Firefight (Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: January 6, 2015 (first published January 1, 2015)
Edition: Hardcover, 432 pages
Genre: Fantasy, Superhero, Young Adult
Actually, if I could give Sanderson a superpower it would be cloning. That way he could make clones to work on all his books at once!
They told David it was impossible–that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart–invincible, immortal, unconquerable–is dead. And he died by David’s hand. Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there’s no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs. Babylon Restored, the old borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic–Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.
I was pleasantly shocked by how much I liked (and ended up loving) Steelheart, but after reading Mitosis, I had some concerns coming into Firefight. While Mitosis was a good read, it was the same formula of David trying to kill an Epic. Which is good and all, but gets real old for me real quick. My biggest fear for Firefight was that this was just going to be a re-skin of book 1 with a new archvillain to take down. Well, ONCE AGAIN, Sanderson has proved me wrong! The man’s power is super-writing.
Firefight starts off a few months after Newcago has been liberated from the rule of Steelheart. While things seems to be headed in the right direction and progress is being made, people there are still hesitant to get comfortable – especially with Epics still coming to attack the city. The Reckoners are able to make a connection between all these attacks, and it leads them (without Cody and Abraham :sad face:) to Babylon Restored to take on the High Epic, Regalia.
Once arriving, David, Prof, and Tia, meet up with another group of Reckoners already in the city. They find that Regalia is up to something. What that is though, each member is uncertain, and what her motive is, is under question as well. It seems that Regalia has been doing some recruiting though. Now it’s up to Reckoners to break another city free from the Epic’s rule! (Again, there is much more to this story than the simple plot shows)
Let me get my biggest problem out of the way right now – there is no Cody and Abraham! I could live with no Abraham, but I missed Cody’s jokes. How can you replace a Scottish-Irishman from Australia? You can’t. On a serious note though, one of my favorite parts from Steelheart was the dynamic between the members of that Reckoner’s group. The way this books started off with another Epic fight and then suddenly off to Babylon Restored to meet new people… It wasn’t the warmest of welcomes for me. But, I did lose my stubbornness and warmed up to the new group of characters. Mostly because of Mizzy. Take 1/2 super hyper, perky, ditzy cheerleader from high school, and mix that with 1/2 high school science geek, who nerds about chemical bonds – that’s her! More importantly, she instantly reminded me of David when he first joined the Reckoners.
The one thing I felt from the first book that could have been worked on, was flushing out the characters a bit more – I love character details. Sanderson does that much better this time. We learn a great depth more about the history of Prof and Tia. Prof’s character especially comes to the (lime)light this time around. David’s is expanded on greatly as well. David’s relationship with the new members of the Reckoners – Mizzy in particular as I alluded to before – and the struggle between him and Prof with the battle on epic weakness and whether or Epics can be good.
The title of the novel is Firefight, so obviously Megan will play a big role. Surprisingly I found that my favorite part this time was this little love struggle between the two of them – albeit it slow reading at times. David still has his awesomely horrible metaphors (if Sanderson got ride of those I would be furiously mad), and when he would used them on Megan, she would give a smirk and fight the urge to punch him in the face… it always made me give a little smile. Teenage love is so adorable haha!
The plot this time really picks up. I don’t even want to try to explain it, but there are some serious, multiple twists, in the story. We are still trying to figure out what the deal with the Epic’s weakness are, but for me personally, the big mystery this time, was trying to figure out what Regalia’s angle was, and what the connection was between her and Prof.
Should also mention that Babylon is cool and trippy as sparks! I think people will enjoy it. It is extremely different from that of Newcago, and Sanderson does a great job in comparing the two cities and showing how people across the world are learning to live with Epics.
One problem I can see people having with this is the ending. I can already hear people saying ‘cliché’ and complaining about that. Well, yes, you could say that, but just because some is cliché doesn’t mean its bad. Sometimes cliché is perfect.
Despite the fact that I gave this a 4.5 rating and Steelheart a 5 rating, I believe that many people will enjoy this one more. The story and plot are better, the city is just as awesome – in its own way – and key character’s backgrounds are explained. Personally, I just prefered the group dynamic of Reckoners in Steelheart, and the mystery of Steelheart’s weakness appealed to me more – but I can easily see how some would prefer these over what I like.
Sanderson is an amazing storyteller. You’d be a complete fool not to pick this up!