Firefight is the second book in prolific wunderkind* Brandon Sanderson’s YA series, The Reckoners, which is about what would happen if the world suddenly developed superheroes, only the superheroes were all of them evil, power-hungry, maniacal psychopaths. The Reckoners are a group of normal people (well, mostly) dedicated to bringing down those superheroes, called Epics in this world. Nineteen year old David is our protagonist and POV into this world. When he was a kid, he watched as infamous Epic Steelheart killed his father, and he swore revenge. The first book in this series was all about David achieving that revenge. This book is all about the fallout.
*I will ask this question for the hundredth time: How does he write so many books so fast and they are all of them GOOD? (When asked this question, not by me, at the Tucson Festival of Books last year, he responded that it helps that not only is writing his job, but it’s also his hobby. His idea of taking a break from a book he’s working on is to start working on another book (or story or novella, etc). So yeah, I suppose if I didn’t spend so much time reading, writing book reviews, baking and cooking, watching all the TV etc., I might have the time to be as prolific as Brandon Sanderson. Man, that guy must love writing.
For me, that fallout was very emotionally satisfying. Instead of being even more gung-ho about killing Epics, David has responded to being “Steelslayer” by beginning to feel BAD when killing Epics. He feels empathy for them, and he has this new crazy idea about their weaknesses that could totally change everything. This is not an attitude his fellow Reckoners understand AT ALL. The book even addressed some of the concerns I had about the first book, most notably it lacked the annoying character Cody who insisted last time upon using the contraction ‘y’all’ to refer to a singular person, it gave David an emotional arc (he was too focused on revenge last time), and it did this while moving the world and the story in an even more interesting direction. (His vision of post-Epic New York City was also fascinating.) David’s metaphors were more bearable here than I found them in the first book, probably because I’ve really grown to like the kid. (Also, they’re not metaphors! They’re similes SPOILER as Megan points out to him late in the book END SPOILER.)
At this point, saying the Reckoners books are my least favorite of Brandon Sanderson’s novels is like saying cookies and cream is my least favorite type of ice cream. It may not be my top choice, but if you gave me a half gallon of it, it would be gone within a couple of days, and I would have enjoyed every bite. Firefight was just as good as I was expecting it to be, but in a different way than I was expecting, if that makes any sense at all. Up next from B-Sand, the second Wax & Wayne novel in December, followed closely (like, within a couple of weeks!) by the third book in January.