White Sand: Volume 1 (2016) by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, & Julius M. Gopez

I love the idea of adapting some of Brandon Sanderson’s unpublished work into graphic novel format, especially now he’s so busy. Parts of White Sand seem pretty key to the cosmere, so I was very keen to read this. I was pleased with the art, which worked very well for me. I was extremely impressed that Brandon had written a SF/F sand planet somehow distinctive from Arrakis and Tattoine. The story worked for the most part, not the most interesting premise, but interesting enough to keep reading. My two frustrations were

1) The intercutting scene transitions were confusing in this medium. Would work fine in prose, but in comic format, I’d rather stick with one character POV per chapter. The intercut chapters seemed unnecessary because the scenes from different POVs rarely related to each other.

2) The unfinished nature of the work. This is “Volume 1” of three volumes that are the adaptation of the prose novel. Then there’s a prose sequel to the novel Brandon wrote years ago. I don’t mind waiting for sequels, but reading what is effectively the first third of a novel, then waiting a year for the next third, is annoying. I could have waited for the inevitable collected edition, but I’d rather stay up to date with the cosmere.

This comic shows plenty of promise, but as a standalone work (which it obviously isn’t intended to be, and I’m sure my review of the inevitable collected edition will be much kinder) it doesn’t hold up super well.

I give it two ribbons of sand, and an empty water canteen.

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