Alcatraz Versus the Dark Talent (2016) by Brandon Sanderson

As I’ve said in my reviews for the first four books of this series, my perspective of these books is a tad warped because I don’t enjoy this level of children’s literature, find Sanderson’s humour hit and miss (and nearly always miss when it’s at the childlike level), and I’m only really reading this series because I feel compelled to read everything he’s published.

This book, however, actually captured me quite a bit, during the third act. The first two acts were typical Alcatraz fare, the meta-winking at the reader (which I sometimes find amusing, sometimes a tad irritating), the humour, the plot. The third act twists into something legitimately surprising and dark. I was truly shocked by how Brandon committed to a story beat I’d never have thought to find in children’s literature.

Well, more fool me, because my expectations were twisted again before I turned the last page. I was disappointed quite a lot by that, but there’s still something of an interesting structural idea set up by the ending. Just not the thematic idea I thought Brandon was presenting. Still, I found this book more fascinating than its predecessors. I’m not the target audience, so the books not really connecting with me is nothing strange, but overall I didn’t find the book a

I’m not the target audience, so the books not really connecting with me is nothing strange, but overall I didn’t find the book a particularly interesting experience, although it did trick me into thinking so for most of the third act. I give it two lenses, and a hidden envelope.

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