Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

(Reckoners, #2)

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.

“This time, when she’d pointed it at me, she’d flicked the safety on. If that wasn’t true love, I don’t know what was.”

This is one of those series where I read it too slowly - I feel like I'm behind the mark half the time in starting the original, now the second book, and I'm dragging my feet on the third. Why, I have no idea, it's just one of those weird procrastinating things that doesn't do me any good because these well-written books bring fun times to my reading life.

Plus, with all of it's strengths, it's fun because it's so funny. There's a rabid battle going on and life-and-death struggles, but David continues to tickle my reading bone every chapter. It's humor that works easily and made me actually laugh aloud and few times.

David is still determined to make his mark known in the war that Reckoners wage against the Epics. They've made such well-marked progress since the fight against Steelheart that they are now moving ranks for another purpose - trying to take a bigger bite out of the battle by tracking down answers in 'Babylon Restored.' There David meets some new allies, but his ties with existing ones are shaken.

The author concentrates heavily on the romantic element that bled through the first book, focusing on Firefight and whether she can or cannot be trusted. Clearly David thinks taking a gamble is worth a risk, but convincing other characters about this monopolizes a lot of the book. Sometimes it almost grew aggravating, but it also made interesting tension amongst the team.

It's easy to picture this Dystopian world clearly - I can see the battled cities that have been worn down and decayed, evolving based on the powers in control. The new Epic introduced is creative and frightening - it wasn't possible for me to guess her angle and I was surprised at the ending twist. There was a big game changer in the end that was tragic-sad - it leads to an exciting opening for the next book, but it's still bittersweet.

Since we know what's happening now, we don't get the thrill of seeing David experience an epic's betrayal for the first time and struggle to make the team accept him, but we do get to see dissension in the ranks and how the team keeps evolving - good and bad. Coming to a new city and facing a new foe keeps things fresh and intense.

It seems there's a little bit more downtime since so much focuses on David's inner thoughts and struggles concerning team balance or his interesting in Firefight, but when action is there, it's well-paced and written in a captivating way.

In some ways I preferred the first book because of the exciting battle and the unknown element, but in other ways I like the second better because it seems to have a smoother flow and less frustration since the characters are already in an established team.

   Book Quotes:

“We want what we can’t have, even when we have no right to demand it.”

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