Audiobook Review: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews
Series: The Reckoners #2
Also by this author: Steelheart
Published by Audible Studios on January 6, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Length: 11 hours 39 minutes
A #1 New York Times BestsellerBrandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Words of Radiance, coauthor of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn trilogy, presents the second book in the Reckoners series: Firefight, the sequel to the #1 bestseller Steelheart. Newcago is free. 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 simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers. Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is flooded and miserable, but David is sure it's the path that will lead him to what he needs to find. Entering a city oppressed by a High Epic despot is risky, but David's willing to take the gamble. 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 now he will go on a quest darker and even more dangerous than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.Praise for the Reckoners series “The suspense is relentless and the climax explosive.”—James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series “Another win for Sanderson . . . he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period.
Firefight is a good follow up to Steelheart and I think has a great set up for the next book. There’s more great action that gives you that Hollywood blockbuster movie type of feel. But I have to be honest, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as Steelheart. One of the largest problems was that it just took me a while to get into the story. Even though it ended quite strong, I have to acknowledge that, as a reader, I wish this book had grabbed me earlier.
I’ve thought a while on why I enjoyed Steelheart so much more than I did Firefight. Honestly, I think it comes down to I the fact that I enjoyed David’s backstory and how he grew into the the Epic hunting person he is more than the actual Epic fighting parts of the story. So, when this book opens with fighting an epic with kool aid filled water balloons (that’s so early in the book, I’m going to count it as a non-spoiler), I just really didn’t care. I often felt with Firefight that I was just not the target audience, which is true. It’s YA, and I historically don’t engage as well with many YA books. There are some very strong exceptions so I never discount a book for this reason, but this book over all just did not seem to work as well for me as its predecessor.
But, the world is imaginative and interesting. We move from Newcago to Babylar (which is the new name for Manhattan). Regalia is the Epic in power there, she has the ability to control water, and uses that to hold the water back from flooding Babylar. Without her, the city would be fully submerged. With this changed landscape comes some peculiar traits, such as glowing graffiti and produce. And it is also home to Firefight (aka Megan, David’s love interest. At least before she betrayed them in the last book). This relationship and romantic interest certainly plays a role in the story and in David’s motivations. It is interesting to see how he handles seeing Megan on the other side of the fight. While this did not dominate the plot, it may have been what I was most interested in.
There are mysteries to be solved, people to save, evil Epics to kill. Even though I say it took me a while to get into, this is not a book that you could find boring and it’s far from slow. In fact, I expect many people to love it as much as they did Steelheart. And I have to admit, I think I loved the ending to this as much as I loved Steelheart. There’s a great twist and plenty of reason to read on to the next one in the series.
And as a side not, I definitely enjoyed this more than I did Mitosis, a short story set between Steelheart and Firefight, which got a rating of “just OK”.