The Reckoners, bk 2
by Brandon Sanderson
Warning: There are spoilers for Steelheart, the previous book, in this review.
The sequel to Steelheart does not disappoint. David has succeeded in killing the Epic who murdered his father, an Epic the world thought untouchable. Now that David is no longer blinded by revenge -and Megan is somewhere out there with Prof's target on her back- he's beginning to wonder whether killing Epics is really the right answer.
Don't get me wrong. David's not going soft. Some Epics have to die. But David's a nerd (no matter how he denies it). He's spent his entire life studying Epics -their habits, their powers, their weaknesses- and the more he learns, the less sense any of it makes. Epics defy all laws of nature. They shouldn't exist. But somehow they do. Ever since Calamity, this is something people have simply come to accept. There is no explanation for the Epics; they just are.
David isn't so sure.
The pulse-pounding action doesn't let up for a second, of course. The Reckoners are faced with a new Epic adversary, Regalia, and travel to Babylon Restored to take her on. But nothing about this story starts to feel repetitive. There's no lasting feel of 'so this is the norm', because Sanderson never gives us a minute of rest. It seems like this Epic might actually want the help of the Reckoners. Or she just wants to slaughter them. It's a really tough call. Either way, she's got something up her sleeve and Prof is determined they won't get caught in her trap.
When David realizes that Megan -ahem, Firefight- has entered Regalia's employ, he's faced with a tough choice. Megan or the Reckoners?
While trying to stop the homicidal maniacs from destroying Babylon Restored, David chases down his ever-increasing questions about the Epics. What are they? What turns them evil? Is there a pattern they're not seeing? And -most important- can any of them still be saved?
One of my favorite things about Steelheart was Sanderson's unbelievable ability to throw plot twists at me. Seriously. I usually see those things coming. But half the stuff in that book came at me out of the blue. And I remember thinking, about halfway through Firefight, Man, it's too bad he can't throw any more of those at me. But what else could possibly be left? I mean, you read Steelheart? What on earth could possibly top that as far as plot twists?!
Whereas Steelheart blew me away with its plot twists, Firefight really caught me with the science and mythology behind this universe. Through David, we're plunged even deeper into the Reckoners' world, and the incredible depth of Sanderson's imagination will never cease to amaze me. My mind is still reeling.
David is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. His sincerity, his reckless heroism, his utter faith and conviction in the people he trusts, and so. Many. Bad. Metaphors.
“I mixed with ordinary people about the same way that a bucket of paint mixed with a bag of gerbils.”
― Brandon Sanderson, Firefight
I'm loving him more and more as his journey continues, because throughout it all, he's still David. He's just somebody who wants to do the right thing, no matter how hopeless or pointless it is. He refuses to back down, even if he's outnumbered or outgunned. I root for this guy every step of the way.
There's only one thing about this story I was disappointed about, and that's the fact that Abraham and Cody aren't around much. While David travels with Prof and Tia to Babylon Restored, the other Reckoners stay behind to keep an eye on Newcago. I'm suffering some serious Cody withdrawals. (Next time, more Cody. There better be so much more Cody!)
Pssst! Don't miss out on the giveaway...