Steelheart may be dead, but Epics still plague Newcago and David and the Reckoners have vowed to fight back.
Steelheart, the first book in The Reckoners series, was actually the first Brandon Sanderson book I’d read. The trilogy were the only books of his I’d read when I met him for the Oathbringer launch in Birmingham, UK. It didn’t matter I didn’t know (still haven’t read them) what the Stormlight Archive was, I was in love with a world about evil ‘superheroes’ and it could do no wrong.
Fast forward four years and I finally got round to reading Mitosis – a novella set between the first and second books. I was really excited to read this, to go back to David and the team, to find out about a whole new epic plaguing a city but it just fell a bit flat.
I think this is because the lack of set-up time, which I would say is a staple in Brandon’s books (see book length of almost everything he’s written), lets this down. He just doesn’t have the space here (it could have been made into a full novella I guess) to fully build on characters between books but then maybe that’s the problem, he had already set things in motion in the second book, FireFight, and couldn’t disturb them. Either way I didn’t feel connected with the epic and that’s important because with the other books in this fantastic series you can almost see why the epic is doing what they’re doing, maybe even root for them a little. It makes them exciting. Remember that a hero is only as good as the villains they face.
There are some good parts within this story. We get to hear more of David’s thoughts about epics which shows him trying to dig a tiny bit more into how the epics get their weaknesses – which is great if you don’t know and haven’t read the whole series but not great if you know because the interaction between David and the leader of the Reckoners, one of the most interesting characters, is brief. There’s also the new epic we get to see in action which shows Brandon’s imaginative abilities in a world very different to SA and Mistborn.
This didn’t show all the characters from the team but at 55 pages I can’t blame it. This is a very short – short story. If you have read the other stories in The Reckoners and want to cover all your bases then read this while you’ve got an hour to kill but if you have a TBR like mine, rest assured you can skip this and sleep easy tonight.