Elantris – Brandon Sanderson

Albert: At its core, Elantris holds an interesting concept — what happens to virtually immortal beings when they suffer from endless pain? Unfortunately, it also embodies the worst aspects of young adult fiction. The characters in the book were paper-thin to the point of being distracting, the attempts to critique sexism were clumsy, and there was never any doubt that the good guys were going to emerge victorious in the end. Despite the engaging swiftness of the plot, these drawbacks were significant enough to ruin the reading experience for me. Rating: C

Kevin: It seems like the world of Elantris is complex, nuanced, and well-crafted. (Many online reviews confirm this.) Unfortunately, this all flew over my head because I really struggled keeping track of the characters’ roles, ambitions, and even their names. I don’t think I’m capable of appreciating the book as a light, casual reader. It’s probably great for some readers, but it’s certainly not for me. (For future reference, though — here’s a summary and here are annotations by the author.) Rating: C-

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