Era two of Mistborn got off to a rocky start. Alloy of Law isn’t a bad book by any means, but it couldn’t quite reach the same heights that the era one books did. But maybe book two will help put things on the right track!
Now deputized, Wax and Wayne continue to tackle crime in the city of Elendell while hunting Wax’s uncle. However, things in the city are quickly taking a turn for the worse. The lower-classes are beginning to boil towards revolution, egged on by a murderous Condra in disguise. It’s up to our dynamic duo, along with their allies – normal and divine – to find this killer and stop the city from falling.
Shadows of Self isn’t much of an improvement over Alloy of Law. There are some aspects that are better than the first book, but overall it’s about on the same quality. Which isn’t a bad thing; it’s still a good book. Just not mind-bogglingly amazing.
Bleeder is a much more interesting villain than Miles was. Their motivations are pretty weak and not all that engaging, but their actions in the story make up for it. A rogue Condra turned serial killer? It’s the perfect foundation for a murder mystery! It even adds a nice bit of gruesome horror into the story, an excellent touch.
As for our returning cast… there’s not much to say. Wax is still the same as he was. Wayne actually gets some great character development, further cementing his place as the best character. Marasi’s arc steps away from romance (thank god) and becomes more about work-place politics; still not great, but an improvement. The group dynamic is as enjoyable as before.
One odd addition to this book is the occasional snippet of an in-universe newspaper. This contains little glimpses of news articles, short stories, even advertisements. It’s a fun way to build on the setting, even if they add very little to the actual story.
Overall, Shadows of Self is a pretty good book. It still isn’t incredible, but it’s still an enjoyable read. With this, it feels like era two of Mistborn has settled into a groove. Not one of excellence, but one of decency.
Then again, there’s still a third book. And the forth comes out in November. Perhaps I’m speaking a bit too soon.
Wouldn’t be the first time…