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Shadows of Self - Brandon Sanderson Book Review

Shadows of Self - Brandon Sanderson Book Review


Spoiler Free Review: I was pretty disappointed with this after enjoying Alloy of Law so much. I thought that the story seemed more thin and some of the characters were kind of glanced over. There was some worldbuilding that I liked (more below), new characters that were good additions, and it felt like this story increased the stakes in the broader series. But, the Antagonist(s) in this one weren’t as interesting or threatening. The pacing felt off to me, I had no trouble getting through pages but it didn’t breeze by like the first one did. It wasn’t as exciting either, I described the first book as ‘cinematic’ and I would not say the same about this one. Overall I just felt like things were missing. I’m still excited to read the next book but if I had enjoyed this book as much as Alloy of Law I probably would have finished Bands of Mourning and the Lost Metal by now. Good but not great. This was less Sherlock Holmes and more The Batman. Still X-men but on a coolness scale it dropped from Magneto to Professor X. 3.5/5

Spoiler Review: One thing that I really wanted to include in this review was a mention of how Brandon Sanderson writes love. One of my problems with this book was that they didn’t really give Steris much of a role. The way that Steris cares about Wax is such a great example of real love to me that I thought for sure she would end up being vital to the story. Sanderson doesn’t have her profess her love in a dramatic display, he simply has her acknowledge something about Wax that other people don’t notice and he appreciates it. It’s not Romeo and Juliette love, it’s Mom and Dad love and I think it’s subtle genius. It also highlights my problem with this book specifically, none of the characters get to have their moment. Alloy of Law had a perfect ending in my mind, every character got to use their specialty in combination to take down the undefeatable enemy. From what I remember, and I blame the book for this not being a lot, Wax figures out the mystery then shoots the bad guy. This book really just felt like the set up for the sequel. My last note is a positive one, I loved the introduction of the Terrismen culture. I thought their enclave sounded really interesting and its description was vivid. I hope we get to spend more time there and learn more about their journey since the Remaking of the world. It was good but not great, in a year I’ll probably forget all of the distinctions between this book and the others. 3.5/5

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