**Warning! If you haven’t read Steelheart which is the first book in the trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, there will be spoilers ahead. You can read my review of the first book instead if you haven’t started the series yet!**
Firefight by Brandon Sanderson is the second book in The Reckoner’s trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I read (and LOVED) Steelheart almost exactly one year ago and the only reason I have waited so long to start Firefight is because the conclusion, Calamity, is coming out next month and I really didn’t want to have to wait between books. Firefight picks up a short time after Steelheart ended (there is a short story between the two called Mitosis which I ended up reading when I was 3 chapters into Firefight because it kept being mentioned. It ruined Mitosis’s weakness for me which may be why I didn’t love the short story as much as I could have if I had gone in blind). David and Prof end up taking a trip to Babilar or Babylon Restored which is a borough in Manhattan after a High Epic named Regalia sends some of her cronies to Newcago to target The Reckoners.
The world of Babilar is really interesting! In Newcago our characters were surrounded by steel and everything had a very industrial feel whereas in Babilar, there’s water and neon spray paint illuminating the city everywhere. The culture between the people from each town is very unique and there are more free spirited folks living out in the open in Babilar. They even mingle with Epics at parties which is a pretty shocking change for someone like David. A large portion of the town also pray to an Epic that no one has ever seen named Dawnslight who is often regarded as an urban legend. Dawnslight is said to provide the city with food, light and other essential components. On the way to Babilar we also catch a glimpse of the ruin and devastation that land outside of major cities has faced in the age of the Epics. There are barely even any roads left for the characters to safely travel on and they have to be super careful about drawing attention to themselves.
David’s character went through a very natural phase for someone in his position during Firefight. His lifelong goal had been to exact revenge on Steelheart, the epic who killed his father, and he managed to complete that in the first book. Now that Steelheart is gone, David feels a little bit lost and he’s not totally sure what his life objective is. This is a feeling that many 19 year olds experience on a much lesser scale so to see his future fears amplified in Firefight is something I really enjoyed. David lived a very isolated life so he is full of quirks and not everyone takes him as seriously as they should. In Firefight David begins to question his beliefs on Epics and because of his age, he has a difficult time persuading the more senior members of the team. He also deals with newfound fame (the population starts referring to him as Steelslayer) and it causes other Epics to actively seek him out whereas The Reckoners had always operated more secretly in the past. As if that all wasn’t enough, David is also trying to handle his feelings for Megan, the Epic who worked as an undercover part of their team in Steelheart. In Firefight we also meet a new team of Reckoner’s stationed in Babilar. There’s the ice cold Val, the inexperienced but eager Mizzy and the gentle giant Exel. David, Tia and Prof leave Abraham and Colby behind and try to work with the new trio to figure out Regalia’s scheme but they’re suspicious and not overly excited to welcome new Reckoners.
Final Thoughts: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson is the second book in The Reckoners trilogy and the plot is so different and refreshing that it really took the story in a completely unexpected direction without detracting from the first book. Firefight is full of character development, especially for David who completed his life’s mission at 19 years old, and there is a finite shift in the relationships between The Reckoner’s team members. Theories begin being examined on a more philosophical level and our main villain, Regalia, is the anti-Steelheart. She’s been executing a plan since page one which doesn’t become clear until much later and the journey to the end is wild. If you enjoy stories about superheroes and you liked Steelheart you’re basically obligated to continue on with Firefight. I’m just sad I don’t have Calamity in my hands this very moment!
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. (via Goodreads)