The Sunlit Man by Brandon Sanderson is the fourth and final standalone novel in his Secret Projects series. I’ve had the impression that the best will be served last. But the author did me wrong. I can’t believe that The Sunlit Man is worse in every single way than The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England! It got so frustrating that I had to call it quits at around the 50% mark. How did this happen? The Sunlit Man actually had some interesting ideas that the author is so known for creating, and it was definitely something I wanted to explore more of towards the beginning. But as things moved forward, that dreaded feeling creeped up, slowly but surely. It’s that dreaded feeling of wanting to glance at the book’s progress to see if another percent has advanced after a couple of page turns.
“If I die, that immediately stops being my problem, then, doesn’t it?” - Nomad
We follow Nomad who is currently on the run after being chased by the Night Brigade. He stumbles on a planet whose rotation is a lot shorter than others and where the sunlight is so harsh that it can actually kill you. From there, he gets mixed up with a rebel group in their fight with the planet’s tyrant ruler. While the author tries to inject humor to keep things light, it doesn’t really work. Nomad’s companion, Aux, is just plain irritating. I can see the author trying to use a similar formula with Nomad as he did with the protagonist in The Frugal Wizard novel. As one who gets to hop between dimensions and planets, knowledge can be gained and learned that may seem alien to the local inhabitants of a planet. Thus, silly and hilarious situations and conversations can be conjured up. While this was done quite nicely with The Frugal Wizard novel, it didn’t have the same charm here in The Sunlit Man. While technology plays a large role in this novel, it just wasn’t fun to read through with Nomad as a character.
“Conquest doesn’t remove countries. It removes lines on a map. Unity requires something else.” - Nomad
I’m semi-glad this project series is over. No longer do I have to wait for the next novel! As it stands, I still have Tress of the Emerald Sea as the best in the series, with Yumi and the Nightmare Painter in second place, The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook in third, and finally, The Sunlit Man a very distant fourth and last place.