Yumi and the Nightmare Painter
By: Brandon Sanderson

Quick-take: Interesting, but not for me.

Dan's Review

Yumi is from a place of light and spirituality. Painter (that is his name) is from darkness. Their lives are suddenly intertwined in a fantasy adventure that focuses far too much on their relationship.

The two are artists. Yumi stacks rocks to inspire spirits that can be used to help the citizens of her town. Painter paints sketches of roaming "nightmares" to scare them away to protect the citizens of his town.

I won't go into much detail because each step of the way is actually pretty interesting. Their lives are slammed together in a neat way and the plot unfolding about it is the best part of the novel.

There is a love story that gradually unfolds. I knew it was coming. Everybody knew it. As soon as the two were matched together for more than 3 chapters we all knew it. This is why I don't care for love stories. It is so obvious. Brandon Sanderson did write it well. I really just don't care for it. It is just wasted text for me.

What saved the book for me was the fantasy elements of it. The way the two lives got mixed up. The foreshadowing that moves one way with an odd twist catching me off guard. The world building of how the two lives are related. I thought all that was very well done. It made the book good despite the super-predictable love aspect of it.

During the afterword, Brandon Sanderson discussed the love story and said it is from his wife urging him to write more romance. BOO! Romance is like 90% of the books on the shelves. We don't need any more of that. Please don't make one of my favorite writers switch genres. I read Sanderson's works because it focuses so much on world building and tactics. Romance plays a minor role. It is just a reason for the tactics.

Score: 4/5. Brandon Sanderson also said this one is his favorite of the 4 secret projects. It was not my favorite. To be clear, I did enjoy it, and I really appreciate having a complete story in a single volume.

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