CBR #149 — Elementary, My Dear Gunslinger

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

While not McAuthoring to the extent of Patterson and Woods, Brandon Sanderson and Chuck Wendig are two of the most prolific authors out there.  Honestly, Wendig’s got about five series rocking at current — all enjoyable.  But Sanderson.  Motherfucker’s called BrandonBot for a reason.  He’s got five or six series rocking too.  Huge, massive sprawling tomes.  And most of them are part of some larger Elantris type world where they might all be branches on the world tree or levels of– I don’t EVEN KNOW.

But this Mistborn series is on a whole other level.  It’s purported to be a trilogy of trilogies, but even that is now completely crunked.  The first three Mistborn series took place in a kind of medieval fantasy world, where the characters can bend metal kind of like in Avatar or Jim Butcher’s excellent Codex Alera series.  Great stuff.  THEN.  Sanderson is supposedly going to write two more trilogies, one which takes place in our modern world, and one which takes place in the future. Okay.  SO.  Sanderson then gets tasked with finishing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.  As if the motherfucker doesn’t have enough on his plate.  But while writing that, he was getting jammed up, so he decides to write, as a diversion, The Alloy of Law.

The Alloy of Law is set in a pseudo late-1800’s western type world.  It’s a direct offshoot of the Mistborn trilogy, only here, those characters have become the gods of this world.  And the metal bending is slightly different.  Because now they all have guns and old-timey motor cars and such. It’s excellent.  But it was just supposed to be for funsies.  Instead, Sanderson decides, shit, I’m just going to whip out a whole new trilogy.

Shadows of Self is that first trilogy book.  Now, I don’t know if this is supposed to be the middle trilogy, or if this is just kind of its own thing.  And supposedly this all ties into his master world theory of which– holy fuck, I’m losing my breath I’m so pent up.

This one was just okay.  It’s a fun story, with the excellent Wax and Wayne as a sort of crime fighting duo, as they try to stop their town from revolution.  It got a bit convolution, and a little overwrought at times.  It’s hard to complain, because overall the artistry is so awe-inspiring.  It’s not bad, not by any stretch of the imagination, and could easily be a 4-star.  But it’s just…okay.

Still, I highly recommend this series.  Get on it now.


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