The Sunlit Man
By: Brandon Sanderson

Quick-take: A forgettable entry for the fans.

Dan's Review

Nomad lands on a planet with a crazy day/night cycle. He is on the run. He stumbles upon a group of locals that really needs his help, and he obliges for at least as long as it takes for him to get to where he needs.

This story reuses the trope of having a superhuman and taking away his powers. Nomad is highly invested in energy. This gives him godlike powers. Unfortunately, in his case, he has burned nearly all of his invested energy. He is down to maybe 3%. This allows him quickness and durability but not much else. He gradually gets to 5% which allows him to communicate with the locals and then the real story begins. The time between him landing and not being able to talk I thought was pretty interesting. He was lost and so was I. However, through decades of experience and knowledge of human behaviors, he is able to make predictions of what the others are wanting of him and what he needs to do.

Nomad also has a living device that can transform into whatever object that is desired. Basic stuff does not detract from his energy while complicated ones do. This is the part where I start to eyeroll very hard. This "device" is nearly godlike itself. Imagine being able to simply think of something and having it appear and then dismissing it when finished. My brain hurts just thinking of basic scenarios. This ability is very, very under utilized in the book. Nomad mostly just uses it as a blunt shield, cudgel, or knife. I think only once a complicated piece of equipment was summoned. Seriously? It could always do that? Well... how about a gun?

So there were some plot holes, but overall, it was entertaining. I think Nomad is an interesting character. Brandon Sanderson was trying to go for a hero-with-a-dark-past vibe. Those are often done poorly. The character just talks about having a dark past but all actions are those of a saint. Nomad's dark past thoughts are actually believable.

Score: 3/5. This story is straight out of the Stormlight Archives, which I gave up on after Oathbringer. If you are a big fan of that series, then you will likely enjoy this one. A couple of characters from that series made an appearance. Brandon Sanderson in the postscript even said this book was written just for the fans.

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