I recently consumed and reviewed book one of the Reckoners Series, Steelheart. Usually I try to mix things up and will not read the same author back to back. When it comes to a Sanderson series though, there is a sense that no matter what other book I pick up all I will be able to think about is what happens next. So, with out much, or any, reluctance I dove into book 2, Firefight. Despite my TBR pile calling to me in a shrill, high pitched whisper- that may have been my own disguised voice- “read me!”
Firefight is the second book of the YA fantasy series, The Reckoners. Released in January ‘015 from Random House, the book, like many Brandon Sanderson stories, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. As part of Sanderson’s younger readers selection this book, and series, are not connected with the Cosmere, that tie together the authors adult books.
Warning: in describing this second book of the series, it is difficult to avoid spoilers to the first, Steelheart. If you intend on reading this series and have not finished book one, I would highly recommend hitting the like button, sharing this post on all of your social media, having a cookie, and reading another post. Have you heard about The Slaughter at Fraggle Rock? I will say this quickly, Firefight is even better than book one and makes this series even more worth while. I highly recommend The Reckoners series, as a fun, easy to read, fantasy trilogy.
Firefight dives into action, with David and the Reckoners keeping Newcago clear of any imposing Epics. When they realize that something much larger is happening, David, Tia, and Prof send out on a mission to free another city of its Epic tyranny. Regalia is the leader of Babilar- formally Manhattan- a city of prosperous resources, and happy lifestyle, and happens to be mostly underwater. She has assembled many high epics, with scary reputations, including David’s lost love, Firefight. As the Reckoners of Babilar begin executing a plan to take down these Epics many of their own secrets come to light. Not everything is as it seems and they could have fallen into a trap that will tear the Reckoners apart.
Sequels are a funny thing. While I began reading this book I honestly rolled my eyes at the thought of them heading to another city, just to repeat the steps of the first book. Firefight was anything but a repeat, and more on a level of sequel strength as Empire Strikes Back. The web that is weaved in Babilar takes the reader on a mind blowing journey combined with unforgettable action. Where parts of Steelheart were predictable, Firefight changes the game, ending with more questions and intensity than it began.
Sanderson does it again, with another knock out on world building. Babilar is one of the coolest cities I have seen in fiction, and also seems like a rad place to live- y’know without the maniacal super powered villains that would kill you for looking at them. The author once again holds his throne as the master of world building. I realized something else during this book, Sanderson is the master of another big fantasy trope. The big reveal. With his well thought out stories he has a way of holding onto the secrets till the last possible moment and still making them feel natural. This book holding many reveals including: the source of Epic powers, what Calamity is, the source of Epic’s weaknesses, and a whole bunch of other notable game changers.
Everything about this book extended my love for the series and the author. The new characters were a step up from the first book, the villains were unforgettable, and the tragic ending notes will make this story last with me for a long while. There is no possible way I could read anything else next but the third book, and conclusion to this series. Like I mentioned above, I highly recommend this book. But to those of you who have read Steelheart and are sitting on this one, do not wait! This is a sequel that brings in depth and tragedy to an already powerful series. 4/5, this book is starting to change my feelings on what YA can be.
Thanks booknerds, have a sparking day.