Series: Reckoners #2
Published: January 1, 2015
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.
Firefight is a breathtaking sequel to Steelheart. After defeating Steelheart and achieving his lifelong dream of vengeance, Davis is unsure what he’s going to do with his life–until he’s presented with the opportunity to free Babylon Restored (old Manhattan) from a similar Epic tyrant.
Imaginative as all of Sanderson’s works, Firefight takes readers through city as unique as Newcago was in Steelheart. One of David’s first challenges is adjusting to a life so different from the one of conformity, fear, and lifeless steel he lived in while growing up. In Babylon Restored, David has to learn to fight Epics out in the open, blending in with the crowds instead of hiding underground. He has to learn to channel his passion and use his brain as much as his guns. Seeing David take on a new environment will be a pleasure for fans of Steelheart.
The ever-expanding world-building also means the creation of new Epics. Sanderson introduces a plethora of Epics with a bewildering array of powers, limitations, and weaknesses. While most of his inventions are fascinating, some of the Epics’ descriptions seem little too convenient for the Reckoner teams and a little too detailed for readers to take seriously. When someone’s powers are effective within a specific range at specific times of day under specific circumstances and from specific angles but not from others…it seems a little much.
There are times Sanderson’s attention to detail is impressive–but there are also times it is tedious. Some of the action scenes are also drawn out. In series like Mistborn, it seems excusable that Sanderson would be very explicit about how the magic he invented would work during a fight scene. In Firefight, Sanderson invents some technology he needs to explain, but it just isn’t as complicated as the world-building in some of his other series and doesn’t warrant the same length of description. I ended up skimming a lot of the fight scenes to get to what I considered the “real action,” the overarching plot.
Other than these two issues, I enjoyed Firefight immensely. It includes everything right about a Sanderson novel: action, wild twists, incredible character development. I cannot wait to read Calamity, when it seems as if the stakes for David and the Reckoners will be higher than ever.