Reply: Alcatraz Series – Book 1: Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians – By Brandon Sanderson

Hey Jared,

Alcatraz Versus the Evil LibrariansOur first reply posts. You working on Rangers Apprentice, me working on Alcatraz.  It will never be the same again……..But we were lame before and now we’re awesome.

Ok, reading Alcatraz might have changed me as a writer……or broke me. I am broken.

I agree with your recommendation of 5th grade/10 years old range. I would have liked to have found this in 2nd or 3rd grade personally because I jumped straight to Dragonlance for lack of good books in between.

On a serious note, there will be many spoilers beyond this point. For readers with a weak literary constitution, please do not read any further.

You have been warned.

– – Spoilers – –

Where to begin……..I suppose I am reminded of Isaac Asimov. He’s renowned as one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time. His personal style was once described as, “He creates immutable laws and then does everything he can to break them.”

This is what Brandon Sanderson has done to writing. He took the rules and broke every one he could lay his hands on. For that he is a god among men. An evil, vile, cruel, vindictive god, but a god none the less. I can see why he is your favorite author, because he is a master. When he says that he’s evil, I believe him. Everything else is probably a lie.

And why didn’t you warn me to be more surreptitious about getting this book from the library. The Librarians are probably on to me and my excessive reading habits. There should have been a big warning somewhere in your review. Now I need to sneak into the library to get the rest of the series. I’m beginning to think you are also evil.

What I really enjoyed about this book was that it took all the aspects of writing a novel and sort of pointed them out very bluntly, but in an entertaining way. It’s sort of like a manual for evil. It encourages young readers to follow the dark, cruel path to becoming a writer.

Again I could make some deity comment. He’s making me want to be a writer…..and actually think I could do it.

As for Alcatraz, the character, I don’t know what to think. My natural bias towards main characters is an issue on top of the bi-polar like writing of the character. He’s well done but I still don’t know what to think. Part of that has to do with are you going listen to what he says or go with your own impressions?

The peek into this “expanded universe” is an interesting one. It embraces the “this doesn’t make sense, you just broke the universe” and just keeps rolling. I honestly thought that this would involve some alternate universe/dimension where the Free Kingdoms are. I wasn’t expecting to have entire extra continents. There is so much that was only barely mentioned but sounds incredibly interesting. Crystal Knights, sands, Lenses, and the cultural differences.

Talents are again an interesting twist. With a name like “Talents” and how the characters go off about how amazing they are you’d think they were inherently awesome. Instead you get “arriving late,” “speaking gibberish,” “tripping and falling to the ground,” and “breaking things.” These sound like horrible things to be good at, but then you’d be wrong.

Anyway, this is turning into a horrible attempt at a reply to your review and closer to just a review so I’m giving to just stop right there and hope I do better the next time.

Now it’s your turn. Let’s see who does it better.

Robert


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Reply: Alcatraz Series – Book 1: Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians – By Brandon Sanderson

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