Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Shadows of Self is the second book in the Wax and Wayne series (Mistborn Era 2), and it lives up to its predecessor in every way possible. I would say this one isn't as funny as The Alloy of Law and it has a heavier tone to it. That makes sense though because the stakes are higher here as our heroes combat a rogue Kandra who is not only a deranged killer, but also deals some shocking revelations along the way as she tries to throw the city into chaos, while pitting religious factions against each other.
If there is a downside to this book, I would say it is that we don't really get any plot progression concerning what Wax's uncle is up to with the women he has kidnapped. I was really hoping to find out more about that. I guess we will have to wait until book three to find out more.
I once again loved the characters. Wax, Wayne, Marasi, Melaan, and even Steris were all great. Steris grew on me a little more, even though she does play a disappointingly small role in the books so far. I can relate to Steris with her social awkwardness, but not with her super planning and plotting of everything. She was a little too cold for me in the beginning, but we get glimpses of warmth underneath her cold façade here and I like that.
To me, Marasi is the best female character in the books. I like her adventurous spirit and her courage. I also like that even though she has a thing for Wax she doesn't sit and pine over him or act stupid about it. I think Sanderson did a good job of showing her disappointment in Wax's rejection without making her bitter or jealous. Some of her best parts in the books are during her interactions with Wayne. They are always priceless. And Wayne - what would these books be like without him? I don't even want to think about it. He is the comic relief for sure. He is to Wax what Ron is to Harry in the Harry Potter books; a great sidekick.
Here are a few of my favorite Wayne-isms from the book:
“Spectacles. They were kind of like a hat for smart people.”
“I ain’t drunk,” Wayne said, sniffling. “I’m investigatin’ alternative states of sobriety.”
“Proper loafing requires company. One man lying about is being idle; two men lying about is a lunch break.”
“It's better if I have a hat...You wanna know a guy? Put on his hat."
I also loved the conversation Wayne has with Melaan about accents. And Melaan is a great addition to the story. She is a truly interesting character. I foresee lots of good stuff in future books involving her character.
Wax is his usual self, the lawman from the Roughs who isn't quite comfortable being back in the city. I enjoyed the scene near the beginning of the book where he and Steris enter the party by landing on the balcony instead of walking through the front doors. And he wears his mist coat to the party. His interactions with Steris are nice and they have a good rapport, but I'm holding out hope that he will end up with Marasi. Those two belong together!
There is a shocking twist thrown into the story that is pretty devastating for Wax and in the end we leave him at a very low point. I thought the ending was pretty agonizing and I'm glad I have the next book right here so I can start on it right away. Originally I thought this was a trilogy with all the books already released, but I just learned that there is a fourth book being released and it's not going to be released until next year! Ugh, I was trying to avoid a wait like that! Hopefully the next book will not end with a huge cliffhanger or anything.
Oh and before I go - this fan art! I love it so much.
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