So *this* is why people are Sanderson fans. It was a far cry from Warbreaker, to be sure. It was well-crafted, thickly charactered, and assuredly worth the page length.
Mistborn: The Final Empire is a fantasy story where all magics are based in metals. But the plot and action are The Man Who Never Missed meets The Merro Tree meets The Long Run meets The Name of the Wind, set in a world where some people with magical talents can use The Matrix effects to run, jump, fight, and even see through time.
The back of the book starts by telling the readers that, 1000 years ago, there was a hero who arose to save the world... and he failed. Now, the plot starts with a group of the downtrodden underclass (the "skaa") attempting a hoax against the nobility, which exposes our main character Vin to a group of rebel skaa who are out to overthrow the godlike Lord Ruler and end the thousand years of oppression. What was interesting to discover was that the back of the book actually summarized the plot really well, even if I didn't realize exactly how well it did until riiiiight before the last plot twist landed on top of me.
Mistborn was a thick and satisfying book for me, and it even caught my subconscious imagination in dreamings. What it did not do was catch my romantic-literary heart. There are no turns of phrase in this book, no strong scenes of emotional action that will make me pick the book back up, turn to a page, and say "Here, this is what I mean." when trying to sell the book to another friend. I can compliment the cast, the action, the world-building, the plot, the magic... but the character's own words and thoughts never quite reached me.
I noticed that there is a box set out there, of this book and the two others in the series... I'm quite tempted to opt straight for all three on the strength of the first one. A book that can end that strongly likely will lead into a good second book...
I recommend this book to people who like layered fantasy books, with strong character development, and who don't mind whiny and preachy characters stomping through. (Note! Sanderson was picked to finish the Wheel of Time epic. He can get wordy.)
I picked it up because quixotic_goat handed it to me. He said he liked it and thought that I would too. He was right.
New-to-me Books for 2012
House of the Star by Caitlin Brennan, YA fantasy. 282 pages; hardback; stand-alone. 3/5 stars on Goodreads (3 = "liked it"), 4/5 stars on Amazon (4 = "liked it"); straight into the giveawaybox
Gwenhwyfar by Mercedes Lackey, Fantasy. 404 pages; hardback; stand-alone. 2/5 stars on Goodreads (2 = "it was OK"), 3/5 stars on Amazon (3 = "it was OK"); straight into the giveawaybox
Blood Engines by T.A. Pratt, Urban fantasy. 336 pages; paperback; first in the series. 3/5 stars on Goodreads (3 = "liked it"), 4/5 stars on Amazon (4 = "liked it"); going to keep it around and loan it to friends
Hexed edited by uncredited, listed under the first author, Ilona Andrews. Urban Fantasy, 326 pages. Paperback; anthology of four novellas. 3/5 stars on Goodreads, 4/5 stars on Amazon; going to loan it to friends who like Kate Daniels, then likely give it away.
Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White. YA Fantasy, 335 pages. Hardback; first in the series. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox.
Stormwalker, by Allyson James. Urban Fantasy, 330 pages. Paperback; first in the series. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox.
The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson. YA Fantasy, 423 pages. Hardback, stand-alone. [3/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox.
Shadow Ops: Control Point, by Myke Cole. Urban Fantasy... sort of... 382 pages. Paperback, first in the series. [4/5 on Goodreads] Giveawaybox.
Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, fantasy. 672 pages. Paperback; first in the series.[4/5 on Goodreads] Borrowed.