Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Shadows of Self.jpgI’ve been waiting for a sequel to The Alloy of Law since I first read it a few years ago. This first volume of a planned trilogy to follow up the stories of Wax and Wayne is a solid continuation of the characters that I found in that book.

I’m aware of the level of puns that Sanderson is employing in this series and I’m not sure how I feel about them. The characters are named Wax and Wayne as a hint. With that in mind the story and the character development are surprisingly serious. Sanderson has adopted a strange humorous tone that is filled with puns while also taking itself completely seriously.

Somehow it kind of works.

Like I’ve always said, Sanderson is at his best when he isn’t trying to be funny. Much of his humor doesn’t work for me. These books, while they contain humorous characters and situations are not comedy in any way. They are more like detective thrillers with political intrigue and strange cults thrown in for good measure.

The story is good, the mystery is fun but what really makes this book interesting is the little bits of world history that it exposes. The transition from Mistborn to this series is not completely revealed and it’s fascinating to see people and places that have survived and find out about the ones that didn’t.

I don’t know if that’s enough to carry the book, though. It was interesting and I wanted to know more about the characters that I loved in the previous series. However, the ones in this series just aren’t grabbing me the way they should. It’s a good book but it’s not great and it doesn’t measure up to what I’ve seen Sanderson is capable of.

Given it’s flaws this is a fun adventure book with mystery and excitement on nearly every page. It’s worth reading especially if you have been looking for more in the Mistborn world.


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