“Wax moved over, gun out, and glanced around the corner into the kitchen. It was just large enough for one person to lie down in. He knew this because of the bloody corpse stretched out on the floor…” ~ Brandon Sanderson, Shadows of Self
Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
Published by Tor, 2015
Re-readability: I will probably re-read this one, along with all of the other Cosmere books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Pete
This is a sequel in a very traditional sense—more of the same, but not in a bad way.
Shadows of Self returns to Wax, Wayne, and Marasi as they struggle to keep a corrupt city from collapsing on itself. There are mysteries, interrogations, and plenty of magic. It’s a blast. But it also gives us a deeper look at the three protagonists and sets the tone for the rest of the series.
Sanderson pulls off a clever plot revelation that deepens an already intriguing character toward the end of this book, and it really made the story for me. I have always felt that his characters are the strongest point of his writing, and the Wax and Wayne books are a great example of this. Characters that appear to be comical action heroes and up being much deeper—and it’s this surprise that makes the Wax and Wayne books so good.
The plot seemed to stagnate briefly around the two-thirds mark, but the fantastic climax tied things together and more than made up for the pacing issue.
Overall, Shadows of Self was a notch better than Alloy of Law, but it’s hard to pick a favorite between the two.