Shadows of Self (Mistborn)
by Brandon Sanderson
Edited by Moshe Feder
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath;
Interior Illustrations: Isaac Stewart and Ben McSweeney
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765378552
Date: 06 October 2015 List Price $27.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Back from the Roughs, Waxillium Ladrian now fights crimes in the heart of Elendel. He has the resourceful Wayne and Marasi with him to help fight and solve crimes. Solving crimes and capturing criminals isn't enough when old powers rise and fight the system they helped create. Wax sees people from his past he thought were truly gone, he wonders who or what is digging up his past.
Wax is a rarity in that he can use both Allomancy and Feruchemy. This makes him formidable, but he also like a show, and that makes him a target. His fiancÚ Steris is all that could be expected and more, but Wax seems to fight their engagement.
Wayne, knows his partner and uses a completely different path. Although his past weighs on him. One mistake can cause a lifetime of pain.
Marasi is not following a typical path. She was destined for law, but she found she wanted more. Her new position causes issues as she did not follow the acceptable path.
The city is near rebellion and there are multiple groups and individuals positioning themselves to take advantage of the chaos. But underlying it all is a struggle that goes back many years. Wax will have to reach out to an ancient power to deal with the current problems.
Wax has a lot of issues to deal with from his past. By the end he has dealt with a few, but many more lurk. He has to come to terms with his life position and the city in which he lives. The city is changing, Wax has to find a new place in it.
Shadows of Self is part of an established universe. It is the second novel following the actions of Wax. As part of an established series it isn't the best starting point. But the mix of magic and technology is interesting and well worth the time. The development of technology to address the various abilities of allomancers continues to develop. It is a logical progression as people find ways to protect themselves from things they cannot control. Over time some powers will be more relevant than others and it will be interesting to see how improved technology limits and expands allomancers.
Another of the interesting aspects of this novel are the newsprint breaks that add to the story and provide the perception of the people. Reading the related news stories and the unrelated ones gives information that would be hard to work in otherwise. Wax is interesting in that he isn't nearly as powerful as the main characters in the original series. He needs to find ways to overcome more powerful enemies. That is what makes the stories interesting.