Monday, July 4, 2016

5 Star ARC Graphic Novel Review: White Sand Volume 1

Author: Brandon Sanderson
Illustrators: Rik Hoskin and Julius M Gopez
Edition: eGalley courtesy of Netgalley
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Rating: 5 Stars
I received an eGalley of White Sand in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

First of all, I'm a huge Brandon Sanderson fan.  I loved the Mistborn trilogy and Way of Kings.  I also own pretty much every other book he's written, even if I haven't read it yet, and most of them I got signed when I got the chance to go to a book signing two years ago.  But I still tried to approach this graphic novel from an unbiased place.

White Sand is billed as a missing piece of Sanderson's Cosmere (aka that grand plan he has for all his epic fantasy novels- go google it, it's awesome!) finally being released.  Sanderson himself said it works great as a graphic novel since the magic system is better seen than read and it also helped trim down the story.  It follows several characters, but most notably Kenton, a young, and rather talentless, sand mage who is trying to impress his father.  Tragedy strikes and sends him, and his world, into a tail spin.  He ends up traveling with a Duchess, Khrissella (better known as Khriss- and if you follow the Cosmere this probably means A LOT to you) from Darkside as she searches for answers.

Brandon Sanderson is the king of twists, at least for me.  I don't know how many times, when reading his books, where I just have to put it down and go "Did that really just happen?" in such a wonderful way.  Part of that is his fast-paced writing and exciting characters that don't give me the room to sit back and try to guess at what might happen, and part of it has to do with how good he is at timing and hiding things in plain sight.  Even knowing a little bit about what this was before starting, at the end of each chapter I ended up getting blown away and I couldn't stop reading.  The first chapter was a little rough for me, if only because I didn't care for any of the side characters and there were a lot of them, so it got a little distracting.  But then I read chapter two and I didn't put it down.

My favorite thing, beyond the amazing and unique magic system (do you expect anything else from Sanderson, though?) and crazy awesome world building (I really, really hope we get to explore this world more!), were the characters.  Kenton immediately draws the readers attention, but all the major players, revealed by the end of the book, are ones I'd love to read about even if it was just them.  Particularly Khriss.  I didn't know how I would feel about her when she was first introduced, but within two lines she has made herself a favorite of mine.

I can't wait to pick up a final copy of this one.  It's already released, so the only thing holding me back really is cost (and how much money I've been spending on books lately is getting ridiculous).  If you're a fan of Sanderson, or epic fantasy, or graphic novels, or just good stories, pick this one up!  The wait between them might kill you, but it will also give you the perfect opportunity to read the other books in the Cosmere (or reread them, whatever the case may be).

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