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Yumi and the Nightmare Painter: A Cosmere Novel

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The characters of Yumi And The Nightmare Painter are something of a mixed bag. My friend recently described Painter as having “edgelord vibes,” and that’s not entirely incorrect. Painter’s growth throughout the novel redeems him in some ways, but it still leaves lots of room for improvement. He begins the book as a lone warrior, painting nightmares solo even as his colleagues band together for their patrols. He describes his former friends to Yumi with no small dose of disdain, clearly hurt by something that happened in the past. His energy for the first half of the book is grating, and it led to a longer-than-usual reading time for me. Mistaken for Incest: Yumi introduces herself to Akane as Painter's sister... and then mentions how they took a bath together recently. It might be for the best that all that got buried under Yumi mistaking Akane for Painter's concubine. At the end of the story, when Yumi is saved, Painter has to explain that the girl he's suddenly kissing a lot is not his sister, but his "girlfriend from another city." Apparently, his friends still didn't believe it until his parents showed up and confirmed they didn't have a daughter. Gentle Giant: Tojin. While he is very big and seems obsessed with his muscles and exercise regime, in reality he is a good person, and a little shy.Brilliant, but Lazy: Painter is actually one of the best artists in his city, but he's too lazy to paint anything more complicated than bamboo. His failure to be accepted into the Dreamwatch despite his talent convinced him that his art was bad and so he stopped trying. Emotion Eater: The nightmares seem to gain sustenance from the fears of humans. This is because they are themselves former humans and absorbing the raw emotions of living people (specifically fear, being the most primal) help them regain some sense of their humanity.

New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson adds to his Cosmere universe shared by Mistborn and The Stormlight Archive with a new standalone novel especially for fans of Asian pop culture. Illustrated by Aliya Chen. Yumi, on the other hand, is a tragic delight. She’s kept in an emotional prison, unable to think or feel for herself. During her adventures with Painter, she discovers freedom. She makes friends. She lives for the first time. And she begins to understand all the wonderful, terrible things that living can bring.

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter is a novel of The Cosmere by Brandon Sanderson, the third of his "secret projects" written during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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