Coming into Shadows of Self after not loving Alloy of Law had me a bit worried. I read the first 50 pages or so of Shadows of Self and was just not feeling it at all. I was scared that the Wax and Wayne adventures might not be for me. I put the book down for about 3 days. When I came back to Shadows of Self after reading a Terry Pratchett book, things started to click for me. This mystery, investigation style of narrative, really hooked me.
The city of Elendel is having some issues with rising unemployment and over-worked citizens that actually have jobs. The local constables are having a hard time keeping things in order and everything seems to be brewing for a possible revolution. Wax and Wayne find themselves part of the constables chasing after a murderer that is targeting leadership in Elendel. The already volatile situation in the city and this murderer stirring things up is the perfect opportunity for someone to seize power and overthrow the current Senate of Elendel.
Once I got into Shadows of Self I really appreciated the current political climate that was being addressed. There are a lot of similarities between Elendel’s situation and the United States’ current condition, the financial issues in particular. I found the antagonist’s use of shadowy assassinations and subterfuge to be an interesting way to stir up civil unrest in the city.
The mystery element of this book just really worked for me. After fantasy, the mystery genre might be my favorite genre, and I found myself really hooked on what was happening, and the clues being given. The use of ideas and characters from the previous series hooked me even more as Sanderson was finally pushing the mythos forward. I was just excited to see what would be revealed after each page. I think the character of Marsai and Wayne stood out to me more in this novel than in the Alloy of Law. The character development of Marsai and Wayne was strong as we got more of their backstory and what they wished to accomplish.
This installment of Mistborn really reminded me of an episode of Hannibal. There were a lot of gruesome scenes and it had an investigation feel to the story. The action wasn’t as domineering as it was in the first book and our main characters used their heads more. I really liked Shadows of Self and hope that Bands of Mourning delivers.
17/25 Possible Score
Plot – 4(Strong)
Characters – 3(Good)
World Building – 4(Strong)
Writing – 3(Good)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 3(Good – Mind)