A review by Nalini Haynes
Publisher: Gollancz (Hachette)
Format: Hardcover, 96 pages
Steelslayer, aka David, is living the life in Newcago post-Calamity. Calamity was the asteroid that brought superpowers to humanity. If power corrupts then superpowers corrupt superbly. David is an ordinary teenager working with the Reckoners, the freedom fighters who reclaimed Newcago from Steelheart and the Epics (the name of my new band).
Mitosis is an Epic who splits himself into more and more images like Agent Smith in the Matrix. Mitosis is out for revenge, to conquer Newcago and destroy humanity’s hope for freedom. David is the rabbit fleeing from Mitosis the greyhound.
Mitosis is a pretty hardcover book with a short story of 44 pages, the equivalent length and complexity of a decent-sized comic book. This short story is a Reckoners novella, a sequel to Steelheart without quite achieving the same humorous overtones. It’s obviously leading to the next novel in the series, an appetiser to keep the fans engaged.
After the short story is an interlude featuring comic-book-style images of 3 Epics with bios as if drawn from the Reckoner’s files. Although I like the texture of the paper and the scrapbook-style layout, the images are too dark, with insufficient contrast resulting in murky pictures. Some of the text is unreadable, trapped within the gutter (where the pages meet in the middle of a 2-page spread).
If I was a gambler, I’d lay money that the short story and the 3 Epics featured are leading in to the next novel, along with hints of a traitor in the Reckoners’ midst. [dun, Dun, DUN]
Next up is a 25-page excerpt from the next novel, Firefight, consisting of the prologue and a few chapters. This excerpt can be read as a second complete story as it has a reasonably satisfying ending while also hinting at things to come.
Mitosis is a must-have for Branderson fans and those collecting the Reckoners series. Comic book fans may also enjoy the multimedia aspects of the story. The Reckoners novels will appeal to a very wide audience; I recommend Mitosis to some readers in primary school as well as to YA and adult readers.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars