Miscellany: Emo about AMoL + Steelheart Into Darkness + Book Nerd Confessions

“A Memory of Light,” the final book in Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” saga, was released in the U.S. today. And while starting the series is part of my Reading Goal this year so I don’t have much of a clue about the story, I nevertheless got kinda emo over Brandon Sanderson’s blog post about reading the final scene in the Saga. In truth, I even got emo back when I was reading a fan’s account of attending RJ’s funeral. I guess it’s the thought of RJ not being able to finish his magnum opus after years and years of effort. It’s a good thing he was organized enough to leave lots of notes and that he had enough time to leave instructions.

Or maybe I’m just plain emo at heart.

Also, it’s now a bit less intimidating for me to start “The Eye of the World” now that there’s an end in sight.

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steelheartSanderson’s next book up after AMoL is a dystopian YA (EDIT: Apparently this wasn’t the YA, it’s The Rithmatist) called “Steelheart”.

There are no heroes.

Every single person who manifested powers—we call them Epics—turned out to be evil.

Here, in the city once known as Chicago, an extraordinarily powerful Epic declared himself Emperor. Steelheart has the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, no explosion can burn him. He is invincible.

It has been ten years. We live our lives as best we can. Nobody fights back . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans who spend their lives studying powerful Epics, finding their weaknesses, then assassinating them.

My name is David Charleston. I’m not one of the Reckoners, but I intend to join them. I have something they need. Something precious, something incredible. Not an object, but an experience. I know his secret.

I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.

It sounds epic! (And look, “epic” is now a pun in this context, so it’s very much intended.)

This is Sanderson, so I expect good humor and yet another fascinating magic system. It’s going to be interesting to see him do this kind of dystopian. The cover image hints at something a little more sci-fi-ish, so I also expect the world to be very different from his Cosmere-set epic fantasies.

Hrmmmm.

Okay, actually, the reason why this is giving me a sci-fi-ish, even a little steampunk vibe, is that cover art. You know, ‘coz there is this:

Star Trek Into Darkness

and THIS and THIS and…nevermind.

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Epic Reads has a fun post on the Undeniable Truths About Being A Book Nerd, and…dude, so many of these are true about me. But right now, I have a…

Book Hangover

And it’s all because I’m a bit drunk on Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One.”

Ready Player OneI would never call myself a gamer, but I do love video and computer games. My childhood favorites were The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros.; I finished Diablo II, Final Fantasy VIII and several Resident Evils; I love the Mystery Case Files series; I obsessed about Angry Birds and Plants Versus Zombies, and I even have an NES emulator installed in my computer because I still want to play the old Zelda with the pixelized graphics. So I empathized a lot with Wade and his geekiness even though his life is a lot more extreme than mine.

I also related a lot with all the 1980’s references because I lived through those years and everything is just so familiar. I think there’s an added layer of enjoyment of this book for people who lived through the 1980’s or those who are very much immersed in that time’s pop culture.

It is by no means a perfect book even if I gave it 5/5 stars. The characters are pretty much game character archetypes (not sure if that’s intentional or just a product of the plot) and there are some rather cheesy analogies and story points. I had other pet peeves but I forgot them amid all the fun I was having. I loved the pacing of the story and the geekiness of it all, the effort Cline took to world-build the OASIS and its mini-games, and the way the narrative sucked me into the world. Reading this was more of an experience because I felt like I was actually playing along with Wade. His feeling of almost-emptiness after logging out of the OASIS to go back to the real world is akin to how I felt every time I had to stop reading the book to do some work.

So because I had so much fun reading this…5 stars! And a book hangover! I have to get over this so I can start our next TMRS Book Club Pick: “Open House” by Elizabeth Berg.

More geek confessions: Back when Steve Jobs died, I half-expected Apple to announce that he has a clause in his will that mandates the holding of some freaky grand Apple app-based tournament where the winner will get a million dollars. I really did. For serious. For realsies. Oh, well, I guess he’s saner than I imagined.

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