Hugo Novella Nominee Review- Perfect State by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson

The first of our Hugo nomination reviews from Kirsty



Oh Sanderson, how I love thee, let me count the ways…

I really enjoyed this little novella. Perfect State isn’t set in Sanderson’s Cosmere, but instead in some kind of earth based VR/Matrix/Meta style set up in a kind of Sci-Fi/Fantasy mashup.

Perfect State

We all know Sanderson can write. We know he can world-build. He really does a good job of it in such a small number of pages, especially in a world we’ve never been to before.

Here is the blurb:

“God-Emperor Kairominas is lord of all he surveys. He has defeated all foes, has united the entire world beneath his rule, and has mastered the arcane arts. He spends his time sparring with his nemesis, who keeps trying to invade Kai’s world.

Except for today. Today, Kai has to go on a date.

Forces have conspired to require him to meet with his equal—a woman from another world who has achieved just as much as he has. What happens when the most important man in the world is forced to have dinner with the most important woman in the world? Perfect State is an action-filled novella about privilege, culture clash, and expectations.”

Kai is the God King of his “state”, there are other states, and other God Kings, who are all “supervised” by the mysterious Wode. Kai is bored, he’s done pretty much everything there is to do and just spends his time fending off/fighting his nemesis Melhi who sends his robots in various ways to attack him. The Wode arrange a meeting between Kai and another state leader Sophie. Then a new adventure begins. The twists and turns that Sanderson weaves into this story are great, particularly (as said already) there are such a short number of pages.

The ending is well executed and left me satisfied….but wanting more! It definitely leaves you wishing it had been an entire novel or even a series, because it feels like there could be so many elements/adventures/characters to explore, maybe we good old Sanders will do us a sequel, who knows?!

5 stars from me!


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