There are some books that make you sad. And there are some books that hurt your heart a bit. And there are the books that legitimately make you cry.
And then there’s The Dark Talent (the final book in the "Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians" series) by Brandon Sanderson. No other series in existence can destroy a person as completely as this one can. I’ve read plenty of the sad YA novels that fangirls weep over incessantly. Trust me when I say that this is much, much worse.
The series follows young Alcatraz Smedry, who discovers that he comes from a line of royalty with unique Talents. Alcatraz is able to break things better than anyone else he knows. Grandpa Smedry is incessantly late. Some cousins are terrible dancers, some are experts are getting lost, one is even exceptional at spilling water on the floor while doing the dishes (thus ending a drought). The books are hilarious, absolutely ridiculous, and a delight to read. Until the final book.
I’m a huge Sanderson fan and my favorite aspect of his writing is that I never know what’s going to happen. The book that ended closest to how I thought it would was Warbreaker, and I was still way off. I’ve always seen this ability to twist endings as a gift, though I now realize that Sanderson is deceptive and kind of mean (I’m sure he’s a delightful person in real life, but in his fantasy serieses, he’s insanely cruel). He’s the master of twist endings (so I should’ve seen this coming), but somehow, no one believed he could take it any further than he already had.
And yet he did.
And this scares me. If Sanderson could destroy my soul so much with a children’s series (I repeat - A CHILDREN’S SERIES), how destroyed will I be once “The Stormlight Archives” are finished? Or when he writes Elantris’ sequel? Or when he finally shows us just how intertwined the Cosmere really is? Do I dare read the next book he releases?!
I’m not sure when I’ll be ready to forgive him. But I’m not ready to read him yet. Arcanum Unbound has been sitting on my TBR shelf for months and it’ll stay there for awhile longer. I still need time to heal and to learn to trust again.So RIP, “Alcatraz” series. It was fun. For awhile.