BOING! goes the metal-fueled acrobat

Holy snit.  What the hell happened?

One minute, I was sitting there in Virginia, happy as a clam.  Then I had trouble buying the house, making me mad as a march hare.  Next thing I know, I am in Nebraska, checking into my new assignment, nervous as a gazelle who knows a lion’s about.  My spouse, my dogs, and all of my stuff ended up in the highlands of Arizona, while I sit here, lonely as the dog left on the Titanic.  (These animal metaphors doing anything for you?)

It was a long, grueling procedure but a few good things came out of it.  One, we did buy the ranch on 20 acres in the White Mountains (near Show Low, AZ), and it is just perfect.  Two, I think I worked up a full fifteen-minute comedy routine while I was driving.  I am still tweaking it but it is funnier than half the crap I hear at stand up shows.  I’ll keep tinkering but what the hell – maybe I will give it a shot.  Doing a stand up routine isn’t on my bucket list or anything but it would verify that I am as funny as I think I am.  Finally, I did read the entire Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson during the transition period.

The Mistborn series centers around a group of characters who are called Allomancers.  In the context of the story, that means they draw their power from "burning" specific metals in their bodies (often ingesting metal flakes to do so).  Each metal does something different, and Allomancers have a varied amount of ability.  For example, burning steel and iron give the Allomancers the ability to push and pull on metal.  If the metal is light, it flies to or away from them.  If the source of metal being pushed/pulled is heavier than the Allomancer, then they fly towards/away from that source.  Allomancers use that ability to leap through the city like a spring – hence my entry title.  The series is an ensemble piece, from multiple characters’ points of view, which is quite effective for the story itself.  The first book starts with the standard Big Bad that need needs overthrowing and goes from there.

All in all, I very much enjoyed the series.  Sanderson did a very good job of weaving the plot threads together.  Elements of the story that seem inconsequential often make much more sense as you read further in the series itself.  There are a few "WTF?" moments, such as:

SPOILER (when highlighted)
Why is Ruin completely able to control people through Hemalurgy but the reader is told repeatedly that metal is anathema to Ruin, in the sense that the entity cannot read the metal plates or detect the atium through other metals?  Seems counter-intuitive….

But overall, I thought it was quite good.  The slowest part of the series is the first 3/4 of book two.  For a while I thought I was looking at another Sovereign Stone Trilogy.  The first book of that series was absolutely stunning and chilling – only to have the second and third books fall completely flat.  They were only marginally connected to the first book and left dangling plot threads and at least one character had his fate unstated  Blarg.

Fortunately, the second book of the Mistborn series was saved by a couple of scenes at the end that were just Crowning Moments of Awesome (if you don’t know what that is, look it up) and the third book was gripping start to finish.  I could not put it down.

Word of warning:  these books are crushingly bleak and I think the ending may turn some folks off, but I enjoyed it a  lot.  If I still gave a crap about the Wheel of Time series, I would be very happy with Sanderson taking the reigns of that project.  The Mistborn series is a good read for anyone that likes heroic fantasy, and I give it an A+ recommendation.

The fact that Sanderson grew up only a few miles from the center of the football universe (Memorial Stadium at the University of Nebraska) has no bearing on it, I assure you….

Okay, a blog entry down.  Tomorrow, off to find an apartment – and settle in for a few years of writing.

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