Saturday, January 10, 2015

Review: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson


Author: Brandon Sanderson
Release: January 6th 2015
Genre: Dystopia, Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
#2 in the Reckoners trilogy
Series: Steelheart (#1), Calamity (#3)


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.


What Brandon Sanderson does spectacularly with this trilogy is toeing the line between funny and serious, meaningful and action-packed. There's a deep value in here, but that doesn't stop the book from moving at ultra speed. In turn, it is also extremely serious in a way and I think Sanderson handles the themes and topics in a very mature manner, still, thanks to the excellent main character, the novel doesn't lose its bouts of humor. Ultimately, this is why I love these books.

Firefight, much like the first installment, kicks off with a gripping Epic chase mission out in the field that has you in its clutches in two seconds flat. After that, there's a change of scenery up ahead, which is also something a lot of authors don't get; sometimes you just have to change up the backdrop to keep it interesting. Sanderson created a whole new, but just as magnificent, city as Newcago for the action to take place in, and he built it up very nicely. Generally, Sanderson's world-building is always flawless, so I'm not even going to waste more time talking about how great he did here.

Next up, the plot itself. As I said, it's action-packed to the brim, so there's never a dull moment, never a boring passage where you're inclined to drop the book, really. That doesn't mean that it's always high strung tension all the time, there are also those moments of terse looks and heated discussion that are just as thrilling as all the gunfire scenes, really.

Which I attribute to the fact that these characters are so great and fleshed out. The author does a wonderful job getting them to come alive on the paper and just have personality, you know? David is so quirky and unusual that he really does stand out in some way in the sea of heroes, he's truly unique. He's conflicted in his heart, but still determined to fight for his interests and relentless in pursuing them. I think I liked him even better in this sequel than I did in the first book, because he's realizing that the world isn't as black and white as he used to think it was, however, he's still willing to do the right thing and doesn't shy back from pulling that trigger if need be. He's a great protagonist, one of the best I've ever come across. Similarly, Prof is also an amazing character with his new warring sides of attitude and sense of responsibility. Sanderson introduces us to a lot of new characters that were really pleasant, but not only that, he introduces as to new sides of the old characters as well. 

The relationships were brilliant, need I say more? Especially the growing tension, mistrust and disbelief between David and Prof. So excellently portrayed.

In the end, an extremely successful sequel, if you ask me. Peppered with lots of new revelations, exciting plot twists and, as I said, awesome characters, this trilogy really doesn't disappoint. I'm looking forward to seeing how it will play out in the final book.

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