Series: Reckoners #2
Published by Gollancz on 16-01-2015
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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.
In Firefight, we go with David, Prof and Tia to Babylon Restored, a new city in what used to be Manhattan, to face the Epic there, Regalia, and for David, to try and find answers about Firefight.
I admit, when I started Firefight that I was disappointed to find we were getting a new cast of characters – Abraham and Cody were two of my favourites from Steelheart, so not having them there on every adventure was disappointing. Combined with the fact Megan wasn’t with the gang either, I admit I was a little less enthused.
In the end, I liked the new characters we got to meet – Regalia is completely different from Steelheart, which was really interesting, and Mizzy has this infectious enthusiasm that makes her hard to dislike. Ultimately, I did miss the old gang, but once I adapted to the new group dynamic, I quite liked this one too!
The setting reminds me in some ways of the city in which the Zaltana’s live in Maria V. Snyder’s books, or the city in the Rain Wilds of Robin Hobb – although those are treetop cities. In Babylon Restored, Regalia has raised the water levels, creating a city made up of skyscrapers barely surfacing, connected by bridges. I think Rinn was spot on with saying it has a jungle vibe – the bridges, the plants and the sense of being less industrial that comes from the raised water levels and the people camping definitely made me feel that way too.
I felt like Firefight had quite a different feel to Steelheart – David’s burning with questions, there isn’t as clear a mission, no one really knows what to make of Regalia, and of course the team is different. The differences aren’t bad at all, and of course they’re necessary unless you just want the same thing twice, it’s just that I was quite attached to the first one! For me personally, I liked the very clear mission of the first book, and there were times when Firefight reminded me a little of Jurassic Park 3 – like it was trying to ‘one up’ the danger level compared to Steelheart but instead just went a bit too far.
Buy it? This is one worth buying for me.
In a nutshell: This didn’t quite live up to Steelheart for me, but I still really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to read book 3.