Firefight (Brandon Sanderson)

Firefight (Brandon Sanderson)Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #2
Published by Gollancz on 16-01-2015
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours & 37 minutes
Source: Purchased

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.

Plot: ★★★★


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.

Other Reviews of FirefightRinn Reads | Not Yet Read | The Book Addict’s Guide

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Steelheart (Brandon Sanderson)

Steelheart (Brandon Sanderson)Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #1
Published by Gollancz on 24-09-2013
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 12 hours, 14 minutes
Source: Purchased

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning - and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Plot: ★★★★

Despite being a huge fantasy fan, I have a confession – Steelheart is actually the first Brandon Sanderson book I’ve read.  I bought the audiobook of The Final Empire but I hated not being able to visualise how names were spelt etc, so I returned it.  I picked up Steelheart instead because the plot looked great, and there were normal names so I hoped it’d work on audio for me.  And it really, really did!

The storyDavid’s father was killed by an Epic, and ever since, he’s sworn revenge against the Epics.  The Epic who killed his father though, is none other than Steelheart, the reigning Epic, said to be invincible.  Since his childhood, David has been learning everything he can about Epics – their strengths, their weaknesses, their abilities – and now, he’s trying to convince the Reckoners, the infamous group who takes down all Epics, to let him join them.

The characters

David, our main character, is great.  Despite his protests to the contrary, he is, at heart, a geek – he’s like a walking, talking Epic encyclopaedia, and he could talk about them for hours.  He’s got drive and ambition to kill the Epics for certain, but what he’s got above all is passion, and that’s something that made it impossible for me to dislike him.  Combine that with his terrible metaphors and the fact that his point of view on the world will have you laughing out loud, and he’s a definite winner.

The Reckoners are a bit of a mixed bunch, but I really liked them.  Cody is a bit silly at times, putting on Scottish accents and talking about leprechauns and so on, but he’s a good guy, and he and Abraham, the more serious of the two, balance each other out perfectly.  They’re like Ari & Janco (Maria V. Snyder), Silk & Barak (David Eddings) or even Tyrion & Jaime (Game of Thrones) at times.  Basically, I loved them!  We also have Tia, the brains behind the operation, and Megan, the girl David can’t stop eying up, but who’s far more interested in working on the Reckoner’s mission.  Finally, the leader of the group, Prof, the guy who makes the decisions and provides the Reckoners with the tech they need to even the fight with the Epics a little.  I didn’t mind any of the other characters, but David and Cody were definitely the stand outs for me (though Megan was pretty kick-ass so points for that).

final thoughts

If you like superheroes – and really, who doesn’t? – Steelheart is definitely worth picking up.  It had action, drama, serious moments and funny ones, a little romance and a great protagonist….what more could you really need?

If you’re considering it on audiobook, I can also say that MacLeod Andrews did a great job, and since finishing Steelheart I’ve gone actively searching for other things he’s narrated (though in my head, he IS David, so I’m not sure how well that will work!).

Buy it? This one would be worth buying in my opinion.
In a nutshell: A dramatic superhero story with a great main character and plenty of funny moments.

Other Reviews of Steelheart: Rinn Reads | There Were Books Involved | Bookworm Dreams

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