Mistborn ~ 2020’s Greatest Disappointment (and that’s saying A LOT!)

*WARNING: There be SPOILERS afoot!*

Bleh! Whyyy is this happening to me?! As if I want to shit on a book beloved by so many. Waaah!

Okay…deep breath… I did not like Mistborn. There, I said it. 

Sometime last week (I’ve honestly lost track of the days), my husband and I decided to buddy read Mistborn. (MISTAKE!) My husband would be listening to the audiobook while I read the actual book. We would compare our thoughts on it, maybe have some friendly debates…what fun!

Fast forward to this week and my husband and I are on the brink of divorce. I jest… But, let’s just say that we don’t see eye to eye on this particular novel. It reminds me of when my husband and I would have heated debates about Game of Thrones (when my husband still loved it, before the final season absolutely destroyed everything fans held dear about the series and crushed my poor husband’s fragile heart). These debates would soon escalate into full-on arguments…my husband at one point said he hated how I was stubborn like my father (sorry, Dad!) and I brought up my husband’s ex-girlfriend who he originally watched the show with and implied he was still in love with her. What a mess! Thank god we have an 8 month old son now, or who knows what legal proceedings our Mistborn debates could’ve led to. 

But, in all seriousness, my husband loved the novel while I…*cough*…hated strongly disliked it. 

THE GIST of Our Disagreements: 

My husband rightly said that I craved more description of the characters’ motivations and emotions. He felt that the descriptions were chillingly poignant because they were concise. Case-in-point, I felt Kelsier’s reaction to Marsh’s death lacked humanity and depth; my husband thought it was jarring and numbing. I felt Sanderson didn’t let us sit in things for long enough; my husband enjoyed being swept along. 

Rather than going on a long-ass rant about everything I hated about Mistborn, I thought I’d just copy the list of notes I took while reading here. (Because who has time to re-write notes about a book that infuriated you into paragraph form? Not I!) Let me just say, if you love Mistborn STOP READING NOW!!! My reactions will probably only enrage you. (I realize I just probably lost a lot of readers here…farewell, Mistborn Fanboys/girls!)

– VERY repetitive! Vin’s internal monologue…constantly stating what a “good man” Elend is; constantly referencing Reen’s teachings not to trust anyone…over and over again THE SAME THING (and usually the SAME EXACT WORDS)! SMH!

– Vin is an IDIOT! She says Elend is oblivious toward the end, BUT SHE is the oblivious one! She trusts Elend without any real evidence and spills secrets about skaa plantations (she’s plain LUCKY this ended up not having any major repercussions because Elend could’ve easily just been a turncoat). She also believes nobles aren’t all bad because (as Dockson rightly notes) she is blinded by them/the majesty. We also only see her attend two balls (and get tiny summaries of a bunch of others) before her ideologies almost do a 180 degree shift…we are TOLD so many things about how she feels and thinks, but not SHOWN things in context or subtly/in a way where we can interpret what she is starting to feel and feel those same things ourselves. 

– Vin and Elend remind me of Anna and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss = NOT GOOD!!! Anna and St. Clair are perhaps my least favourite couple in book history (and I’m even including Christian Grey and Ana Steele in that assessment, #sorrynotsorry).

– It annoys me how Vin becomes more materialistic and vain as the novel goes on. She seems to lose sight of her overall goal and the rebellion at times. I hate to draw this comparison because I know I’ll probably be vilified for it, but Mistborn could’ve been a lot like the Throne of Glass series if it wasn’t for how immature and childish Vin is. I didn’t love Throne of Glass from the get-go and I actually thought Aelin was a bitoch at first and was hugely stuck-up. BUT, I recognized that she had nuances to her and things weren’t completely black and white with her, and when she did a 180 degree shift, it made her into a BETTER character…when Vin starts to sympathize with the nobles and enjoy her time with them, it makes her more insipid and less likeable, in my opinion. This was sad to witness! 

– Kelsier is annoying! He’s pompous, short-sighted (lying to troops, taking Vin to palace) and acts all high and mighty. He is basically the Lord Ruler 2.0. He is so holier than thou and loves basking in his greatness, particularly when he visits the skaa households and greets their children to “spread hope”. It is pompous and delusional, to be honest. 

– I felt no connection to any of the characters/to the crew. They’re just not showcased enough…Breeze and Ham could’ve been rad if I actually got to know them. Clubs barely speaks. Spook loves Vin, but we barely see or get to know him. 

– Vin is afraid of being left, but her true emotion is only revealed at a point past pg. 500 when she talks to Kelsier and worries he will leave her too. Sure, we get a thought here and there, but I personally never felt for her…in a 600+ page novel, too much weight is given to summaries of balls and not enough to FEELING WITH the characters!!!

– Vin still has a lot to learn about friendship at pg. 570, according to Kelsier, and yet she falls IN LOVE with Elend after like two conversations. FAB. 

– The pace is sooo slow! 600+ pages and barely anything happens until like 500 pages in…such a bore…total tedium!

– Marsh’s death gets HALF A PAGE out of 600+?!?! We’re told Kelsier is shocked and upset, but we don’t feel any emotion from Vin. All she “regretfully” says is “Farewell, Marsh”… The reader is left to feel NOTHING because she doesn’t articulate any emotions whatsoever. It all happens in a flash! There’s also barely any description of what Marsh’s body looks like, so I didn’t even find it horrifying or moving as a reader.

– I’m sorry, but the characters just seem DUMB! For example, Kelsier not realizing that lying to the troops might possibly have consequences. It’s like the characters think they’re Sherlock Holmes-level sleuths, but Sanderson isn’t smart enough to write a Sherlock-level character, so they inevitably fuck up. (If you want to know more about my thoughts on these sorts of characters, read my rant review of Stalking Jack the Ripper!) Another good example is when Kelsier falls for that pitifully obvious trap at the execution at the end. 

– By pg. 560, I started to lose hope and patience. Will I ever learn about the Eleventh Metal? Do I even care? Will Elend learn the truth about Vin? Do I even care?

– At first, I thought the Lord Ruler’s/the Hero’s logbook was cool because obviously it’s meant to show he’s not as much of a clear-cut villain as he seems (ie- basically the OG Kelsier)…but then it got repetitive AF and I got bored and no longer cared about his incessant complaining. 

– At around pg. 588, I FINALLY started to buy into the characters’ emotions. But really?! That’s too little too late. 

– The last scene is LAMEEE!!! I’m all for True Love but this was puke-worthy. Imo, Vin and Elend are just the epitome of instalove. Not here for it. 

– This book is the definition of TL; DR … Except that I did read it for eff sake, and wasted a week of my life doing so!!!

I’m not going to give this book 2 stars because I didn’t hate it quite as much as Stalking Jack The Ripper and Anna and the French Kiss. In Mistborn, I didn’t want to punch the characters in the face 100% of the time…only about 75%. So sure, have 3 stars…why the F not?! *faceplant* 

❥❥❥ (out of 5)

JNG

Girl with a Green Heart

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