4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing, good ideas wasted,
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This review is from: The Well of Ascension: Mistborn Book Two: 2 (Paperback)
I enjoyed the first book in the Mistborn series (The Final Empire), however this sequel was a bit disappointing. There was very little action - fair enough, much of the book was describing a siege, which necessarily involves a lot of waiting around, but it got a bit tedious after a while. There was a LOT of moping and talking about feelings and relationship angst. Possibly an attempt to develop the characers a bit more. But the problem is that Sanderson is better at writing action and developing ideas/concepts (e.g. Allomancy) than he is at characterisation. The characters felt quite flat and uninteresting and didn't really ring true for me, I didn't find myself believing in them or caring about their personal problems. Especially now that we've lost Kelsier who was the most interesting and charismatic character. Elend is wet and boring beyond belief, and Vin is in danger of becoming almost as whiny, irritating as Rand from the Wheel of Time series.
Sanderson also suffers from the problem of excessive focus on female characters' dress. We hear a lot about Vin trying on dresses, having dresses altered to suit, agonising over whether to wear a dress or trousers, other people talking/thinking about how she looks in her choice of clothes etc etc. I don't care what she wears! I'm fed up of hearing about it! Just pick something, anything, and get on with things! I get that this is supposed to embody Vin's feelings of ambivalence about her femininity or something, but actually it did the opposite and made her seem silly, and there is far too much time spent on it. In the interests of gender equality, Elend also does a fair amount of fussing over his clothes, but this is not really any more interesting than the dresses.
It's disappointing because there are some really great and original ideas here, a fascinating world to explore, perilous adventures to be had, and a heroine with truly awesome super-powers. Really hope we see more of this in future books!