Wednesday, December 21, 2022

After a five year gap, Brandon Sanderson finished the Alcatraz books

I am quite lucky because I only had to wait a year for the last Alcatraz/Evil Librarian book by Brandon Sanderson to come out. That’s because I was late to the party and didn’t have to wait the full five years that OG fans had to wait.

Okay, I’m talking about the last book in a series so you’d better believe there are spoilers. Even the title is a spoiler lol





Is that enough? Nah…



The last book is Bastille and the Evil Lbrarians. Because Alcatraz had a Heroic Blue Screen of Death at the end of the fifth book (so that’s what Heroic BSoD stands for, huh), his bodyguard and love interest has to take over narration.

I’m not going to talk too much about the plot. Look, Alcatraz saves the world. It’s not a surprise, particularly since he clearly survives to write the first five books. 

As I’ve written before, the Alcatraz books are a celebration of the unreliable narrator. The books don’t just play with literary tropes, they gleefully point out that they are doing it. I would argue that the heroic fantasy story is just an excuse for Sanderson to talk about how narratives work.

In all honesty, the fifth book, Alcatraz versus the Dark Talent is the high point of the series. That book explores why Alcatraz is such an unreliable narrator and is also the high point for the drama. It’s the Empire Strikes Back of the series, including the bad guys coming seriously out ahead.

Bastille versus The Evil Librarians is a more straight forward book, which makes sense because Bastille is more straight forward than Alcatraz lol In fact, the book is practically one extended action scene. Looking at the series on a whole, Dark Talent is the climax while Bastille vEL is the denouement.

One element that does come to forefront in the last book is the romance between Alcatraz and Bastille. Considering that Bastille is more reluctant about that than Alcatraz, it is more interesting from her point of view.

And it actually makes sense that Dark Talent is actually more intricate than Bastille vEL. The point of the series, in many ways, is Alcatraz’s moment of crisis. But Bastille vEL needed to happen to we could see Alcatraz’s crazy guile heroics from outside his own head. And, you know,  the story actually having an ending is nice.

Plus, Kaz Smedry unleashing a vast horde of kittens during the battle to save the world justifies the book’s existence all by itself.

Bastille versus the Evil Librarians mat not be the best book in the series. However, it does what the series needed, pulled us back to the actual narrative.

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