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Visions of a dark and fantastic world haunt Paul Tanasin, but when he discovers they are prophecies from Mirandus--a world in which he's destined to become a fearsome destroyer--He'll have to embrace the fear, rise up as The Dark One, and shatter everything. Visions of a dark and fantastic world haunt Paul Tanasin, but when he discovers they are prophecies from Mirandus--a world in which he's destined to become a fearsome destroyer--He'll have to embrace the fear, rise up as The Dark One, and shatter everything.


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Visions of a dark and fantastic world haunt Paul Tanasin, but when he discovers they are prophecies from Mirandus--a world in which he's destined to become a fearsome destroyer--He'll have to embrace the fear, rise up as The Dark One, and shatter everything. Visions of a dark and fantastic world haunt Paul Tanasin, but when he discovers they are prophecies from Mirandus--a world in which he's destined to become a fearsome destroyer--He'll have to embrace the fear, rise up as The Dark One, and shatter everything.

30 review for Dark One Vol. 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petrik

    I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo ARC provided by the publisher—Vault Books—in exchange for an honest review. 3.5/5 stars Dark One is Sanderson’s new graphic novel, and it’s better than White Sands. Let me first clarify that Sanderson is one of my top favorite authors; what he achieved with his Cosmere novels is truly special to me. However, reading his White Sands graphic novel adaptation was a tormenting experience, and I honestly was scared of giving I have a Booktube channel now! Subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/petrikleo ARC provided by the publisher—Vault Books—in exchange for an honest review. 3.5/5 stars Dark One is Sanderson’s new graphic novel, and it’s better than White Sands. Let me first clarify that Sanderson is one of my top favorite authors; what he achieved with his Cosmere novels is truly special to me. However, reading his White Sands graphic novel adaptation was a tormenting experience, and I honestly was scared of giving Dark One a try. Now, there’s one problem with reading any graphic novel with Sanderson’s hand in it: I will always want a prose version of it. As interesting as Dark One is, it’s unfortunately not an exception to that. Dark One definitely felt like it’s designed specifically for it to be a graphic novel, and the story that Sanderson told with the Dark Lord premise actually worked nicely for the medium. But I can’t help but feel that it would’ve been much better if Sanderson wrote a prose version of it. I enjoyed reading the first volume of Dark One, and I do hope this graphic novel won’t end at three or four volumes; there’s potential for it to immensely grow. Knowing Sanderson’s storytelling style, I assume the twists of dark versus light here will have an intriguing execution to it in the future. It might be a while before I dive into the next volume, but I will be keeping this series on my radar. You can find the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing! My Patrons: Alfred, Alya, Annabeth, Ben, Blaise, Devin, Diana, Edward, Ellen, Gary, Hamad, Helen, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Lufi, Melinda, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Sarah, Seth, Shaad, Summer, Zoe.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ashes

    It's got potential! Though, as much as I enjoy graphic novels, I think Brandon Sanderson's worlds and characters are truly not meant for this medium. It's got potential! Though, as much as I enjoy graphic novels, I think Brandon Sanderson's worlds and characters are truly not meant for this medium.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Having another go at Branson Sanderson, thanks to Netgalley. So far he has not been a winner for me. The previous comic, White Sand, Volume 1, was not bad though. We have a portal fantasy of some sort here, jumping back and forth between New York and another world. There are good and evil champions and a narrative that drives them along. Our presumed hero is a teenager from New York, with a mum working as a lawyer. “Visions of a dark and fantastic world haunt Paul Tanasin, but when he discovers th Having another go at Branson Sanderson, thanks to Netgalley. So far he has not been a winner for me. The previous comic, White Sand, Volume 1, was not bad though. We have a portal fantasy of some sort here, jumping back and forth between New York and another world. There are good and evil champions and a narrative that drives them along. Our presumed hero is a teenager from New York, with a mum working as a lawyer. “Visions of a dark and fantastic world haunt Paul Tanasin, but when he discovers they are prophecies from Mirandus, a world in which he’s destined to become a fearsome destroyer, he’ll have to embrace the fear, rise up as the Dark One, and shatter everything. Dark One examines the dual roles we often take on in life―the ability to be a savior as well as a destroyer.“ So Paul, our main character, is destined to be a dark force and his opponents in that other world are the Light, the supposed force for good. Which makes it slightly unusual, because Paul feels like the good guy and the opposing force more like the bad guys in this narrative. We get to see a lot of grey shades. I am actually curious to see where Sanderson will take this next. The artwork is not much to rave about. There were one or two moments where I really liked depictions of unusual animals in Mirandus. The rest was flat and pretty middle-of-the-road. *+*+* I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Loved it! Pacing got a little fast in the last third of the book, but it was so enjoyable to read!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nasi

    I'm honestly surprised there wasn't much more hype around this book given Sanderson's popularity! I only found out about it through my Goodreads feed. This was my first attempt at reading comic book so I didn't know what to expect. On the other hand Sanderson is my favourite author so I was hoping this would be as enjoyable as his other books. Thankfully I was right. Apparently he can do no wrong! I read this at a time that I had difficulty focusing on any book. But this book was such an easy re I'm honestly surprised there wasn't much more hype around this book given Sanderson's popularity! I only found out about it through my Goodreads feed. This was my first attempt at reading comic book so I didn't know what to expect. On the other hand Sanderson is my favourite author so I was hoping this would be as enjoyable as his other books. Thankfully I was right. Apparently he can do no wrong! I read this at a time that I had difficulty focusing on any book. But this book was such an easy read. Once I got used to the whole new format, I flew through it. Similar to his other books, the storyline is engaging, the characters are likeable and there's enough twist and turns that keeps you turning the pages. Although the ending made me remember why I don't like reading Sanderson's series unless they're completed. It ends on a really bad cliffhanger and the urge to jump into the sequel is driving me crazy!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    Well damn this was good. Will write more soon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joy Allen

    I’m still not a graphic novel person. But man this was good. The world switches, the idea of the Narrative, the Magic, it’s all super cool. And I wants more!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shreyas

    Interesting. I would have preferred if it would have been in the prose format though. Can't wait for the next one. Interesting. I would have preferred if it would have been in the prose format though. Can't wait for the next one.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Josh Angel

    Brandon Sanderson was clearly attempting an Epic Fantasy in graphic novel format, which is a heavy lift for what is essentially a short story format (this book takes about an hour to read). For the most part, I'd say he succeeded admirably, and much of that credit should go to the creative team of Jackson Lanzing/Collin Kelly (writers) and Nathan Gooden/Kurt Michael Russell (artists). Sanderson's other foray into the graphic novel format with his Cosmere centered White Sands trilogy was not as we Brandon Sanderson was clearly attempting an Epic Fantasy in graphic novel format, which is a heavy lift for what is essentially a short story format (this book takes about an hour to read). For the most part, I'd say he succeeded admirably, and much of that credit should go to the creative team of Jackson Lanzing/Collin Kelly (writers) and Nathan Gooden/Kurt Michael Russell (artists). Sanderson's other foray into the graphic novel format with his Cosmere centered White Sands trilogy was not as well executed in my opinion, so this was a nice surprise. THE GOOD Writing: In this case, I'm referring to Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, who are adapting Sanderson's story to the graphic novel medium. With comics writing, either you've got it, or you don't, and in this case they've got it. To compare again to White Sands, Sanderson other graphic novel, the writer of White Sands just couldn't write dialogue that felt realistic and flowed smoothly. Writing for comics is a far different skill set than prose writing, and Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly are good at it. Art: The art was really good here. Maybe not the height of the medium, but it was always clear what was happening on the page, body language was good, panel layout uncluttered, facial expressions understandable. A solid artistic team. Epic Fantasy in a small package: There is a lot of story (and back story) to convey here, and in a short story format, that's not easily done. You do have to pay attention, since a lot of info is squeezed into the pages, and mostly via dialogue, but it's done well. THE BAD Religion: It's Sanderson so of course the story is centered on religion. If you've read any Sanderson, you'll know he's a devout man of faith, and works religion into all of his books to varying degrees. Examples: **warning, mild spoilers for other Sanderson series below** 1) Elantris: the main character is a Jesus analog. 2) Warbreaker: numerous characters are Gods, and spend the entire book talking about religion. 3) Mistborn Era 1: Sazed, a main character, literally only talks about religion the entire series. 4) Mistborn Era 2: Wax, the main character, has a crisis of faith and gives up on his religion. That is until God visits him directly and tells him to have more faith. 5) Legion: at the end of the first story the main character proves the existence of Jesus. 6) Stormlight: Jasnah, a supporting character, is a famous athiest in a world of the faithful. The character allows the author to talk about religion... a lot. So with all that in mind, it came as no surprise to me that this graphic novel is all about religion. In this case, I think it's a clever reversal of tropes, and shows how a person of bad intentions can use the tenets of faith for selfish ends. It also attempts to show how each side of two warring religions see themselves as good, and the opposing side as bad, and they are both correct. Why do I consider that bad? I just kind of wish Brandon Sanderson would write about something besides religion. At this point I just feel like he's gotten into a rut, writing about what he's comfortable with. He does have some series where religion isn't a focus (Reckoners, Skyward) but those are relegated strictly to his YA outings. Sanderson is one of my favorite writers, but I feel like his obsession with religion is holding him back. The guy needs to get a new schtick. THE VERDICT A good story and interesting enough premise. I'll be returning for volume 2.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    In classic Sandersonian style, the trope gets spun on its head to send the story veering in a direction you never expected. That's the idea behind Dark One, which got turned into narrative form due to Brandon's time constraints to get out all of his ideas. I remember reading Sanderson's early stuff and how exciting it was to see common aspects of fantasy turned around. Specifically how in Mistborn we start out in a world in which the bad guy won... Well, this is a version of that in a setting we In classic Sandersonian style, the trope gets spun on its head to send the story veering in a direction you never expected. That's the idea behind Dark One, which got turned into narrative form due to Brandon's time constraints to get out all of his ideas. I remember reading Sanderson's early stuff and how exciting it was to see common aspects of fantasy turned around. Specifically how in Mistborn we start out in a world in which the bad guy won... Well, this is a version of that in a setting we may all recognize - the parallel worlds fantasy (ex. Chronicles of Narnia) where someone can travel from the real world into an alternative world of fantasy, and inevitably becomes the chosen hero to save the world. Only in this narrative, both a dark lord and a chosen one come from the real world, and this time instead of ending the darkness for good, our protagonist is actually the dark lord, and has to stop the cycle by defeating the chosen one. Nice way to turn things on their head. As a graphic novel, I would put the artwork at 3 of 5 stars - not as bad as White Sand, but nothing compared to Monstress for example - and the story at a 4, typical of Sanderson's exciting early career. I didn't realize that this is just volume 1 of several, so we'll have to wait a while to find out what comes next, and it ends on the inevitable cliffhanger. But it's good to see more of Sanderson out in 2020, and hopefully with a lull in the Stormlight Archive we'll have a chance to see more than usual in 2021.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alisa

    Paul is the Dark One. But the question is: does he want to be one and even if he is, is he going to act on it? That is one of my favorite tropes: how a person becomes a villain. I always fall for it and this was no exception. I loved how unfair it is to Paul. He is supposed to be this great evil but no one asked him if he even wants that. Moreover, the evil in this world always loses. So, Paul is destined to become the big bad and fight the good guy only to loose in the end, as did every bad guy Paul is the Dark One. But the question is: does he want to be one and even if he is, is he going to act on it? That is one of my favorite tropes: how a person becomes a villain. I always fall for it and this was no exception. I loved how unfair it is to Paul. He is supposed to be this great evil but no one asked him if he even wants that. Moreover, the evil in this world always loses. So, Paul is destined to become the big bad and fight the good guy only to loose in the end, as did every bad guy before him. I mean, how unfair is that? So this time around, there are going to be some changes. The concept of the Narrative was really cool. The idea is that there is a way the history is supposed to go, everyone in their destined spot, be it good or bad, and the cycle repeats over and over. It was briefly touched upon in this first volume, but I am sure it will further developed as the series continues. Paul was a great main character. You know he is bad, but you also see him struggling with that. He goes to therapy in the beginning of the book, because he wants to understand himself better and because he is afraid that he might hurt people. So, when he was pushed into this role he doesn't want to play, I had so much sympathy for him. This is a good start to a new fantasy series. It has a good plot, interesting moral dilemmas, a pretty cool magic and, of course, some secrets. I wish volume two was already out. Thank you to Netgalley and Edelweiss+ for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    I am a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson. His novels are some of my all-time favourites, so whatever he works on, regardless of the medium, I will read it. Dark One was slightly disappointing. Everything reads as fairly basic compared to his other works. Nothing in Dark One is genre breaking or truly unique. The hero vs. villain and light vs. dark tropes rely heavily on already established uses. So, while Dark One does not introduce anything worth mentioning, it does utilize this trope effectively. I am a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson. His novels are some of my all-time favourites, so whatever he works on, regardless of the medium, I will read it. Dark One was slightly disappointing. Everything reads as fairly basic compared to his other works. Nothing in Dark One is genre breaking or truly unique. The hero vs. villain and light vs. dark tropes rely heavily on already established uses. So, while Dark One does not introduce anything worth mentioning, it does utilize this trope effectively. Sanderson’s ideas tend to be vast and full of depth. Dark One is no exception. I really enjoyed the introduction to the main character and the world. This blending of reality and fantasy allows readers a fairly comprehensive understanding of the world and characters even if both feel under developed by the end of the graphic novel. The artwork isn’t my favourite style art for a graphic novel, but it’s certainly not the worst. For those of you who have read White Sand and were not a fan of that art, I’m happy to inform you that the art in Dark One is vastly superior. The coloring plays up the tropes and illustrates some spectacular scenes. Overall, Dark One is slightly disappointing as the world and characters feel under developed. However, the blending of reality and fantasy work well to communicate to readers the vastness of what this world could be in the next few volumes. ***I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    4/5 stars I received an ARC of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review. Paul Tanasin is a 17-year-old who sees visions. These visions are of another world and they haunt him. A ghost girl also follows him around, claiming to be his sister. However, everything changes when he realizes that the other world is real. Somehow, the other world is tied to his, and it has declared him the Dark One. Without any other options, Paul rises up as the Dark One, fulfilling the role he was given. I rea 4/5 stars I received an ARC of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review. Paul Tanasin is a 17-year-old who sees visions. These visions are of another world and they haunt him. A ghost girl also follows him around, claiming to be his sister. However, everything changes when he realizes that the other world is real. Somehow, the other world is tied to his, and it has declared him the Dark One. Without any other options, Paul rises up as the Dark One, fulfilling the role he was given. I really enjoyed this graphic novel! The story was dark, but I thought it was rather interesting! There's a lot of things happening at once, and I hope that we get more answers in volume 2. The fantasy world itself, especially the way things work there, was really fascinating! I also really liked the magic. The concepts of morals and destiny really added to this story, making me feel sympathetic for Paul and the other characters. The ending of this graphic novel caught me off-guard, so I'm excited to see where this story goes in volume 2! Fans of dark fantasy and beautiful graphic novels should check this out!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Raf

    ✨🌟 8 stars out of 10 🌟✨ Interesting premise and nice improvement on Sanderson's comic line. Keywords: graphic novel/ comic, fantasy, isekai, multiworld Are you bored with chosen hero trope where the hero finds out its their fate to slay the villain and save the day? In The Dark One, it's the opposite. Our main lead is a teenage boy that is chosen incarnate of evil, a Dark One. But what would they do when reluctantly given the position and know from the start it is their fate to be defeated by the f ✨🌟 8 stars out of 10 🌟✨ Interesting premise and nice improvement on Sanderson's comic line. Keywords: graphic novel/ comic, fantasy, isekai, multiworld Are you bored with chosen hero trope where the hero finds out its their fate to slay the villain and save the day? In The Dark One, it's the opposite. Our main lead is a teenage boy that is chosen incarnate of evil, a Dark One. But what would they do when reluctantly given the position and know from the start it is their fate to be defeated by the force of good? Storywise it's not that unique but so far I think it's still quite promising. The magic system and worldbuilding is not as meticulate as Cosmere, but I like the premise. I also personally thought this have better execution than previous comics Sanderson work with. The dialogues are neatly placed and not too wordy, the scene sequences are easy to follow and the plot itself not too muddled. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for giving me e-arc of this in exchange of honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephie | Stephiereads

    I received a digital reader copy from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I'm a big Brandon Sanderson fan so I just had to read this graphic novel. The graphic novel starts out quite fast with little exposition, not a lot is explained you're rather supposed to figure things out while the story progresses. Which in itself is fine but it also made me a little confused at times. One issue I had was the overall pacing. The story and the art style are great but I feel like San I received a digital reader copy from netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I'm a big Brandon Sanderson fan so I just had to read this graphic novel. The graphic novel starts out quite fast with little exposition, not a lot is explained you're rather supposed to figure things out while the story progresses. Which in itself is fine but it also made me a little confused at times. One issue I had was the overall pacing. The story and the art style are great but I feel like Sanderson's story would have needed and deserved more time to unravel. Some things happened really quickly but that is something that's easier done in a novel where you can take hundreds of pages than in a single volume of a graphic novel. I Still, I quite enjoyed this graphic novel and can't wait for the next volume.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Raksha

    I'll be honest. I'm not someone who reads a lot of graphic novels and I only picked this up because it's by my favourite author. The premise of this book is interesting, and the artwork is just stunning. I would love to hang any of the art from this book in my house - it's just that beautiful! But the reason I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked is because I found it really hard to get into and understand. This might totally be a 'it's me not you' problem as I don't read a lot of comic I'll be honest. I'm not someone who reads a lot of graphic novels and I only picked this up because it's by my favourite author. The premise of this book is interesting, and the artwork is just stunning. I would love to hang any of the art from this book in my house - it's just that beautiful! But the reason I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked is because I found it really hard to get into and understand. This might totally be a 'it's me not you' problem as I don't read a lot of comics. I guess overtime the story will turn out to be good, but I felt Volume 1 was a bit too short, the ending too abrupt and overall, it just left me unsatisfied. Or maybe I have too high an expectation when it comes to Brandon Sanderson. *shrugs apologetically* P.S: I still want a physical copy because the art is gorgeous. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the e-arc

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    As you may know, I stan Brandon Sanderson's novels. They are unique, well written and original. Because of that, I expected to find in Dark One something that would make it stand out from other graphic novels. Unfortunately for me, it wasn't the case at all. The story was very basic: you have good and bad guys with a plain past (the past you can expect from every hero/villain, really). The world-building wasn't exceptional either (light and dark powers, typical), the characters were boring and na As you may know, I stan Brandon Sanderson's novels. They are unique, well written and original. Because of that, I expected to find in Dark One something that would make it stand out from other graphic novels. Unfortunately for me, it wasn't the case at all. The story was very basic: you have good and bad guys with a plain past (the past you can expect from every hero/villain, really). The world-building wasn't exceptional either (light and dark powers, typical), the characters were boring and naive... I won't say it was disastrous, but it certainly didn't bring anything new to the genre. I really didn't care about what I was reading, so I think I'll stick to the novel format.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas von Hein

    This was really interesting. While I didn't entirely love the art style, this was done extremely well. In typical Sanderson fashion, the end of this tied together hints left along the way in an incredibly satisfying manner and with far more emotional impact than I expected given the first half. I think any perceived flaws here come from my lack of familiarity with the medium. But while I think this could have been a great novel, the execution was done well enough that I don't think it lost much This was really interesting. While I didn't entirely love the art style, this was done extremely well. In typical Sanderson fashion, the end of this tied together hints left along the way in an incredibly satisfying manner and with far more emotional impact than I expected given the first half. I think any perceived flaws here come from my lack of familiarity with the medium. But while I think this could have been a great novel, the execution was done well enough that I don't think it lost much and there were enough questions I had at the end that I will be picking up the second volume as soon as it comes out.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy ★birdsong.books★

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated in the review are my own. ★ Bookstagram ★ Rating: ★★★★ ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ Everyone knows Brandon Sanderson has always been (and will probably always be) one of my favourite authors. Anything that man writes I will pick up and devour and this time was no different. The world in the graphic novel Dark One was stunning. As always, the worldbuilding is on p Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions stated in the review are my own. ★ Bookstagram ★ Rating: ★★★★ ━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━ Everyone knows Brandon Sanderson has always been (and will probably always be) one of my favourite authors. Anything that man writes I will pick up and devour and this time was no different. The world in the graphic novel Dark One was stunning. As always, the worldbuilding is on point and the idea unique and stunning. I really loved the characters and wanted to learn more about them. The art style fit the narrative well and I loved studying every frame. However, while I loved the idea, the world, the story - it was all rather rushed. I didn't really get to form any sort of bond with Paul so some of his choices were a bit questionable to me. This is the main reason why I cannot give this story five stars. I am looking forward to reading the next book when it comes out and seeing where the story goes from here.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ronie

    Had to let this one percolate, I suppose, before writing my review. I was a little disappointed in this Sanderson story. It felt like there were plot jumps and logic leaps. Several times I was confused--it was as if something said was supposed to be poignant and pivot the story, but it didn't do that for me. Several times I went back and read to see if I had missed something. Also, it was a pretty "heavy" read, rather dark. Sometimes, the artwork was literally so dark, I couldn't tell what it wa Had to let this one percolate, I suppose, before writing my review. I was a little disappointed in this Sanderson story. It felt like there were plot jumps and logic leaps. Several times I was confused--it was as if something said was supposed to be poignant and pivot the story, but it didn't do that for me. Several times I went back and read to see if I had missed something. Also, it was a pretty "heavy" read, rather dark. Sometimes, the artwork was literally so dark, I couldn't tell what it was supposed to convey. I don't know. This one just didn't work for me like most of his stories, however, I still liked it and will likely get volume 2 because he's my favorite author.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nemo

    A lot of it doesn't make complete sense, and the (view spoiler)[narrative overpowering the characters (hide spoiler)] is a bit weird. Think I'll do a re-read sometime later to see if I missed out on things. A lot of it doesn't make complete sense, and the (view spoiler)[narrative overpowering the characters (hide spoiler)] is a bit weird. Think I'll do a re-read sometime later to see if I missed out on things.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Blake the Book Eater

    This is such an interesting concept that was executed flawlessly. Can’t wait for more volumes!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Connor O'leary

    Note: there are some very mild structural spoilers for this book. For many, this won’t be an issue, but for some it could be. Quick shoutout to Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Adrian F. Wassel, Nathan C. Gooden, and Kurt Michael Russell. I’m going to focus more on Sanderson through this review, but they are all credited on the book and all deserve credit for their work here. Dark One actually has a long and odd history within Sanderson’s fandom. For the uninitiated, every December, Brandon Sander Note: there are some very mild structural spoilers for this book. For many, this won’t be an issue, but for some it could be. Quick shoutout to Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Adrian F. Wassel, Nathan C. Gooden, and Kurt Michael Russell. I’m going to focus more on Sanderson through this review, but they are all credited on the book and all deserve credit for their work here. Dark One actually has a long and odd history within Sanderson’s fandom. For the uninitiated, every December, Brandon Sanderson releases a lengthy report of what he did that year and what he is planning to do the following year and the future beyond in the “State of the Sanderson.” Some years ago, he first mentioned Dark One, a story about a young man who learns he is the titular figure of prophecy, the fandom was quickly fascinated and anxiously awaited any news on the project. After a few years of fairly minor updates, Sanderson announced that the project was being picked up as a multimedia story, with a tv show in development alongside a graphic novel treatment similar to that of White Sand. Hype resumed up until the moment the graphic novel was digitally released earlier this year when everything went silent. I don’t have an answer for what happened there. Was the reception so poor that no one even wanted to talk about it? Was the marketing poorly done such that most people weren’t aware of the release? I have no idea, but I find both to be very possible. I read through the digital graphic novel in an afternoon and felt...meh. It wasn’t bad and there were some noticeable Sandersonian qualities, but I thought the events were largely rushed and unearned. Granted, is it fair to call anything rushed if you tear through it in one sitting? The reality was, I’ve been thinking about this book on and off for months since its release and after the fun I had diving deep into Watchmen a few weeks ago, maybe this story would benefit from a similar treatment. The result of my reread was largely better. I won’t go quite so far as to completely turn my opinion around, but I’ve found a lot to look forward to as this story progresses. My biggest issue was (and still is) how undeveloped Mirandus felt. There were hints of that usual Sanderson flair but they did not translate well and, in defense of the writers, I don’t know how that would work in a graphic novel without wrecking the pace. Additionally, one specific relationship still felt poorly developed. I have to think there were scenes cut for pacing, but for something that seems pretty central to the early story, the big moments between these two characters never felt earned. Now that I say that, pacing really cuts into so much of this story. Some elements work pretty well but certain reveals towards the end are not given the time they need to make any sort of sense (second readthrough wasn’t better). This left a “big reveal” feeling like a mystery masquerading as a reveal which… that doesn’t work for me one bit. Not without significantly more setup than we got. That said, other things felt so much stronger. This is in part because I remembered enough and took more time to read, allowing me to pick up on the little things but also because I had a better idea of what to expect going in. Most notably, I was prepared for the fact that this is Volume 1. The story seems to follow a very short narrative that, if you’re not paying attention (or rushing through it because the hype train won’t stop), leads you to believe there will be a tidy ending. Suffice it to say, there is not. I hope that isn’t too much of a spoiler but there is a Volume 1 printed on the book so it isn’t like anyone is pretending this is a standalone. This was a big problem with my initial reading of White Sand. The first volume was Act 1 of a novel. There wasn’t enough for it to stand on its own and it didn’t feel better until the next two parts retroactively propped it up. Reading through things this time, I could see the setup for the climax and how that would lead into the following volumes and it left me hungry for more. I was in a better position to see the way the story plays with the Light vs Dark approach to storytelling and twist it with themes of predestination and the Chosen One trope. The narrative is closer to complete that Volume 1 of White Sand but again, that almost works as a detriment to first-time readers. Either way, I expect to get a lot more from this book as the next volumes come out. The characters play the biggest and best role in this and, while the relationship building between them was badly rushed, I understood their motivations pretty much across the board. Paul was a wonderfully sympathetic protagonist, Feotora and Illarion presented a really cool view of the “light” side of the light vs dark war. Also, Caligo was spectacularly evil-looking and I don’t even think that’s a spoiler. That dude gave me chills every time he showed up. My last note, which is totally unchanged between my two reads, is the art. Considering the less-than-stellar art in the first volume or two of White Sand, this book is a massive step up. It is consistently excellent and has some really great visual storytelling elements, particularly in the interludes, and really stood out to me. All in all, I think the second read brought this up from a soft ⅖, if only barely. With more volumes, I can see myself bringing this up even more, but for now I’m not going to reward a book for a story not yet written. Overall: 2.5/5 I don’t have a spoiler review this time (I just ran out of time) but you can read all of my other reviews at http://nostrongopinions.home.blog/rev....

  24. 4 out of 5

    a.n.j.i

    This might be one of my most looked forward to works in Sanderson's huge slate of potential releases. Dark one? Following the potential villain? Hell yeah I'm here for that. If this blog post is any indication, I'll never run out of Sanderson books to immerse myself in. https://brandonsanderson.com/state-of... This might be one of my most looked forward to works in Sanderson's huge slate of potential releases. Dark one? Following the potential villain? Hell yeah I'm here for that. If this blog post is any indication, I'll never run out of Sanderson books to immerse myself in. https://brandonsanderson.com/state-of...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Korynne

    As a massive Brandon Sanderson fan, I knew I had to get my hands on whatever new book he comes out with next. Dark One, his latest release, is about Paul who lives on Earth but can see visions of another world called Mirandus, including seeing Nikka, a ghost girl who befriends him. He thinks he's going crazy, but in reality, he's prophesied to become the Dark One in Mirandus. I have to admit that I was pretty confused during the whole story. I've always struggled with fantastical graphic novels As a massive Brandon Sanderson fan, I knew I had to get my hands on whatever new book he comes out with next. Dark One, his latest release, is about Paul who lives on Earth but can see visions of another world called Mirandus, including seeing Nikka, a ghost girl who befriends him. He thinks he's going crazy, but in reality, he's prophesied to become the Dark One in Mirandus. I have to admit that I was pretty confused during the whole story. I've always struggled with fantastical graphic novels because there's never enough worldbuilding for the story to make sense, and magic and character motivations are shallow as well. I didn't understand the connection Paul had to Mirandus, or what exactly his dad's role was either. I'm also not sure about his mom's client's role, and that seemed to be pretty important, yet it went right over my head. Paul was from New York yet took so quickly to his role as the Dark One that I just didn't find it believable. I personally feel like we needed a lot more page time getting to know the background of the world and getting to understand Paul's thoughts, which is why I think this story would have been better as a prose novel instead of as a graphic novel. I also struggled with this story because I expected this to be very different from what it was. I've seen Brandon mention this story in the past, a spin on "What if Harry Potter was prophesied to be Voldemort instead of the one who defeats Voldemort?" That would be a very different story, he explained, if the boy was prophesied to be the Dark One instead of the Chosen One. So somehow I imagined the story would be set in a more classical fantasy setting, something similar to Mistborn, and we would follow a good young boy as he learns he is to grow up to be an evil ruler and how he comes to grips with that. I thought we'd watch him grow up and slowly give over to the evil even though he didn't want to, something along those lines. But that is not at all what Dark One is about. The modern-day Earth setting threw me off, as did Paul being an adult when he learned about the prophecy and his willingness to accept the prophecy. Plus I'm not sure we even saw a real prophecy, it was more like someone just told him that was his role, and he was like, "Oh, okay." This graphic novel isn't actually written by Brandon Sanderson though. As far as I'm aware, he came up with the idea and wrote an outline for it, and then someone else wrote the graphic novel based on his idea. But anything that has Sanderson's name on it I will read, and this is no exception. I just wish it had more of a Sanderson feel to it because his prose novels are so good about fleshing out the world and filling the plot holes. The art style in this book reminds me of a classic grungy superhero story. It's set partially in downtown New York City and partially in Mirandus, and each panel has a mostly monochromatic color scheme with thick lines and gruff drawings. It's not my favorite art style—in fact, I really didn't like it—but I do think it matches the tone of the story. Dark One is not my favorite thing I've read from Brandon Sanderson. I enjoyed his epic fantasy novels and young adult sci-fi stories more, and I even liked his other graphic novel series, White Sand, better. In fact, I hate to admit this, but this book might be my least favorite story I've read from Sanderson, and I've read almost everything he's written. Ultimately, my expectations were way off so I was left disappointed and confused. I think the concept is cooler than the execution. If you, too, liked the concept but didn't like the execution, check out Brandon's full-length novels, which do a much better job of fleshing out the world and explaining the plot. I will be continuing on with this series, but only because it's Brandon Sanderson; if any other author wrote this book, I wouldn't be reading any future installments. I'm really sad I didn't end up loving Dark One, but you can't love every book an author writes, even if it's your favorite author. I think if you like the gritty art style, know what the story is actually about beforehand, and don't set your expectations too high for the plot, you would enjoy this graphic novel. Like I said, it still is a cool idea, just not done at all in the way I thought it would be. My Book Blog: Storeys of Stories

  26. 5 out of 5

    Xerxes

    I did not want this to end. Period. This comic was so good that I already was having a blast reading it. Fantastic drawings, fantastic world-building, and the story in itself were easy to follow. It has an epic map cover, one which I want to see more of in this book. There teases of different cultures, and I saw a Roman-Greek-style culture that I wanted to see more of. I’ve loved graphic novels. This is what a graphic novel should be. Fun, easy to read, but it is very brutal in many senses. This i I did not want this to end. Period. This comic was so good that I already was having a blast reading it. Fantastic drawings, fantastic world-building, and the story in itself were easy to follow. It has an epic map cover, one which I want to see more of in this book. There teases of different cultures, and I saw a Roman-Greek-style culture that I wanted to see more of. I’ve loved graphic novels. This is what a graphic novel should be. Fun, easy to read, but it is very brutal in many senses. This is a wonderful introduction to a brand new world and one which I think is worth following. Very well written in my opinion. The dialogue was very well written. Written by the master writer, Brandon Sanderson and the amazing writers, Lanzing and Kelly, they did a good job of distinguishing the worlds separating themselves from the earth. However, I was not convinced of a few things. First, I understood the concept of the Narrative and how fates and destinies are intertwined. Second, I was unsure of Paul Tanasin was in a sense, able to adapt to situations very quickly, and then becomes kind of adapted into his role. I don’t think he figures out what the clear distinctions are between the light and the dark as of yet, for he has much to learn. Surely, a Dark One can spread light as well? A Dark One does not always need to be evil in my opinion. And what is evil but a reflection of our dark desires? And what is good but a reflection of our good desires? And what happens when the two converge? That I feel is a very interesting arc that should be explored in this brand new series. I felt this area needed more expansion here. Otherwise, the character and worldbuilding was very well done in my opinion Paul is a good character, but I think he needs to spend time with more characters that can better evoke his personality. The Drull character that serves him is a wonderful addition. His sister’s soul has been with him since his childhood, for example, Sometimes I think the distinctions between the Light and the Dark can become a little too complicated to follow. Paul’s mother is a good character that I think we need more exploration as well. There was a certain backdrop in the comic that I would have wanted to see more development off in my opinion. 213 pages does not cut it. This could have been more longer in my opinion, but I can understand that the reason it is like this is that it’s trying to introduce the reader into the world. I felt that we sped too fast between earth and this new fantastical world of fantasy. Instead, in the next sequel I would want a slower, paced approach and to make Paul’s character witness the events around him in far more detail. There is a bigger world here. There is more of a world to explore, cultures to see. I don’t just want it to be a case of dark vs light, because this comic clearly shows what the grey veil is between dark and light, but I want to explore the world, I want to see what new wonders, what new mysteries I will uncover here. And Krasis – I need more of an explanation with him. I understood he’s a brutal character, but I felt there’s more to uncover about him. Otherwise, these were just my suggestions. In my opinion, a massive fantasy world like this will take time in successive installaments to introduce more character growth. A fantasy series takes to mature and you can then really get involved. So this is the start of something wonderful. Something really wonderful. I cannot wait to see what else is going to come in this unique universe. 8/10 from me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    This Fantasy graphic novel tells the story of a young man, Paul, who is in therapy for mental health issues, in our world (or an indistinguishable facsimile of it,) that is. However, it seems that the most pressing of Paul’s symptoms, hallucinations, result from bleed over from an alternate reality, a world called Mirandus. Mirandus is a quintessential Fantasy genre world with kings and castles, magic and monsters, and feudalism and fierce warriors. While the artists and writer take efforts to p This Fantasy graphic novel tells the story of a young man, Paul, who is in therapy for mental health issues, in our world (or an indistinguishable facsimile of it,) that is. However, it seems that the most pressing of Paul’s symptoms, hallucinations, result from bleed over from an alternate reality, a world called Mirandus. Mirandus is a quintessential Fantasy genre world with kings and castles, magic and monsters, and feudalism and fierce warriors. While the artists and writer take efforts to present a unique rendering of a Fantasy realm, in a way it’s a clear-cut and emblematic example, with – literally – forces of light arrayed against forces of darkness. Mirandus is governed by something called “The Narrative.” I couldn’t decide whether that was too on-the-nose for a storybook world, or whether it was a clever way of hinting at the true nature of this alternate reality. (There are a number of other elements that make blatant the storybook qualities of Mirandus.) Whether it’s too on-the-nose or not depends on how one sees what is going on in the story. I mentioned the straightforward interpretation of the story – i.e. Paul thinks he’s mentally ill but then he’s drawn into another realm, one in which his symptoms are shown to have been a ghostly other-realm visitor, as well as repressed memories and general confusion. That’s the interpretation of the story that seems to be meant to achieve traction with readers, at least there are a lot of little pieces of supporting evidence for it. There are other ways of interpreting this scripted storybook world. An alternative that one might consider is that Paul has had a full-blown psychotic breakdown and the events in Mirandus are a much more intense kind of hallucination as Paul works through the throes of flipping out. This interpretation doesn’t work as smoothly [but, it shouldn’t.] It leaves many questions unanswered while those of the main interpretation are reconciled by the narrative as we see it. Paul’s mind would definitely be working overtime to do things like build a backstory for the sister he’s been hallucinating. However, the explicitly storybook quality of Mirandus makes it feel more likely that it would be made up by a Fantasy reader than that it’s a real world that is the quintessence of a gritty fairy tale. [It’s worth noting that the [unlikely] psychotic break interpretation would be necessarily messier as the narration becomes unreliable and all clarity is lost.] The story has a lot to say about fate and destiny, and the degree to which those concepts reflect reality. I found the art to be easy to follow and nice looking. As I said, it walks a line between the novel and the familiar quite well. The “hallucinations” are very clearly differentiated from the real-world action. The sibling dynamic between Paul and his ethereal sister is nicely portrayed – even though he has no childhood memories of her through most of the story. There is a sub-plot involving the main character’s mother, a lawyer who is defending a serial killer, a man who is not what he seems. However, this subplot is meant to set up continued action through the subsequent volumes. While the subplot generates some intense moments and intrigue, it does not pay off in this volume as a story (i.e. having a climax and resolution.) That said, I liked that the main plot does pay off. We know from the “Volume 1” subtitle that this will be a serialized story, and so it’s certainly necessary to have some continuing intrigue. However, too often, serialization means that one is given a tiny speedbump or a big cliffhanger in lieu of a proper resolution. This book did resolve the main storyline. [Thus, avoiding running afoul of my firm policy about never continuing a series – multi-volume book or multi-season tv – that doesn’t resolve in the volume (or season) under review – if they don’t do it in a given volume / season, how likely are they to do so in the end? Not very, I feel.] I enjoyed this story. If the set-up intrigues you, it’s definitely worth giving a read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    eleanor

    Thank you to NetGalley and Diamond Books for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. What if you were the chosen one but for the wrong side? Paul is dealing with inner ethical turmoil as he tries to deal with visions and hallucinations of other worlds. Meanwhile, in another world, two sides gear up for a foretold battle. Paul must come to terms with what it means when fate has already decided what you must be. I wanted so badly to love this as my first foray into Brandon Sanderson and by no mean Thank you to NetGalley and Diamond Books for providing me with an e-ARC of this book. What if you were the chosen one but for the wrong side? Paul is dealing with inner ethical turmoil as he tries to deal with visions and hallucinations of other worlds. Meanwhile, in another world, two sides gear up for a foretold battle. Paul must come to terms with what it means when fate has already decided what you must be. I wanted so badly to love this as my first foray into Brandon Sanderson and by no means did I hate it. The story was a classic fantasy good versus bad fight for the land but in true Sanderson fashion (or at least what I am told is true Sanderson fashion), the narrative is flipped on its head and your expectations are subverted. The artwork was gorgeous and it was so well detailed. The atmosphere was jumping off the page with the beautiful landscape art. I'm not usually a fan of this art style because the people tend to look wonky for me but because the landscapes were gorgeous, I didn't have too many complaints. What I did have issues with was the way the plot and the characters developed. The pacing was fine, though the ending seemed a little quick, and the logic made complete sense. The magic system seemed to be explained fairly well until the twist that leaves you guessing for the next volume. And the world-building was very well done for a graphic novel that didn't have much space to develop that outside of dialogue. However, because of the nature of this format, I think it fell flat in a lot of the most important aspects. I hate to say that I would have loved this as a prose novel more but I really think I would have. I know that was the plan but because of time constraints, it was revised into a graphic novel instead but I think the character development and plot would have been much more intriguing and much more weighted had there been more space to develop that beyond just some dialogue bubbles. Not to say that the characters and plot were entirely superficial. I think I still cared about the characters as there is a plot point in the book that got me emotional for Paul and co, and that obviously would not be the case had the characters been flat or the seed had not been planted earlier in the story but that was once in the whole 200+ pages that I felt that. I'm interested to see where this goes moving forward as there are some threads left hanging but I feel like there was a lot that I didn't get to see or hear that definitely made it feel like I was missing out on some vital points of the story. I wanted to like it more but it was just okay. Not a waste of time but also not a new favorite by any means.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chene

    I've never read graphic novels before, but I like mangas so I've always wanted to try their western counterparts. I've also almost never read Brandon Sanderson before (probably unlike most fantasy readers), only a few chapters of the Mistborn series before I lost interest, though that was a few years ago and I was curious if my taste has changed. So, Dark One was quite a different venture for me. The result of that venture, is ... interesting? I can't say that I was impressed by the plot. It's pr I've never read graphic novels before, but I like mangas so I've always wanted to try their western counterparts. I've also almost never read Brandon Sanderson before (probably unlike most fantasy readers), only a few chapters of the Mistborn series before I lost interest, though that was a few years ago and I was curious if my taste has changed. So, Dark One was quite a different venture for me. The result of that venture, is ... interesting? I can't say that I was impressed by the plot. It's pretty much exactly what the blurb already suggests: the MC finds out that he is the chosen one to fulfill a prophecy. He travels to a different world, gains power, and saves his people. Yay! It's not a bad story but ... it feels like something from the 90s? Except for a couple of small side plots, I could already guess where everything was going after 10 pages. The fact that the whole plot is driven by a prophecy instead of characters is also a bit unappetizing. I'm not sure if this is a typical Sanderson thing though or if it's lost in translation from words to pictures, and considering this book is only the first volume of a series, I'm going to give it the benefit of doubt and hope that there will be better twists to come. Another thing that didn't seem to translate well is the pacing. There are a few scenes where the MC goes through some emotional conflicts or revelations, but they all seem too abrupt and unrealistic. I'm tempted to say that this is somewhat expected, since we can't get inside the character's head as easily in graphic novels as we can in prose, but I've seen plenty of monologues done in mangas and they usually work quite naturally. Looks like graphic novels still have a ways to go to catch up. On the other hand, the writing (aka. dialogues) is great. I love that pretentious medieval tone! Dialogues are one of my favorite parts of medieval high fantasies and I'm glad to see that it survived the graphic novel medium. The art is also good in general, and there are a couple of spreads that are especially stunning. I wish the characters' faces could be more consistent from page to page though, since the drawing changes so much sometimes that it's hard to recognizable who's who if not for their hairstyle and clothes. All in all, I hoped for better but this wasn't bad for a first experience with graphic novels. I'd be interested in reading the second installment to see what happens next. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    Honestly, it amazes me just how many projects authors like Brandon Sanderson can juggle at any given time. Dark One Vol. 1 is written by Sanderson, adapted by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, and illustrated by Nathan C. Gooden and Kurt Michael Russell. All of which begs for our attention. We've all had dreams of finding our way into other, more fantastical worlds. Yet that dream became a reality for young Paul. Once, he had visions of a strange world. Then, one day he found himself trapped in Honestly, it amazes me just how many projects authors like Brandon Sanderson can juggle at any given time. Dark One Vol. 1 is written by Sanderson, adapted by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, and illustrated by Nathan C. Gooden and Kurt Michael Russell. All of which begs for our attention. We've all had dreams of finding our way into other, more fantastical worlds. Yet that dream became a reality for young Paul. Once, he had visions of a strange world. Then, one day he found himself trapped in that very world. Worse, he is very much not the person he dreamed himself to be. Where he had pictured himself the hero of that fantastical world, in reality he's the villain that makes the people tremble with fear. This begs the question, can he escape this fate, or this world? I went into Dark One Vol. 1 with sincerely no idea what to expect. I knew that I've loved Brandon Sanderson's writing in the past, and in general I'm willing to give many series that come out of Diamond a try. But that's about the extent of my expectations. So I was pleased with what I found inside the pages. Paul's story is a fascinating one, with some seriously major twists and turns. I love that it flips all expectations on its head, and in general really has fun running with that concept. I do wish that the pacing was just a bit slower in the earlier parts. I feel like I didn't have much time to grow attached to Paul's character before the world got flipped on its head. Maybe that's for the best, considering the path that Paul is now heading down. Hard to say. The artwork is divine, and Nathan C. Gooden and Kurt Michael Russell did a fantastic job of bringing the story, characters, and world to life. It really made the whole experience a bit more memorable for me. It's the color palette in particular that is really sticking with me, if I'm being honest. It reads as a cross between a desert and a fantastical world, which actually does seem to be fairly on point. Still, it's not a combination you see every day, and that makes it stand out. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next volume of this story. I have a feeling that Dark One Vol. 2 will get darker before all is said and done, and I will do my best to prepare myself accordingly. Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

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