Graphic Audio’s three part adaptation of the third Mistborn Novel aims high and succeeds, but the source material is unfortunately lacking in the ending department. Everything else about the story is great. All the loose threads that are tied up by the end are numerous and the way they form the proverbial bow is tied up is interesting and you don’t see it coming, That being said, as an ending for a trilogy, it falls short. Taken on its own, the book is on par with the Well of Ascension’s ending in terms of the wow factor.
The people over at Graphic audio did a tremendous job as always and this was the first mistborn book I didn’t already read at least a part of before diving into this audio adaptation. The experience was exhilarating. I doubt I would’ve enjoyed it as much.
The Final Empire is still the best in the series, aside from how they defeat the Lord Ruler–although it’s grown on me these past few years. The Well of Ascension, looking back, had the trouble of a slow middle, but a fantastic beginning and end. The Hero of Ages is the culmination of the first two books as you would expect. It’s the last book in a trilogy of trilogies. The ending is just meh. Wish I could give more details, but I don’t want to spoil anything. The one thing that disappointed me was that we never know much about the Eleventh Metal aside from what is explained in the first book. It wasn’t important to the plot of this book or the second for that matter, but it was a dangling thread I wish was tied up in someway by the end of the third book.
Another fine job from the people over at Graphic Audio. Last year all three parts of Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book 1 in the Mistborn Trilogy) were reviewed in three separate reviews. This time you’re getting the whole story all at once.
First off, loved the political intrigue. Sanderson has a way of making the game of politics fun just in his descriptions. They aren’t complex by any stretch of the imagination, but they are easy to understand.
Full disclosure, I read a little over half this book on my Kindle. I never gotten around to finishing the ebook, but needless to say I did complete all three parts and love every minute of it. Even picked up on little details I missed when reading. This made long bus and car rides manageable and fun.
The ending is where this story truly shines. Sanderson said it before that each book of the Mistborn trilogy took a fantasy trope and turned it on its head. The Well of Ascension is no different. The way he turns a particular trope is both awesome and kind of obvious. You wonder why no one thought of doing that back when the book was first released. The first part of the third Mistborn book was purchased not too long after, on Graphic Audio’s site.
The story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger the main conflict is resolved, but the final chapter poses a new question. Me personally, that’s a good example of a cliffhanger and something I strive for in my own writing.
I remember being unsatisfied by the ending of Mistborn: The Final Empire when reading the book/listening to the audiobook. I thought the way the protagonist killed the bad guy was lukewarm. It wasn’t until reading the author’s annotations on his site that the ending suddenly received weight in terms of its resonance. Needless to say, I went into this 3 part audio drama/audiobook hybrid knowing what to expect in terms of the beats. Graphic Audio did a fantastic job of making the book come to life to another part of my imagination and brain.
It goes without saying that reading and listening to an audio drama both depend on the individual’s imagination more than the visual mediums like television and film. It’s why the idea of a combination is so kick-ass. I said in the review of part one that I found the narration annoying. I tolerated it in part two, coming to expect long passages of the narrator just describing the setting and the characters acting or reacting within it. By the end of the book, it was barely noticeable.
The “real plan” reveal, when I first read it did not have much emotional weight. The actors and actresses performances of the scene after this plot twist occurs was outstanding. I was on the verge of tears at the actresses’ of Vin response. Sometimes experiencing the story in a different light is all one needs to truly understand it.
The middle (part 2 of 3) of this audiobook/audio drama hybrid is easily forgettable. That’s probably due to the lapse in listening I took and because having read/listened to the book, it was hard to differentiate what happened in what part. An event that happened in the beginning of part three could’ve happened at the end of part two. It’s not important, but it does make reviewing these hard. People who listened to this without a 1-2 month gap have larger attention spans than I do. While I enjoy political intrigue, all the ball scenes felt out of place. The tone was too different from the rest of the story. I realize it was necessary for having the plan established in part one to work, but the way it was handled could’ve been better. The sound effects were great. Each metal had a distinct sound, but sounded familiar enough to each other that it could be identified as allomancy. For example, Iron and steel are both external metals, but have opposite effects. One pulls objects towards you, while the other pushes them away. Their sounds are both similar and different, thus adding a certain ambience to the world through the SFX.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Originally published on graphicaudio.net
I finished reading the Final Empire sometime in the fall of 2011. However, I don’t remember much of the opening chapters, because I took a long gap of about 3 months before picking the book back up again.
Having read half of the second book in the trilogy, all I can say is “wow” at all the clues and hints I missed.
The one downside is that the narration is sometimes not needed. and seemed to drone on in places. A really good sound effect could do much of the heavy lifting in the “action” department. If I hear a coin being tossed, I don’t need the narrator telling me the same exact thing. It’s redundant.
That aside, it’s a shame that this part ended where it did. The book kicked it into high gear, during the heist planning scene and hearing it again was a real treat. Then again, it got me wanting to buy the second part.
Rating: 4/5 stars