This novelette definitely had Brandon Sanderson's "signature" writing. The only difference was the SciFi setting. This setting is in both of the stories and it's the only reason why the rating is a 4 star instead of a 5 star. I'm not that into SciFi, but I absolutely love everything that Brandon writes so I had to read it.
Dennison is a high ranking commander type for a fleet, but try as he might, he cannot succeed at his position. This is difficult for him because he is constantly in the shadow of his perfect older brother who is amazing at what he does. He tries to convince his father and the emperor to just let him leave his position, but for some reason unknown to him they continue to refuse. He gets reassigned to another commander's ship and is told to put all of his efforts into studying his older brother's ways. From this point, Dennison learns a lot about his family, and his own strengths. The ending was great.
Last, we have Defending Elysium:
This novelette also was evidence of Sanderson's signature where everything that is confusing in the beginning sums up at the end with an exciting twist. The fact that Sanderson can accomplish this in such a short amount of story is pretty phenomenal. Honestly, for both this and Firstborn, I really felt like I got to know the character's personalities so well. It is pretty incredible what this man can do.
Summarizing this story is a little more difficult than Firstborn. Basically, Earth is now in contact with several different species of aliens. Because "The Phone Company" was the first to make contact and the only group to possess the technology to communicate with them, they negotiated peace for Earth and now are above the law. Jason works for the phone company and is on a mission to go to a space station type place. The mystery he digs up and figures out is pretty interesting. Jason is blind but possesses a power to "Sense" his surroundings, enabling him to "see". His abilities are also quite interesting.
Together these books were good to put into one book. They were great stories and took a very short amount of time to read. I think total I spent about 4 hours reading this. I would highly suggest Sanderson enthusiasts to read this, and anyone who is into SciFi. You would probably appreciate them more than I did.