! They really know how to cause trouble for Librarians, like eating the entire C section of the Science Fiction shelf and moving six books out of their proper places. Okay, so maybe they are useless as Bastille said... The only thing worse than talking dinosaurs are talking rocks, but I tell you, the dinosaurs are a treat! To round off this paragraph, I leave you this quote from Grandpa Smedry if you think I am making any of this up:
I am a Smedry, and we do ridiculous, unexpected, eccentric things like this all the time.
The Alcatraz series is a tremendously fun read. My friend that recommended Mistorn and Elantris did not bother giving these books a shot because of their young adult emphasis, despite being a lover of Sanderson's work. Aspiring Asimovs, what a horrible reason! Lots of fun, many laugh out loud moments, tons of humor and wit, with a great story to boot! The books are written from the first person perspective of Alcatraz Smedry, written as a biography of how he became the hero of the Free Kingdom and to dispel the many myths about how it happened. The books are much shorter than all of Sanderson's other works, easily read in two or three days, and are extremely enjoyable. I cannot recommend these books enough!
Unfortunately Scholastic decided to not sign Sanderson for the fifth and final book. According to his assistant via Twitter, Sanderson will finish the series, but it's still a few years out, which is a shame. When I found out about this, I shook my fist at Scholastic and demanded they be burned alive with the Firebringer's Lens. You'll have to read the books to know what that's about ;)