This is all spoilers all the time.
So Vin is a character I thought was super well done in the first Mistborn novel. This time around it’s not going so well for me.
She keeps claiming that Elend Venture is a good man and he loves her. This is what she says over and over again, and yet she refuses to talk to him about her problems. She’s always being told not to trust people in her head, and the one person she should have the most faith in, she doesn’t. Then some dude comes along out of nowhere and she believes every word he says and lets him manipulate her without fight and without struggle. Her internal dialogue is always “Don’t trust anyone, don’t trust anyone” and she doesn’t. Then some person she doesn’t know comes along, working for the enemy, clearly with the goal to manipulate and distract her, and she falls for it. This isn’t the case of well defined character traits being exploited, this is just maneuvering characters to a position where they can be duped and feel guilty for it later. I already see it coming and I’m not amused. It wouldn’t be bad if there was an explanation I bought. Here’s the problem I have.
Elend Venture is fucking great. Like, really fucking cool. So fucking cool. He’s a good guy. He’s the best man Vin knows. I understand, and to some level empathise with the idea that Vin doesn’t believe that she is worthy of being with Elend. That makes sense with all of her insecurity issues. What doesn’t make sense is that she never talks about it with anyone. The other problem with this is that we’re suppose to buy that Vin may actually choose to go with this other guy instead of Elend. If this made any sense to me, I’d still not want to follow Vin anymore because that would make her a pretty awful person. It’s not that her choosing to hurt Elend’s feelings would make her bad if she was pursuing her own happiness. That’s not it. It is the idea that he makes her happy and he is willing to do what he can to make her happy. She loves him, and her reasons for leaving are selfish and self defeating. She won’t be happy with Zane for a hundred reasons described to us between the first book and the first half of this book. She knows this, and the only reason she would be doing it is because she doesn’t want to talk to her boyfriend about how she feels insecure and he can be like, don’t be dumb, and then things can move on. (Note: Since writing this post I’ve finished the book. This is basically what happens.)
I understand that Zane is using magic on her to some degree. I get that, but Vin is good. Vin would be rolling copper hard around someone she doesn’t really know. There should have been some sort of internal dialogue when she wasn’t around him where she thought about the inconsistency in feelings she has around him. Maybe I’m wrong, but nowhere does it mention that she puts up walls of copper to prevent herself from being manipulated by Zane. This is just a stupid move. I don’t buy that someone as skittish as her would make this oversight.
The final thing is this. Fuck Sanderson’s ideas of gender roles and shit. It’s really freaking frustrating to have to sit through a bunch of “I’m not a lady cause ladies do this.” This is especially frustrating when there are women who did exactly what vin is doing. It’s also stupid to have to hear a bunch of “well you just know how teenage girls are. They’re all fucked up.” and also, “Man, all women are weird, but this one especially so.” Just seriously stop this. There’s no need. The book is also majorly heteronormative. The only time we get references to teenage boys acting odd it’s in reference to how women make them feel. And before you come in with some bullshit about “he’s being accurate to a time period”, he’s not. He has no need to make his society like this at all. Refer to the last post I wrote actually. I don’t want to rehash to much of this, but he’s made an entirely different society and an entirely new world. Why import our society’s sexism?