Review: Shadows of Self

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

This was my audiobook pick of the month and I have got to say I really enjoyed it. It did not live up to my expectations to be honest but there were some twists and turns that I did not expect. For most of the story I was wondering what the main villain’s role played in the whole narrative and it wasn’t until the very end that I realized what kind of story this one was going to turn out to be For the most, the person who I thought was going to be the main villain and was revealed in the last book didn’t have much to play in this story which left me a bit disappointed and wondering what will happen next and how the story will round out.

Like last time I will separate this review into its different elements and then end with my conclusion.

  • Mystery

The whole story is wrapped up in the mystery of who this new villain is. They came out of nowhere and the beginning spent a lot of time on investigations and following leads. The villain was always a step ahead of Wax. It’s like they knew what he was going to do before he even did it and they would set him up for failure. The really intriguing part was when he started to see his wife among the crowd; his wife who by this time has been dead for some time now.

  • Religion

There was a whole religious aspect that took a much bigger part within this book than books previous. The first trilogy played a lot with the idea of religion and at then end took center stage so I’m wondering whether that will happen in this trilogy too. the first book introduced two main factions that had been developing in the first trilogy and now in the second has become main influences. The whole idea behind it is that god is moving things a long a path that in one way is manipulative and in another way is meant to be for the good of many. This comes into greater conflict with the main protagonist in the latter half of the book.

  • Characters

There are couple new characters added to the roster alongside the main three. There is Milan and Tensoon. To be honest, since I only listened to the book I don’t have a clue to how to spell their names haha. They are what is known as Kandra,(again another name I don’t know how to spell) which can shape-shift into animals or people as long as they have the bones to do so. They are masters of disguise because not only are they able to mimic the bodies, but the voices, and the mannerisms as well. These creatures have a big part to play in the main story as well. Milan is a newer generation of Kandra that like to take part in the world where tensoon was part of the older generation that had a part to play in the first trilogy. It was interesting to see his return.

Wax is now a more influential figure in the city while also becoming something of a vigilante. His growth is completely wrapped up in the main story which would mean anything that is said about him is a bit of a spoiler.

Wayne I realized is a genius. This book makes me realize that he just lives in a higher understanding of the world than everyone else. He’s so strange that he makes everyone else think he’s weird but in actuality he’s so smart that he just doesn’t share the same interests as everyone else. He knows exactly what to say to everyone to bother them just enough without going over the edge but still cares deeply about his companions that he is able to detect any hint of change. He, I think, has the most development in the beginning of the book than anyone else. His back story is introduced which makes me want to know more about him. I particularly found his chapters the most interesting because it was then that you were able to see his thought process. He can change his dialect to the region in order to get inside the heads of the people living there and had an uncanny ability to disguise himself as well as any Kandra could.

Marasi is a different story. now that she’s under the wings of the constabulary she feels as if she needs to prove herself. For the most part, she’s trying to make a name for herself because she doesn’t want to be known as the bastard child or thought of as the woman who got in because her father was a nobleman of high standing. Her story deviates from Wax and Waynes since she is trying to look into the corruption seeded within the noble houses. The stories do intertwine eventually.

  • Romance

There was really no development between anybody in this book since Wax is having to deal with visions of his long dead wife. There was some development for Steris, the half sister of Marasi, who is technically engaged with Wax, though more for economic gain than it is for love.

Like the last book there is always a moment or two between Wax and Marasi that make it seem like something, but no growth really. Which doesn’t give me much hope for anything really in the last book.

  • Conclusion

There was a lot of potential going into the book for something new, but unfortunately I think it didn’t reach my expectations. That being said, it’s not to say the book was not a good read, It was written really well. The characters grew on me even more and the story was really interesting. The ending had my head reeling because it was not what I expected at all! Looking back on it I think I would enjoy it more reading it a second time, now that I know what is going to happen, in order to try to pick up the little bread pieces Brandon Sanderson left that lead up to that ending. Overall, I thought the book was great though I felt that more could have been done.

Anyways with that I will end this blog!

God bless!

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