Wednesday, January 7, 2015

ARC Review: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

**** This is a sequel and therefore the review may contain spoilers for the first book (the synopsis definitely contains spoilers) so if you haven't read Steelheart then go read that and then come back here! And if you need more encouragement check out my review of Steelheart****

Title: Firefight
Series: The Reckoners #2
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Published: January 6, 2015 by Delacorte (Random House)
(Amazon / Goodreads / Audible)

Synopsis: Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Words of Radiance, coauthor of Robert Jordan’s 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

*** Thank you so much Mark at Mental Megalodon for letting your ARC hit the road and sharing it with me.***

I'm so excited to finally be sharing this review on the blog. I read Firefight in an amazing week in mid-December and I have been holding onto this review ever since but I can finally share my thoughts with you all and I am so excited to flail about it! Firefight is a truly fabulous sequel to a fantastic dystopian series with an engrossing and creative world, complex and likable characters, and action-packed plot full of surprises.

I read Steelheart almost a year ago and it started an obsession for me and that obsession is Brandon Sanderson. I was absolutely blown away by his writing. The world he created, the complex and likable characters, and the mindblowing reveals that I will forever refer to as the "trademark Sanderson plot twist." It was one of my top five favorite books of 2014 and after the way it ended I couldn't wait to get my hands on Firefight. So when Mark offered to share the ARC he won I flailed like nobody's business. And while reading the flailing didn't stop, if my Goodreads comments are any indication, I flailed even more.

One of the things I loved most about this series is the world that Brandon Sanderson has created. And in Firefight he expands this world both internally and externally. The internal world of this series is the Epics and it's dystopian nature. This is not really your average dystopia. Sure things are bad, something happened making society as we know it crumble, and a small corrupt group of people have taken over and are oppressing the average person. The only difference is that the thing that happened and the corrupt group of people, are superheroes. And these aren't your average superheroes, it turns the traditional idea of heroes on its head and makes them the villains. In this series Sanderson explores this idea that power corrupts and even those with supernatural powers aren't immune to that, in fact they are even more susceptible. It's such a creative and engrossing concept and in Firefight we get to explore that on a much deeper level. In Steelheart Sanderson created this "magical system" that had clear rules and a hierarchy and here in Firefight we learn more about these Epics. And what we learn is that, what we thought we knew was just the tip of the iceberg! This further exploration into the world of Epics is brilliant and engrossing.

The external world of this series that gets expanded is the vivid setting that is utterly captivating. As the reader you can completely immerse yourself in the luscious world of this book. And one of the best expansions of that setting is that we get to travel beyond Newcago. The bulk of this book takes place in Babylon Restored, the post-apocalyptic New York City which has been flooded by a Epic much like Steelheart turned Chicago to steel. Sanderson is a master at the show instead of tell form of world-building and does another fantastic job of explaining what this place is like in a way that you can perfectly visualize everything. From the underwater skyscapers to the vine-covered buildings, to the glowing spray paint, it was all interesting and outrageous but it feels so real and like you are actually there experiencing it.

And our relocation gave us a group of new characters to get to know and love along with some old favorites. Unfortunately, we did lose some of my favorite secondary characters from the first book and while I did miss their "voice" I didn't feel like there was anything lacking in the book without them. I think that was because there were some amazing new characters. We got to spend some time with a great new group of Reckoners who really quickly warmed their way into my heart. But I particularly liked the new antagonists. All the new Epics were so cool and devious with amazing powers. My personal favorite was probably Obliteration who not only has an amazing name but the most terrifying and badass power I have ever seen. But then of course there are the characters from the previous book that we get to know better like Prof and Megan who both have incredibly interesting character arcs throughout the series. (Speaking of Megan how hard do I ship this ship? SO HARD! I will definitely go down with this ship. I feel like I am on crows nest looking out for land or fellow shippers). Sanderson always does an amazing job of creating characters that are complex and likable; characters that you become invested in and the characters in Firefight are no different.

And of course the person you are the most invested in is David, the main characters and protagonist. David is one of my absolute favorite characters. He's the perfect "everyman" and it's so easy to connect with him and his struggles throughout this series. He's smart, resourceful, and creative. He has had this really fantastic character arc becoming a hero and a leader. I really loved seeing him develop and evolve with this series. But David's biggest evolution was with his thoughts and actions. Throughout the book they perfectly mirrored the books exploration of good and evil. He has this admirable faith in humanity and his thoughts on Epics has evolved so much. He has sees the best in everyone and has this need to help others, but at the same time that means destruction. It's a really interesting dichotomy and one of my favorite things about this series. But my other favorite thing about David and this series is the humor. The series perfectly balances the serious moments with David's terrible metaphors and other ridiculous jokes. I can't wait to see how he develops in the last book in the series.

I also can't wait to see where the plot will take us in the final book in this series. I can't even begin to predict what will happen. If I've learned anything from the eight Sanderson books I read last year is that you cannot even begin to know what is about to happen. Firefight was a non-stop thrill ride full of action, adventure, and mystery. The plot of this book was expertly crafted as it slowly built to an amazing conclusion with so many thrilling scenes along the way. And the best part of course is the "trademark Sanderson plot twists." This book shocked me so much. Not only in terms of the big reveals about the world but also the direction the plot and characters went in. I spent so much of this book on the edge of my seat either biting my nails or trying to pick my jaw off the floor. Most of the plot deals with the expanded exploration of the world and that idea of power and corruption, but this is not your average fight of good against evil. It's much more dubious than that, and that is what I love about the plot of this series. It lives in that grey area and makes you question everything and everyone. And like all good series it had a specific plot line for this book and further explored the more big picture plot line of the series. It had me confused and enthralled and I cannot wait to see where it will go in Calamity, the final book in the series.

I give Firefight by Brandon Sanderson 10 out 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! This book is not to be missed. If you liked Steelheart then you will of course like Firefight. It's just as good if not better than it's predecessor. If you haven't read Steelheart, get on that and read both that and this book. If you like Fantasy, Dystopia, Science Fiction, superheroes, crazy plot twists, complex characters, themes of power and control, fights of good versus evil, basically if you like anything read this book!

Have you read Firefight? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and of course HAPPY READING!

Oh and one more thing, as if this review wasn't long enough. I have a special treat. I am a huge fan of the audio of this series and even though I read an ARC I will probably still listen to the audiobook because it is that good. Thanks to Audible I have a four minute clip of the audio of Firefight so check it out, get excited, then head over there to get a copy, and love this book like I did!


  1. Im so jealous.. I fell in love with this series in early September and posted a great review on the first book. Ever since I've been trying to get my hands on the ARC for this book because of how much I loved the second book. You're definitely one lucky duck and you've made me so hyped for this book with your wonderful review. new characters... ohh boyy I'm so excited

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  2. I did feel very very lucky when Mark offered to share his ARC! I was also desperate to get my hands on a copy I hope you've gotten yours and that you love it. IT'S SO FREAKING GOOD!

    1. LOL I weep. Still hugging the covers of the first book! I'm so glad u enjoyed it though. really makes me happy when other people like read the books I've read before and then love them. It's like, "finally I have someone to talk to about this book!"