Publisher: Tor Books
Paperback: 383 pages
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Shadows of Self is my fifth Mistborn book and umpteenth Brandon book, but the first one I’ve actually reviewed! I got this one on the Libby app, which can get you free ebooks if you sign up using your library card.
As Shadows of Self is essentially the 5th book in a series and the second book in a smaller subseries, I’ll provide a simplified summary that shouldn’t give away too much about Mistborn as a whole if you haven’t read it.
Shadows of Self is book 2 of the Wax and Wayne series, a continuation set in the same world as Mistborn, which is another discussion entirely. Wax and Wayne are friends and lawmen in the city of Elendel. Wax (Waxillium Ladrian) is a skilled allomancer and feruchemist, which essentially are two different ways of using metals as a source of power. Wax’s abilities include being able to push on metal objects (think unidirectional Magneto) and being able to augment his own weight (light as a feather, heavy as a locomotive). Wax is the heir to his house’s fortune and is at odds with his noble heritage – all he wants to do is hunt bad dudes, not go to tea parties. His friend Wayne is also an allomancer and feruchemist. His abilities allow him to create “speed bubbles”, which speeds up time for anyone inside, essentially allowing them to move at super speed. Wayne can also augment his health, storing it by staying constantly slightly sick and using that health later on to recover from fatal wounds like gunshots or blows to the head. They are joined by their friend Marasi Colms, a constable in the city watch who has the opposite ability of Wayne – she can create a bubble of slowed time around herself, freezing herself in place while the world around her moves at a normal pace (it’s not entirely useless!).
In Shadows of Self, Wax and Wayne are on the tail of a shapeshifter gone mad. This kandra, whose name is Bleeder, is murdering people throughout the city. When the Governor’s life is at stake, Wax, Wayne, and Marasi join the cause to find and kill Bleeder. The kandra is ancient and ingenious, and able to take the shape of anyone she kills. If they’re going to stop Bleeder, these friends might need a little bit of divine intervention from a god.
This is a fun book, but I’m not over the moon about it. The original Mistborn series was fantastic. This one builds upon it and there are a ton of cool easter eggs, but I feel like I’m not as connected to the characters this time around. I will say, at the end of the book there’s an interesting twist that makes this book worth it from a Cosmere perspective. I’m definitely going to read Bands of Mourning, if only to find out what the end of this means.
Review by Griffin