Friday, September 8, 2023

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter

Out of all the secret projects being released this year Yumi and the Nightmare Painter was the book I looked forward to the most. Last year I read all the teaser chapters and the inspiration Brandon Sanderson had for each novel and this one seemed the most colorful and I loved what inspired him to write it. His inspiration came by the movie Your Name and the video game Final Fantasy X. Your name is a great movie about two teens switching bodies and trying to solve a mystery while Final Fantasy X follows the protagonist as he helps Yuna (Yumi name being based off of her), a summoner, with her other guardians to release captured souls and defeat sin. This book definitely takes inspiration from both. 

By Botanica

When I read the book it took me a while for it to draw me in, but it did end up sketching itself into my memory forever.


If I had to rate this book I would give it a 6.0/10 compared to all of Brandon Sanderson's works with 5.0 being his average. In this post I will go over emotional impact, characters, plot, dialogue / prose, and worldbuilding / magic systems and how they averaged to make this book a 6.0/10 for me.


Emotional Impact 5.0/10

The emotional impact between the characters was average for a typical Brandon Sanderson novel. Throughout the book we see Yumi and Painter learn to appreciate each other and turn that into love. It is what you expect from a book that takes inspiration from two love stories. However, there was a point in the book that had the potential to be more emotional impact impactful, but then the next chapter removed it. It was something that was foreshadowed throughout the book and when it happened I was emotional, but after reading the following chapter it made what happened meaningless.


Characters 6.0/10

Like I said previously, the emphasis of the book is a love story between Yumi and Painter. They are both late teenagers trying to live in each other's worlds. I thought Painter was a more interesting character than Yumi. We understand why he liked to be alone and how he had to overcome his depression and anxieties. While on the other hand, Yumi at first came across as a Mary Sue but as the story progressed she became her own person with flaws. 

For minor characters I thought Design was fun because she brought more lore to the Cosmere. But the other characters were forgettable. They each were distinctive, but I wouldn't be able to name them until I reread the book.


Plot 8.0/10

Usually, in a story where people swap bodies they are separated from each other. However, in this book they stay together. One is a spirit as the other inhabits their body. They live in each other world until they fall asleep then they switch to the other world. I appreciate that they see each other as themselves because that removes some awkwardness. The reason they switched bodies because Yumi agrees to help free a spirit and in order to do so the spirit connected her with Painter. They have to solve the mystery on how to free the spirit while learning each other's magic systems.


Dialogue/Prose 5.0/10

I think everyone agrees that Brandon Sanderson doesn’t write a story for Dialogue and Prose. His intent is to tell a story which he does so well. So for Brandon Sanderson this book is average for his style of writing. I personally like it. He makes everything clear and easy to read which give me more time to understand the magic systems he creates. 


by BotanicaXu 

Worldbuilding/Magic System 6.0/10

I think this world and its laws were most confusing even with Hoid explaining everything at the end. It is definitely something I am planning on rereading. I don’t want to say anything because of spoilers, but talking to others confirmed that I was not the only one that thought this portrait was confusing.

For the magic system. Painter paints to seal nightmares in canvases hence his name and all the art puns in the post, while Yumi stacks rocks very high in her own art form to call upon spirits to bless the citizens. When the body swap occurs Yumi has to teach Painter how to stack correctly while Painter teaches her how to paint bamboo. Making this magic system unique enough to give this category 6.0/10.


In conclusion, If you are a fan of Brandon Sanderson, Your Name, or Final Fantasy X, then I would recommend this book. It is colorful and the art in the book is the best I have seen from Dragonsteel.

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