Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson, Published by Tor, Borrowed from the Library.
Mistborn’s bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial’s progress in its tracks.
Shadows of Self dug deeper into everything Alloy of Law introduced, painting a bigger picture and making me love all of the characters even more.
“If what you say is true, then all lawmen are predators.” 151
Shadows of Self was just, wow. There was so much more of everything, and there were lots of parts that just had me saying “whhaaaat??” There were also a lot of parts that had me cracking up, and a few that had me shocked and numb and sad… (second books in Brandon Sanderson trilogies, am I right? *ahem*) There were so many great things about this book, and if you liked the Mistborn trilogy you definitely need to read this second era. Actually, even if you haven’t read the first Mistborn trilogy, you should read Alloy of Law and then pick up this second book. Really. Do it. It’s so great and cool and intense and fun.
“You think everyone is hiding something.” 233
One of the best things in this book was character development and backstory. Character backstory is one of my favorite things and Shadows of Self was filled with so much beautiful, sorrowful backstory. Of course, Wax and Wayne and Marasi were already well formed and nuanced characters in the first book, but Shadows of Self really showed what made them tick. There were so many character defining moments that I loved. Character development is just <333
I especially loved all the extra scenes with Wayne. He has all the best jokes and one liners, and he is just so wonderfully odd. There is definitely some pain there but he is such a hilarious guy. He may be my favorite character, actually.
“Already I fear I have made things too easy for men.” 134
Beyond just development of characters, the book went much further into the culture and the customs of this second Mistborn era, and how and why those customs came to be. One of my favorite parts of the first Wax and Wayne book was reading how the world had grown and changed since the Hero of Ages, and there was so much more of that in this second book. There were also FAR MORE cameos of characters from the original trilogy and I was SO happy about that.
The plot in this book had a much wider scope. It had many more ramifications for the whole world. Many more questions are raised and many elements barely brushed upon in the first book are brought to light. As the second in a trilogy Shadows of Self had a very intense build, which makes me both very excited and very very scared for the third book.
“All part of Harmony’s plan. All actors on a stage. That’s what you are too, Waxillium Ladrian. It’s what all men are.” 170
Along with the overall plot having a wider scope, Shadows of Self had Wax and co. fighting a much different enemy. One that forces him to figure out very different strategies and methods. That was a very great twist on the story, and helped make this book not feel like a repeat of the first one at all.
“How did you fight mythology with a microscope?” 254
Unfortunately, what this book gained in depth and worldbuilding, it lost in action. Shadows of Self was certainly tense, but it didn’t have the fast paced fight scenes and chases of the first book. Then again, I read this book in one day, so it must have done something right in the pacing and adictability column.
There are so many reasons to read this book. Great worldbuilding, lovely characters, tense mystery… Basically, just read it. You can thank me later.
Now I’m going to discuss this book in full spoiler mode! If you haven’t read this book, scroll no further!
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