Mitosis is a fun short story installment of Sanderson’s Reckoners series that goes between Steelheart and Firefight. I say “short story” even though the cover says it’s a novella because it took me less than an hour to read.
The story picks up shortly after the end of Steelheart. As such, I’m going to assume anyone reading this review will have already read Steelheart. If not, be warned, this review will hold spoilers for that book.
At the beginning of Mitosis, David and the Reconers have taken control of Newcago after defeating Steelheart, the immensely powerful epic from the first book. They’ve established a reasonable amount of stability in the city, but most people are still waiting for the other shoe to drop. They scurry through the streets with their heads down afraid to hope, convinced another epic will come to subjugate them soon. And they’re not wrong.
The premise of Mitosis is exactly that. A powerful epic has come to Newcago to take down Steelheart’s killer and claim the city for his own. I won’t go into the epic’s power or how David and the Reckoners react, as that’s the core of the story. What I will say, is that it was an entertaining way to spend an hour.
Short though the story is, Sanderson doesn’t disappoint. His prose remain cleans and on point, the stakes are high, the pace is fast, and the characters remain true to form. I imagine the story would have been less engaging if I didn’t have the background of the characters and world from the first book, but I think it would still be enjoyable.