Brandon Sanderson – Firefight (with bonus short story review “Mitosis”)
Read my review of book:
Length: 432 pages
Genre: Superhero (Supervillain, actually) young adult sci-fi
Started: 05 March 2015
Finished: 09 March 2015
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? New Brandon Sanderson book!
flooded New York and no way
to kill her? No prob!
Summary: After killing Steelheart, David and the Reckoners try to rebuild the city of Newcago, but David’s whole life has been fueled by a quest for vengeance… and now that he’s achieved it, he’s not sure what to do with himself. Soon Prof decides it’s time to leave, and they head off to Babylon Restored – a flooded city formerly known as the island of Manhattan – to help the Reckoner cell there. Babilar is controlled by Regalia, a High Epic that can control water. The Reckoners don’t know her weakness, however, so they’re not sure how to kill her… and to make matters worse, she has other Epics running around in the city – Obliteration, who can absorb and then release stored energy, repeatedly turning himself into a human bomb, and Firefight – or Megan, as David still thinks of her, when he’s planning how to save her from her powers and from the other Reckoners. They’re going to need all their skills to bring down Regalia, but every time they draw on Prof’s powers, he edges closer and closer to the dark side.
Review: I really enjoyed this one (which is as I expected, but always nice to be right). It’s got all of the things that Sanderson does well: a quick-moving plot, awesome fight scenes, and creative worldbuilding where everything works together seamlessly. I found it maybe a little slow to start with – part of that was getting my head back into the world of the Epics, for sure – but then I got caught in the Sanderson avalanche and could barely put it down. The fight scenes were great, easy to visualize and exciting, particularly those in which David’s using the spyril water-jetpack. I thought the setting was very cool – I’m a Chicago girl at heart, so of course I loved the first one, but I could picture Babilar much better than I could Newcago, but Sanderson paints the scene so well that I could absolutely see the flooded city with the phosphorescent glowing graffiti. And as good as the worldbuilding was, the magic system was even better (or the superhero powers system, whatever.) I don’t want to give too much away, but in this book, David starts to understand more about how the powers and weaknesses fit together, and starts to piece together some of the explanations – although there’s certainly a lot of explanations left for the third book… I can’t wait! 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: This will make basically no sense if you haven’t read the first book, but if you like superhero stories or Sanderson’s other books, the series is pretty great.
First Line: I watched Calamity rise.
I also read the short story “Mitosis”, which is set not too long after Steelheart. David and the Reckoners have wrested control of Newcago from the Epics, but now they need to convince the people of the city that they too can fight the Epics, and live free from their control. Things are not going so well, and then a new Epic comes to town: one whose power in the ability to divide and duplicate his body at will… and he’s come to town specifically to find David. This was a fun story, full of action, and one of Sanderson’s characteristically excellently imaginative fight scenes. I think it would work well enough on its own, although some of the background and character quirks (David’s penchant for bizarre similes, for example) might be confusing to someone who hasn’t read Steelheart.
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