I finished Brandon Sanderson’s Shadows of Self a few days ago. It’s the seventh novel published in 2015 that I’ve read and actually the second by Brandon Sanderson. Shadows of Self is a Mistborn novel set in the “Wax and Wayne” time period, which has very “turn of the century” flare to it.
I really liked The Alloy of Law, the first novel in this time period, so I was pretty excited about Shadows of Self and, while I thought it was pretty good (4 out of 5 stars), it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. In this novel, Sanderson pulled in the mythology from the first trilogy and worked it into the very fibers of the plot. In some ways, I liked that, but, in other ways, I didn’t.
Alloy of Law was so unique and unexpected. You could pick up little hints from the original series and get a vague idea of how and why the world progressed as it did, but it was fresh and new and had a life of its own. But then in Shadows of Self, Sanderson basically just went and explained all of the mysteries and connected everything very firmly to the characters and events from the original series, which made it feel much more like an extension of the original series than its own unique world.
Despite that, the plot was excellent. It was fast paced and exciting with plenty of suspense and mystery to keep you interested. And the ending was so good. So good.
I was also very glad to be reunited with Wax, Wayne, and Marasi. I really like all of the characters from this series. They are each very different, but work very well together.
I think there’s a pretty decent chance that this will make my Hugo nomination list. If I had to make it right now, I think it would, but it’s already kind of a tough call. Out of the seven novels that I’ve read so far that were published this year, none of them really stand out as being way better than the rest so it’s pretty hard for me to figure out which two I would cut, but it may get easier as I read more.
Right now, I’m listening to Red Rising by Pierce Brown, which is really good so far. I’ll almost definitely listen to Golden Sun after that, which will give me another 2015 novel. And then I think I might dig into John Scalzi’s Old Man’s war universe, because I read the first one a long time ago and really liked it, bought the second a year and haven’t listened to it yet, and I’m hearing good things about the latest installment, The End of All Things.
As for actual reading, I’ll be traveling soon so I’m going to stick with what’s on my Kindle. I have at least a half dozen novels lined up on there, but none of them are from 2015 so I guess I’ll have to take another hiatus for a bit.