Who am I kidding? If you read the first four Mistborn novels, you’re likely going to read this one. If you didn’t, well, I don’t know what to tell you.
It’s not that Brandon Sanderson novels are without teeth, but he’s almost goofily squeamish about sex and sexuality. They tend to have some interesting ideas about religion and faith, have good action, a reliably interesting and intricate magic/abilities systems, and he’s good at embedding genre fiction into his genre fiction. His political writing is nonpartisan and focuses on the manipulation, his mysteries involve clear goals and detective work, and his westerns deal well with what makes something outsidery against a cityscape. This novel has all those parts. It’s light on fantasy, but this more so than the previous book spends a lot more time focusing on the world-building aspects of the series.
I like that these books feel optional in terms of the grand mythos of Mistborn, but I also like that he went a much different direction. This book also speaks to one of my issues with his writing (at least in the Stormbringer Archives) which is using American idiomatic phrasing to explain or narrate. This book seems to suggest almost a many Earths notion of the universe/a kind of Enlightenment notion of societal growth. At one point, they talk about “you all should have gotten _________ technology by now”.
Anyway, I liked it. I will read the next book when it comes out. If you’re wondering is it worth your time? Well, he’s taking these books seriously. They have less gravity than the previous ones, but they’re enjoyable. And if his other series is the one you’re much more into, you’ll have plenty to work with here.
I listened to the audiobook version of this one. It’s read by Michael Kramer, who is great and pretty much is the author of Brandon Sanderson books so far as I am concerned.