Rating: 5 stars
It all started with “Steelheart” and Brandon Sanderson continues the epic adventure and excitement with the second book in the series, “Firefight.” The first book ends with a satisfying closure, but the High Epics, those humans granted super powers, continue to harass and kill those less powerful than they.
From Newcago (the new Chicago), David and the other Reckoners travel to Babilar (Babylon Restored), as Manhattan is now called. The High Epic in charge there, Regalia, has raised the level of the ocean, and everything is surrounded by water.
David, the protagonist, is reckless but determined. In the first book he was determined to join the Reckoners, a group of people who wanted to bring down Epics. When he finally did join them, he was disappointed that they didn’t want to attack the really powerful Epics, just the lesser ones. David’s goal was to kill Steelheart, the High Epic who had killed his father. He was also the High Epic who turned the city of Chicago and much of Lake Michigan to steel.
As he did in the first book, Sanderson creates a new reality and describes it so perfectly that the reader will feel as if he or she is climbing the rope bridges between skyscrapers surrounded by water. The reader will see the glowing fruit and bright colors that are everywhere. Sanderson’s descriptions are brilliant.
Also brilliant is Sanderson’s sense of humor. David constantly uses figurative language to describe the world around him. Sanderson intentionally makes David really bad at creating metaphors and similes. A few examples:
“My eyelids drooped like angry drunk men stumbling down a street, looking for an alleyway in which to vomit.”
“The sun sank down like a giant golden pat of butter melting onto the corn of New Jersey. Or…wait. That abandoned city was kind of more like spinach than corn. So the sun sank down into the spinach of Jersey.”
And perhaps best (or worst): “Dust floated in the air, lit by fruit that dangled from the ceiling like snot from the nose of a toddler who had been snorting glowsticks.”
And the lame similes become a part of the story.
A big part of this story is the fact that the more the Epics use their power, the crueler and less human they get. David fell in love with Megan in the first book. At the end (spoiler alert), he found out she was an Epic. He still cares about her. And even though the head of the Reckoners is Prof, who himself is an Epic, the Reckoners do not believe that Epics can be kind. Their goal is to eliminate the Epics. Prof retains his humanity by gifting his powers to those in the group in the guise of weapons so that they don’t all know he is really an Epic.
Every Epic has a weakness, and the fact that David researched them compulsively after his father was killed means he knows as much about their weaknesses as anyone. And he is determined to find out the root of each Epic’s weakness.
The first book was powerful and exciting; the second is just as filled with adventure, humor and a fabulous first person narration. David is a great character, and this reader is excited to learn more about how his meeting with the High Epic named Calamity in Book Two will have changed him.
The series is great for reluctant readers and for those who love adventure and excitement mixed with a dash of super powers. Fun, funny and hard to put down — don’t miss it.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Delacorte Press, for review purposes.