Sunday, June 28, 2009

Warbreaker and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I'm sorry it's taken this long to post. I've spent the last week in a cabin in Missouri, and technology's been sparse there. Praise God for A/C, though!
First, Warbreaker.

Welcome to a land where gods and royalty, citizens and renegades, and everyone else coexist in tenuous harmony. Beyond wealth and social status, one aspect levels them all: Biochromatic magic, the essence of breath; the power to see color, feel color, and produce color. The power to give life. In a kingdom of exiled royals, an old treaty demands that the King of Idris send one of his daughters in marriage to the God King in Halladren. But instead of Vivenna—the oldest and more responsible princess groomed for this occasion since birth—her younger sister Siri is sent in her place to a fearsome gaudy city where color is wielded without consequence or care. For behind the opulent curtains of Halladren lies a complicated and explosive court of politics and tangled relationships between gods and priests, prophecy and followers. The fates of the major characters—the two princesses Vivenna and Siri; Lightsong, the reluctant god of bravery; and the wild card Vasher—will collide to determine the fate of the world, both the one on earth and the one beyond.

Brandon Sanderson can tell a heck of a story. And he can do it in only one volume. I'm not entirely sure how he does it, but the fact that he does it is true, enviable genius. Warbreaker has all the elements of a great Sanderson fantasy: compelling characters, a well-thought-out magic system, a story that twists and turns until the nail-biting climax, and revelations I gurantee you won't see coming. If you're new to Sanderon, try Warbreaker. It's worth both your time and your money, and you'll come away from reading it wanting to find everything else that Sanderson has written.

My rating: 9.5/10
Transformers-- Revenge of the Fallen: Michael Bay has a formula, one he sticks to without change. He gives us non-stop action, lots of humor, and killer explosions. And yet somehow, it's still enjoyable. Chances are, however, that you've seen this movie already, seeing as it has already grossed $201 million at the domestic box office.

The plot goes everywhere, but hero Sam Witwicky is brought back to the scene. It's time for him to go to college, but right before he leaves, he finds a shard of the All-Spark from the first movie in his jacket. The shard imprints images of an ancient Cybertronian language into his brain, which the Decepticons are out to get at all costs. (Keep in mind, I'm leaving out all of the subplots.) The shard contains information about a secret weapon concealed on Earth by the lead Decepticon, the Fallen, thousands of years ago. If the key to this weapon is not found in time, it will mean the end for the human race.

I'm going to go against the norm here and say I actually liked this movie in spite of myself, in spite of all the negative reviews. It was fun, the action was good, and the special effects were phenomenal. I do find it funny that many critics said they were confused by the story. I understood the story, despite never having seen an episode of the show in my life. Besides, that says more about the critic than the movie. That said, I did have a few problems with it., and if you've seen it, you know exactly what I mean (Jon Turturro). But it's pure summer fun, and it entertained me for its two-and-a-half hour run time.

My rating: 7.5/10

Coming Soon: Erec Rex-- The Search for Truth.


logankstewart said...

I was recently torn between buying Warbreaker and Joe Abercrombie's The First Law book one. I chose Abercrombie, cause I was still in the middle of Elantris. But I can't wait to read Warbreaker.

The Writer said...

Either choice would have been a good one, as I imagine you've guessed. But Warbreaker is a stand-alone that I'm sure you'll enjoy sinking your teeth into when you have the time.

Krista said...

Sanderson is a master story teller, and I absolutely loved Warbreaker!

Man, I have to go see Transformers, loved the first one!

Great reviews, by the way!