But of course, I was in the middle of another book, so Scott got to read it first, and when he stayed up way too late two nights in a row reading it I knew it was going to be good. When it was finally my turn to read it, I finished it in an afternoon (I might read just a touch faster than my husband does).
And it’s pretty dang good, guys. Not as great as Steelheart, but I’ve read enough series to know not to expect equal greatness from sequels. But if you’re looking for the action, intensity, and amusingly awful metaphors of the first book, Firefight does not disappoint.
In this go, we are in a post-Steelheart Newcago, where the Reckoners are working to protect the city from harm. Unfortunately, a bunch of non-Newcago-an Epics keep showing up and trying to kill off the Reckoners, and it soon becomes clear that they are being sent by somebody. That somebody is Regalia, the Epic running the waterlogged city of Babilar, formerly known as Manhattan. Our metaphor-challenged hero, David, travels to Babilar with Jon Phaedrus, the Reckoner leader, secret Epic, and former friend of Regalia, to see what’s up and what they can do about it. But David’s not really on board with the mission — he’s more interested in figuring out a way to keep former Reckoner, formerly secret Epic, and crush-object Megan/Firefight from becoming the kind of evil Epic that all Epics seem to eventually become.
Soooo there’s more of that gross swoony love stuff than I would particularly prefer, but it’s actually pretty well integrated into the regular storyline so I can forgive it. Sanderson does a great job breaking out the world-building again for Babilar, a city supernaturally covered in water and somehow growing phosphorescent plants inside the abandoned buildings, including some trees that grow fortune cookies for reasons that are actually pretty cool. And he brings in more backstory to the world as a whole, explaining more about how the Epics came to be and the source of their powers and weaknesses. Sanderson also breaks out my two favorite things, suspense and intrigue, as the various players in this story maneuver against each other in ways I wasn’t always suspecting, with real motives only realized at the last second or sometimes even later.
It’s not a perfect book, but it’s super entertaining and my only regret is that I have to wait until “Spring 2016” (according to the end of the book) to find out how it ends! I will keep my fingers crossed for another Mitosis-style ebook to tide me over.
Recommendation: For lovers of Sanderson, Steelheart, superpowers, suspense, other things that start with s…