I know, I know. I’m still reading The Star Scroll, but I had the time to read Mitosis at the Sanderson signing, while I waited for our row to be called, so why not read it? It was 100% pertinent since it’s an interlude between the first and second books in the series I was there to support.
This is my first Book Review, ever. I’ve written reports for school and blurb like reviews on Goodreads, but nothing as in depth as this.
Mitosis picks up not too long after the events of Steelheart. David and The Reckoners are still in Newcago, but things are definitely getting better since Steelheart’s death. People are moving to the surface, painting the steel that covers the city in all sorts of bright colors, and there’s even a hotdog cart.
That’s where the story starts. David is teaching Abraham the wonders of a good old fashioned Chicago style hotdog. This opening mainly serves to build the world. We see Newcago as it is now, under the leadership of the Reckoners. People are still skittish and listless. They don’t think their new lifestyle will last. They’re convinced that another Epic (read: bad guy with superpowers) will come in and set up his own tyranny.
Which is what happens a couple pages later. Mitosis, an epic whose ability allows him to make endless copies of himself, sneaks into Newcago and starts to divide into hundreds of versions of himself. They each run through the city, threatening to shoot citizens until David comes forward. He doesn’t believe that a non-Epic could have killed Steelheart, and he’s ready to find the truth.
So, madness ensues. David and Abraham run about, and then get separated. As we learned in Steelheart, David has spent most of his life compiling files on various Epics. Each Epic has some sort of power, and they also have a single weakness, and they’re usually kept extremely close to the vest.
So, David runs through Newcago, attracting all the versions of Mitosis while Tia searches through the files for Mitosis’s weakness. Turns out, most weaknesses are related to something from the Epic’s life before they had powers. And Mitosis? Well, he was a rockstar, and he hated his own music so much that hearing it makes his clones turn to dust.
So, David gets cornered by a multitude of Mitoses, and starts broadcasting one of the songs over the city’s mobile network. Clones all over Newcago fall apart, but as they fade away, the remaining clones grow stronger, more real, and one shoots David. The bullet goes through his side and into his arm. A pretty bad wound for the series so far.
David escapes the room and makes a run for it, trying not to think about the fact that he’s just been shot. But, the multitude of clones are too much for the wounded boy, and he finds himself trapped in a small tunnel.
Mitosis after Mitosis crawl through the tunnel after him, single file. David sings the song, and each clone falls apart. But David’s losing blood and he can’t sing much longer. Finally, he tells Mitosis the truth of Steelheart’s death, which I won’t spoil here.
One of the main themes of The Reckoner series, and a lot of Sanderson’s work, is the power of the common man. The Epics make a point to prove that they’re better than the normal people, that they have a right to rule. That they’re the next step in evolution.
But, David’s involvement in Steelheart’s death throws a wrench in that assertion. And so do the hundreds of people singing all over the city. They sing, the song that played over the mobile network, and Mitosis, despite getting his truth, dies.
But, Mitosis is just the beginning of the trouble The Reckoners face.
I really liked this story. It took me a long time to get to like David’s narration in Steelheart, but now that I know him, it’s impossible not to love him. I will say that I found the intro a bit jarring. I haven’t looked at Steelheart since I finished it last spring, so to jump into Mitsosis was a little hard. Like most readers, I thought it was almost too short. I get it, it’s a short story, but I’m used to Sanderson’s expansive worlds. He got to skip all that since the world is established.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed this story. I love the puzzle that the Epics present. I know Sanderson’s stories, so there’s something heavy about Epics in general. Something overreaching.
This story was a great jumping off point to prep for Firefight. I’m reacquainted with the world and the characters, and I’m ready for a full length adventure!
Now I just have to finish The Star Scroll!
I hope you all enjoyed my first attempt at a Book Review. I’ll try to summarize less as the works get longer.
See you soon to talk about The Star Scroll!