Chaos

[Spoilers] Shadows of Self Full Book Reactions

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I don't have much to add. I listened to the book on audio and it is much harder to pick up clues, at least for me, that way.

I knew the body that bleeder had taken was going to be lessie's.... but I was still blown away when she WAS lessie. (Sorry if I got her name wrong, don't have either nook in front of me at this moment.)

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Augh, haven't been made to feel these sorts of feelings from a book in a long time...

 

What I liked also about this book is that Harmony's involvement is justified beyond, "hey, let's do this for some fan-service!" There is some crazy stuff going on that potentially involves another Shard... or some hitherto unknown Cosmere denizen of doom! In either event, I'm afraid this is point more towards the main conflict of Mistborn Trilogy Two (the Modern Era one), which is also pretty neat, since I was wondering how you could go beyond the main conflict in the Era 1 trilogy.

 

Also, it seems that the spikes in the perverted subterranean humans were also the same. On page 328:

 

TenSoon came up with a thin piece of metal, silvery and perhaps as long as a finger. Did it have a red cast to it, or was that just the blood?...

 

"One spike," TenSoon said, turning it over. "Any more, and Harmony might have been able to control these beasts. How could such a change be effected by a single spike? This is a level of Hemalurgy beyond my understanding, lawman."

 

 

 

And for comparison, from the epilogue:

 

A small spike, long as a finger, made of some silvery metal with dark red spots, like rusted bits.

 

 

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Could the new metal be Harmonium? It seems like Ruin could not just "sense" atium, which was his own body... could we get the same with Harmony and Harmonium? 

 

Hopefully not... I really like the idea that a Shard is invading.

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Could the new metal be Harmonium? It seems like Ruin could not just "sense" atium, which was his own body... could we get the same with Harmony and Harmonium? 

 

Hopefully not... I really like the idea that a Shard is invading.

 

Harmony did not know what the metal was, and it seems likely he'd know what harmonium was. He could be lying, but...

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Hey, I was right, Tan was a Kandra. Of course then that changed. Poor Wax.

Fun sarcasm to Harmony.

MeLaan and Wayne were awesome. I wonder if Harmony can make willing people Kandra.

TenSoon! I've missed him.

Hoid driving carriages again, we have confirmation he survives SA.

New Hemalurgic monsters, not good. (But cool, I wonder if Hemalurgy has different bindpoints for God metals).

Wax is Harmony's Ruin, TenSoon is his Preservation. We know what Wax does, what does TenSoon do?

Aradel is pretty awesome, that was exactly what the mob needed. Sanderson once again pulls off the group dynamics exactly right.

Loved the conflict here, why do bad things happen to good people? For Wax, he's dealing with that right now.

Overall, this was darker than I thought initially it would be. Some nice romps, but very pervasive somber mood. Very deep read, more potential reactions on the reread.

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Does that preclude Autonomy since we only just found out about it?  Which revelation came first?

Excellent point. Since both of these answers came from the same Midnight Release (if I'm not mistaken), I think this is definitive evidence that it is not Autonomy.

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Are we going to talk about the most important thing in the series - the soonies? Wolfhound plushies created in the image of TenSoon?

Clearly Scadrial's Teddy bear!

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Does that preclude Autonomy since we only just found out about it?  Which revelation came first?

Technically this was about... oh, three minutes after that reveal.

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Excellent point. Since both of these answers came from the same Midnight Release (if I'm not mistaken), I think this is definitive evidence that it is not Autonomy.

 

We knew about Bavadin/the Shard on White Sand before this, though.

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Chaos was standing right behind me in the line. Maybe 3 or 4 people between us. He got one of the first peeks at the answer. After Zephrer (my brother), and peng (who was right behind me and caught up before I showed everyone else) and a random usher that was standing there.

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We've got a new shard or god on our hands. That's really frightening. If it's Autonomy, that means we're in serious trouble. Also, I can't help but feel that, as with most of Brandon's novels, it's a puzzle we won't have every piece to until the very end. Harmony isn't telling Wax everything, and

given the summary of Bands of Mourning, I don't think that Bleeder was just being figurative about cutting off Harmony's hands.

Edited by Bucephalus
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I think the universe just performed some kind of intricate WWE finishing move on Wax at the end of the book here. I'd actually felt things were a bit weak in terms of building off of the events of the previous novel (especially with regards to the Set), but I think it ended up more than meeting my expectations.

 

 

I gotta admit though. Kind of surprised nobody (as far as I've checked so far) has drawn comparisons to Sazed's loss of faith yet. There's something ironically delicious about it all. The random tragic death of a loved one for Sazed shattering his faith, yet as god, he deliberately* goes and hurts Wax even worse. I suspect that this will be a major stumbling point for Wax in Bands of Mourning...or perhaps for even longer than that.

 

*Admittedly, Wax is better at coping with grief than Sazed was, and going by what Meelan said, Harmony knew that. There's a grim kind of "for the greater good" logic to using a tragedy to move Wax across the chest board, especially when Harmony can make sure there isn't actually a direct victim of the tragedy. Though it seems that poor Paalm's despair and desperation unexpectedly rendered that last point moot.

 

Being Waxiwillium is suffering.

Edited by Numuhuku
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Dyamn. Just finished listening to the audio version. Thoughts incoherent. Have to collect feels.

Sanderson isn't the only one who gets better with each book, so is the fantabulous Michael Kramer.

I could see who the Governor was early on in the book, but thruthanout Lessie hot me out of nowhere. Outstanding.

Loved so much about this book. Me want more Melaan and more Steris.

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My first reaction was, Brandon Sanderson, you sadistic SOB.  That pretty much summarizes my entire set of feels about this book!

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In hindsight, the person most likely to be able to plant someone at Winsting's gathering was the governer. Should've seen it. He's been making the riots worse the whole time.

The Lessie thing . . . well, I had a hunch. She calls him Wax even when out of character, as if she was familiar with him initially, and mostly tries to distract him instead of eliminating him directly. She reads him way too well, and when she was busted at Innate's room she said he "always" sees too far. Paalm must've been someone close to him before, only friends and family speak this way. Plus we had a Lessie prologue that did not seem to tell us anything important relating to the case, or so we thought. Kinda was in denial until the end though.

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I've been lurking on here forever, decided to finally make an account and join in on all the fun and theories. This book definitely lived up to the hype that I had created for myself over the last few months. 

 

Just random thoughts about the book, I was a huge fan of the increased presence of characters from the original trilogy. It was nice seeing Sazed come back, since he was probably my favorite character from the trilogy. Flawed as ever, and as someone had mentioned in a previous post, I also noticed the lack/question of faith connection between Sazed and Wax. Will be interesting to see how that pans out. Also, Soonie dogs. I nearly died laughing, between the idea of it and the obvious disdain that TenSoon had for it. 

 

I really want to see more of Steris in the next book. Her interactions throughout the series have been small in comparison to Marasi but she has really grown on me, with the epilogue being the icing on that cake. Also, really enjoyed the interactions between Wayne and MeLaan, hoping that gets expanded on as well in the future books in this trilogy. 

 

I figured the governor was somehow involved in the attempted fall of the city but I was leaning towards the governor being a secret Set agent, especially once Edwarn told Wax that Bleeder was working with the Set. Having the governor be Bleeder herself was a nice surprise. 

 

But the twist at the end with Bleeder having been Lessie the whole time, and that Harmony had sent her to protect Wax for years was shocking for me. I definitely didn't see that coming. And the line, "I killed her again." Way to stomp on my heart, Brandon. 

 

Cosmere stuff, yay another Shardpool! Can not wait to see the mystery unravel with the new metal as well. Hoping we won't have to wait a long time for answers to come to fruition with that one. 

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Is this the first outright sad ending for a Cosmere book? 

I'm used to Sanderson books ending on a high note.  Sure, bad things happen, but they're at worst bittersweet.  Kelsier might die, but he dies to achieve his goals.  Even Well of Ascension, where the good guys "lose" didn't hit me this hard (Maybe because Straff gets what's coming to him and Luthadel is saved).

But here, there weren't any bad guys (Apart from the Set, who were pretty tangential).  Just victims.  I felt bad for everyone. 

Part of it is that I shared Wax's disillusionment.  Damnit, after the Mistborn trilogy I thought that Sazed would be a great god.  But I absolutely see Harmony's point about humanity's lack of drive.

 

Just... Ugh. 

 

I hope Bands of Mourning shows hope for the future.  I miss the optimism of Alloy of Law.  

Edited by Tarion
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something else that i realized only in retrospect, there is a nice inversion of a common genre trope.

 

In many stories, the villain will talk to the hero in an attempt to shake his resolve or make him mistrust his companions. The hero should realize the villain only want to manipulate him, and refuse to listen; in truth, generally the villain is weaving lies with just enough truth to make them believable, or he's speaking truths, but using flawed logic to draw wrong cconclusions. Either way, the hero should ignore him, but he generally does not, and will often trust the villain over his own friends. See for example the three ta'veren in the wheel of time believing  ishamael speaking in their dreams to the point of not seeking help with the aes sedai who had saved their lives before. It's very rare for the hero to not be affected by the villain's words. probably a case of checkov's gun; if those words won't have an effect on the story, you don't include them.

 

Well, in this case wax did absolutely the right thing, i.e. disbelieving and ignoring, and yet it turned out the villain was absolutely right.

Not that wax should have acted any different anyway, paalm/bleeder/lessie was crazy and needed to be stopped, but still.

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I'd say Well of Ascension really wasn't all that close to happy in the slightest.

What with doing all that work trying to hold a democracy together only to unleash destruction incarnate and end up sending Elend's own ideals to commit suicide to ensure the world at least lives another day.

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Not that wax should have acted any different anyway, paalm/bleeder/lessie was crazy and needed to be stopped, but still.

Certainly. If for no other reason, than her own good. Though I can't help but think there might be some potential contention about what to do with paalm/lessie *after* she'd been stopped. I'm not entirely sure Wax would happily hand his 'wife' over to the people who took her away from him in the first place.

 

 

Which does bring about a grim thought. How convenient was it for Harmony's plans for Wax that Paalm remove herself from the equation?  Finding out his 'wife' was alive would have done a lot to uproot Wax from settling into Elendel. Not that I think Harmony actually controlled Paalm and made her take her own life (it'd have been easier to just make her not tell Wax anything), but it could be a dark suspicion on Wax's part for quite awhile. 

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Hmm, yeah, I think this may be the first true sad ending to a Sanderson book. Even with Ruin's release at the end of The Well of Ascension, Elend's recovery and acquisition of Allomantic ability were a big stand-up-and-cheer moment. 

 

Here, it's just... man, I didn't think Brandon had it in him. 

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My major reactions, apart from my jaw hitting the floor when the whole "Harmony doesn't know this metal" and the "Another God" things happened, my biggest reaction is Hoid.

 

As much as I enjoyed the Wax and Harmony discussion, I was dying to listen to Wayne's and Hoid's conversation. It never came. I was so distraught. Why, Brandon? Why deprive us of the hilarity that would have been?...why?

 

Anyways, I really liked Steris in this book. Considering I liked her a lot from AoL, I'm now loving her. I really hope we get more Steris in the coming novels. I really do. I also liked how the whole Marasi/Wax romance was dialed way down, considering I prefer the Steris/Wax relationship.

 

Also, Wayne and MeLaan were fun. I'm looking forward to them interacting more in the future. Also Ranette, who had a very small part in this book. I hope she gets explored more in the coming novels.

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