Saturday, 17 January 2015

Fire With Fire

I have been waiting for Firefight, the sequel to Brandon Sanderson's Reckoners series, ever since I finished the novel and novella back in August. I finished the latest addition to the series about an hour ago... and my mind is still blown. WOW. I'm speechless. I mean... WOW. Of course I knew the sequel would be excellent, but I didn't know how intensely it would get my heart pounding, how intricate the story would be, how much more mythology would be divulged, and I definitely wasn't expecting the ending. A thrilling, enjoyable adventure from start to finish, highly recommended to everyone I know. The year is just beginning, and I can already tell that Firefight will be at the top of this years best reads. I've already reviewed the first two books in the series here, but I still say that you should believe all the reviews and praise you've been hearing and just read the books. They are absolutely worth your time, and if this sequel is any indication, the best is on its way. A spoiler warning in is effect.

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.

So, where do I even begin?! There's just so much to love about this novel and I don't want anything to be spoiled, so I think I'll skip some of the plot details and go into the parts I enjoyed most about it. First of all, the story itself, was deep and complicated, drawing more on Prof– David's mentor and friend– and his past. Regalia turned out to be a more cunning and dangerous villain than first realized, and it's no stretch to say that her schemes nearly cost David everything.

Anyone who wants to know more about Epics– the superheroes who aren't so heroic– and their weaknesses/affliction. It almost seems like they're dealing with a disease rather than embracing their gifts. This becomes clear with David's interactions with Megan (yes, she returns, and yes, she is just as awesome as ever)– the aptly named Firefight.

Every character is strong, three dimensional, and interesting, but the standouts have always been David, Prof, and Megan. The main character, David, is still firm in his beliefs that Epics can't all be evil, and his courage, dedication, and fortitude make him an ideal, sympathetic lead. And his metaphors are worse than ever.

I was very pleased with the progression of Megan's character. She's fiery and dangerous, but not only do we learn more about her powers (which are even more complicated than you think), but we see a stronger side of her humanity. She wants to save everyone from herself, but isn't sure how, and places her trust in David, who has never doubted her. Their relationship is strong and encouraging, and I want to see how it progresses later in the series.

And Prof... Oh man, I can't tell too much without giving away the incredible twist at the ending, but let's just say that things have gotten more and more complicated for him. He's always been formidable and ludicrously powerful, but the evidence of that power and the havoc it wreaks on him are clear in this book. Like Megan, he wants to believe in David, but he pushes himself to the brink. He's definitely a tragic, heartbreaking character to read about, and I know the next novel will make me insane over his actions.

I have nothing but utter praise and astonishment for this series. From the very first page, you're hooked and drawn in to a complicated world where nothing is black and white, no one can be trusted, and nothing is as it seems. The action and inventions help maintain a fast-paced unique story with strong visuals and heartfelt scenarios. This is science fiction and urban fantasy at its best. An absolute recommend to everyone and their dog. Waiting a year for the next novel is going to be agonizing, but with writing as exceptional as this, it's proof enough that it will worth the wait.


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