Review: Yumi and the Nightmare Painter

Series: The Cosmere

Series: Year of Sanderson: #3

Oh Sanderson. How do you do it.

Three of the four novels in the “Year of Sanderson”. Tress was amazing and if anything… Yumi is even better. (Frugal Wizard was fine. 😄)

The asthetic is amazing. Two worlds, one full of serenity. Floating plants. Natural hot springs. Meditation. And … stacking rocks?

Each yoki-hijo trained in an ancient and powerful art. A deliberate, wondrous artistry requiring the full synergy of body and mind. Geological reorganization on the microscale, requiring acute understanding of gravitational equilibrium.

In other words, they stacked rocks.

In the other, we have a city surrounded by a perpetual nightmare monster spawning blackness, lit by constant glowing neon lights. It’s cyberpunk… without the cyber parts?

On top of that, a body swapping sort of story. Yumi (of the first world) and Painter (of the second) have to learn to live in each other’s very different lives.

On top of that, Hoid doing his narrator thing again!

(She was, of course, dead wrong. Remember what the poet said: “Never let something trivial, like a sense of humor, get in the way of a good joke.”
The poet was me.
He said it right now.)

On top of that we get a solid (although probably not overwhelming) chunk of Cosmere goodness. Not just Hoid this time, but also Design, Sleepless, Cognitive Shadows, and SPACESHIPS. I expect that weakens Yumi a bit as an entry point, but honestly, I’ve read too much to know. And from my point of view, I love it.

(He was right. If you’ve been wondering how they work, this is a big clue. Plants on Yumi’s world don’t really defy physics so much as they sneak past while physics is distracted by a nice drama on the viewer. Probably something involving pendulums. Physics loves those things.)

And that’s not even mentioning the absolutely bonkers conclusion. I had some inklings (heh) about where the story might go… but I didn’t guess the half of it. Crazy yet somehow real worldbuilding yet again.

Oh it’s a good book. If you’ve read and enjoyed much else of Sanderson’s work, read this one. If you’ve not… give it a try? I’m curious how the Cosmere stuff works for you. 😄

Onward and soon to Secret Project #4!