The Lost Metal, the fourth and final book of Mistborn Era 2, is finally here. It's been eleven years since the first one of these--the Alloy of law--came out in 2011, so we've been waiting quite a while. There's tons of ground for this book to cover, both in wrapping up Era 2 and setting up Mistborn Era 3, and this is definitely the longest of the Era 2 books by far. So how did it go?
I think The Lost Metal was a pretty good conclusion, but this book didn't quite come together as well as Shadows of Self or The Bands of Mourning for me. I'd say this book has a lot of pieces that are extremely awesome, and while the book is good, overall the whole is less than the sum of its parts.
I think ultimately the problem is the overall plot for the book. It's not as interesting, conceptually, as what we got in Shadows of Self or Bands of Mourning, and doesn't totally come together. One of the plotlines for half the book feels a bit like it is spinning its wheels until we get to the epic conclusion (which at least is awesome). There's a lot of running around and investigating, and it is not as interesting as you might hope. It doesn't help that that plotline has two new antagonists which, frankly, I just do not like the character concepts for. Those antagonists are a disappointment for a final book when I felt like we could have gotten a lot more cool stuff. Something about that plotline did not work for me. By comparison, the other plotline in the book was so much more interesting to me, so that probably didn't help me thinking that things didn't quite gel together.
There's one more plotline that has effectively a dead-end for this book that feels like pure setup for Mistborn Era 3, which I really didn't like. I think you could argue that this book is disappointing because it doesn't deal with a few big aspects from prior Era 2 books, presumably to save them for Era 3. This book does deal with the biggest plot thread of the Era 2 series, which is good, but just brace your expectations.
The best part of the plot is the ending, which has fantastic moments and has an excellent Brandon avalanche that is tense and thrilling. Of course, I can't speak much to it in a spoiler-free review. It's really exciting. However, I would not say it makes up for some of the other flaws in the book's plotting earlier in the book.
The character work for most characters is really great. One character arc in particular I felt was 10/10 and done fantastically. The other characters were done well, too, though not as good as that killer character arc. And as Brandon has said before, Steris gets to do more in this book, which is lovely, though she still gets quite a bit less than Wax, Wayne, and Marasi. One character in the main cast didn't get that much character conflict to work with, but I didn't mind it too much. Overall, I'm pleased with the character endings for Era 2 here; they were quite satisfying.
If you are a cosmere fan, well, there is a ton to love in this book. There were WoBs that implied this book would be quite a doozy in that respect, and that is completely accurate. It's really, really spicy. I'm curious if you're a Mistborn-only reader how you'll feel about the end being more cosmere-heavy. I think it's fine overall, but I could very much understand that with this series starting in the "Brandon said stories will be self-contained" timeframe of 2011, this could be a bit jarring. For me personally, I think it's right on the line of acceptability. It's clear to me that as we proceed from now on in the cosmere--especially after Stormlight 5--we're going to get a lot of crossovers very prominently. For what its worth, I think this book does a good job of explaining the crossovers that appear in the book, because the characters are like "hey what is that?" which clues the audience in. Your mileage may vary though.
The Lost Metal is a pretty good ending to Mistborn Era 2, and is a fun read. I do think people will have some specific things to complain about and it won't be universally loved. There are things the book didn't do that are some missed opportunities, and the plot didn't come together completely for me. It suffers a bit because it's setting up the next Mistborn eras. But, it does wrap up the things it needs to do to be a satisfying conclusion. There are extremely cool moments, fantastic character work, and some really killer cosmere stuff that we will be talking about for ages. It's pretty good, but not my favorite.
Edited by Chaos