Tea & Book Chat: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson (The Reckoners #2)

**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.

Firefight

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!

Rating 5

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)

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Waiting on Wednesday: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson (The Reckoners #3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly series hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we’re eagerly awaiting.  This week I’m choosing Calamity by Brandon Sanderson which is the third and final book in The Reckoners trilogy.  I really love Steelheart which is the first book in the series and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.  I still have to read Firefight but since I’m planning on picking that up as one of my first 2016 reads, I’ve already preordered Calamity so I can jump right into it and finish the trilogy.  Without giving any spoilers, the series is about people who wake up with powers one day but instead of becoming superheroes, they rule over regular people through fear.  The gifted people are called Epics and there are different degrees of power.  The book follows a group of rebels called The Reckoners who are fed up with being treated poorly by the Epics so they plan and carry out assassinations of minor Epics.  You can read my full review of the first book here and you may want to avoid the summary below so things aren’t spoiled for you!

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When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners’ leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back…

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying. (via Goodreads)

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Tea & Book Chat: Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #1)

I have to start by saying that The Final Empire which is the first book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy far exceeds the hype surrounding it.  It’s THAT good.  After months of watching my favorite BookTubers rave about this book and after reading and loving Steelheart (review here), I knew it was my time to dive in to this series.  Mistborn is a magical novel about a band of thieves and it’s heavily politically driven.  I hadn’t been expecting that part (I thought it would be pure fantasy) but I couldn’t help loving every word as I learned more and more about the world.

The main characters Kelsier and Vin are everything<3  Kelsier acts as Vin’s magical mentor and their relationship with each other is a pleasure to read about. Kelsier is somewhat of a father figure to Vin and she reluctantly grows to trust him after growing up in an environment that destroyed her beliefs in the general good of the human race.  Kel teaches Vin all about how to use the magic she has within and he integrates her into his band of thieves which is unlike any other Vin has ever seen.  It’s easy to see how much Kel and Vin care for each other and their friendship warms my heart.  I also really enjoyed the secondary characters, particularly Elend, from the moment they appeared on the page.

Mistborn

A big part of what makes this story so magical is, well, the magic.  Brandon Sanderson crafted such an intricate system of magic which can be used by certain people with the ability to burn a specific metal.  There is also a very rare race of people called Mistborns who are able to burn multiple metals.  He consistently explains which metals do what throughout the novel and there’s also a handy guide in the back of the book.  In addition to the magic, I loved the political system within the world and the description of the Lord Ruler is chilling.  The way that Kelsier, Vin and crew plot to overcome a ruler who is a self proclaimed god is fascinating.  It’s a dangerous adventure which resulted in a thrilling read.

Final Thoughts: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson is a magical adventure story that is full of political intrigue.  The characters are perfectly complex and feel real and the system of magic within the world is thoughtfully crafted and explained in depth to the reader.  The main villain is bone chilling and the sense of camaraderie between Kelsier’s band of thieves is heartwarming.  Mistborn is an underdog story and I cannot wait to continue with the trilogy!

Rating 6

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more?

In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage – Allomancy, a magic of the metals. (via Goodreads)

Kristin

BookTube: The Top 5 Series I Want to Start in 2015

One of the biggest benefits of getting into a series after it’s already been published in its entirety is binge reading!  I love not having to wait for the next book to be published when I’m really invested in a series.  I decided to make a video of my top 5 series that I have made it a goal to read (probably binge read) in 2015!  What series are you hoping to start (and possibly finish) this year?

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 Kristin

BookTube: February Wrap Up

I’m posting this video a little late seeing as how we’re already about halfway through March, but better late than never!  In my monthly wrap up videos I’ll be giving mini reviews for all the books I read that month along with a star rating since I don’t always have the opportunity to write a full review for each book I read during the month.  I also just became a Book Depository affiliate!  So if you’re looking to purchase some discounted books with free international shipping (for instance, those neon Hunger Games books from my January Book Haul) I’ll make a small commission if you use this link: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=superspacechick

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Tea & Book Chat: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (The Reckoners #1)

This book was sent to me by the publisher for review consideration.  This is no way swayed my opinion.

Wow. Wow. Wow.  I do not say this lightly.  Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is one of those rare books that is immediately fascinating from the first page.  It begins with a flashback recounted by the protagonist David from when he was 8 years old.  It does a fantastic job of introducing the reader to the state of the world and the Epics who’ve destroyed it.  Epics are similar to superheroes but none of them use their powers for good.  They’ve overthrown all forms of government because no one can control them or have any chance of stopping them without knowing their one unique weakness and they show no remorse for killing normal humans.  In the flashback, we also learn why it’s become the protagonists sole purpose in life to exact revenge on an Epic named Steelheart.

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Like any nation where the mass population is not looked out for, a group of rebellious citizens have banded together with one goal: kill Epics.  They strategically plan their hits and they never stay in one city for long. Their existence is a rumor but David has spent so much time tracking them that he manages to cross paths with them when they visit Newcago.  The way that David tells the story is part of why I loved it so much.  David is only 18 so his youthful sense of hope and believing in being able to do the seemingly impossible shines through in all of his decisions. He’s both clever and fearless and his understanding of the world has mostly been learned from books.  Also, his inability to craft proper metaphors is very charming.  I can honestly say that there was never a dull moment or lull in the plot while reading.  All of the minor characters were fully developed and while most didn’t like to offer tidbits of their past, they all had such unique personalities that you could get a sense of where they came from.

If you enjoy reading about superheroes and you’ve thought about what it might be like if they actually existed, Steelheart is the perfect read.  I’m so happy the second book is out already because I don’t think I would be able to wait to find out what’s going to happen next.  I am so charmed by this underdog story and I constantly found myself rooting for the average people to emerge triumphant.  Brandson Sanderson really gets how to craft a story and I’m definitely going to be picking up everything else he’s written.  Before researching more about him, I hadn’t realized that he took over the Wheel of Time series for Robert Jordan.

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Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart – the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning – and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge. (via Goodreads)

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GIVEAWAY: Steelheart & Firefight (The Reckoners Books 1 & 2) By Brandon Sanderson & Morphie Portable Charger

I am so excited to be giving away the first two books in Brandon Sanderson’s #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Reckoners!  The giveaway is celebrating the release of the second book in the series, entitled Firefight, which celebrated it’s book birthday on January 6th.  Everyone that I have ever spoken to who has read a Brandon Sanderson novel has RAVED about how they must read everything he writes so I’m also looking forward to reading and reviewing the series here as well!  In the meantime, you can read an excerpt of the second book, Firefight, here.

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ABOUT FIREFIGHT

Brandon Sanderson is back with a vengeance in FIREFIGHT, the follow up to the #1 New York Times bestselling Steelheart.In the book that Kirkus Reviews is calling a “rare middle volume that keeps the throttle open,” Sanderson takes readers on another a thrill ride and “presents a Marvel Comics-style mix of violently destructive battles, fabulous feats and ongoing inner wrestling over morality and identity.

David Charleston still can’t believe it. Steelheart is dead, and he died by David’s own hand. Even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic, but the invincible has fallen and now Newcago is free. Despite attaining revenge for the murder of his father and living his dream as a team member of the most elite Reckoners cell, David finds he has more questions than ever before, and he won’t find the answers in his home city.

Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as Manhattan, could hold the key. Ruled by the mysterious and ambivalent High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is a place flooded with water and painted in neon, where the inhabitants spend most of their days lounging and nights partying. David can’t seem to understand the complacency of the city and its residents, but what he does understand is that being positioned here, risky as it may be, could lead him to the answers he so desperately seeks. Because there is an emptiness in him, one left behind after killing Steelheart, that was filled unexpectedly by Firefight, who is just plain Megan to him. And David will stop at nothing to find a way to understand Epics and bring her back to him. Hopefully for good this time.

The second book in the Reckoners series and follow up to the highly acclaimed Steelheart, which Publishers Weekly called “an absolute page-turner,” FIREFIGHT is filled with spine-tingling adventure and heart-racing action that promises to satisfy fans both new and old.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BRANDON SANDERSON is the author of the internationally bestselling Mistborn trilogy. In 2007, he was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series following the author’s death.  The concluding book in that series, A Memory of Light, was released on January 8, 2013, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction List., just as his two previous Wheel of Time books had done.  His work has been published in over 25 languages and his books have sold millions of copies worldwide. He lives and writes in Utah. Visit him at BrandonSanderson.com or connect with him on Twitter @BrandSanderson.

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Prizing & samples courtesy of Random House

Giveaway open to US addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

OFFICIAL LINKS

Visit the author online at www.BrandonSanderson.com

Follow Brandon on Twitter: @BrandSanderson

When sharing on social, please use hashtags:

#Steelheart #Firefight

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PRAISE & ACCOLADES FOR STEELHEART

  • #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • IRA Young Adults
  • ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
  • ALA-YALSA Teens Top Ten
  • Amazon Best Book of the Year

“Sanderson has written a riveting dystopian adventure novel . . . Snappy dialogue, bizarre plot twists, high intensity action, and a touch of mystery and romance; it’s a formula that sucks readers into the prologue, slings them through on tension-filled encounter after the other, and then . . . leaves them panting for the sequel.” —Booklist, starred

“Sanderson’s whiz-bang imaginings, and a fully realized sense of danger (the brutal opening scene alone will hook many) make this an absolute page-turner.” —Publishers Weekly

“Perfect for genre fans who love exciting adventure stories with surprising plot twists. Readers will be rooting for David.” —School Library Journal

“Unfortunately for my ego, Steelheart is another win for Sanderson, proving that he’s not a brilliant writer of epic fantasy, he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period.”  —Patrick Rothfuss, author of the New York Times bestseller The Name of the Wind

“Fantastic! The suspense is relentless and the climax explosive, with a resolution that I’ll be thinking about for a long time.” —James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series 

“A tense, fast-paced adventure. Brandon Sanderson is one of the best fantasy sci-fi writers working today.” —Christopher Paolini, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller Eragon

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