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Books Review

Book Review – Firefight (Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners #2)

I enjoyed the first book in the Reckoners series (Steelheart) despite some silly YA trappings that felt like they were there just to check a box on a form (let’s have some new slang for the kids!) but I’m a sucker for some good comic book action, and I like the hook here.  In Sanderson’s world, anyone who gets powers (which started after an event called Calamity, a red star appearing in the sky), turns evil.  Firefight is a very good middle novel of a trilogy, as it both delves deeper into the question of WHY that happens, as well as amps up the danger for David and the other Reckoners heading into the final chapter.

In Firefight, David and Prof head to what once was Manhattan to seek out the Epic Regalia, who has been sending Epics to Newcago hunting them.  The intrigue only increases as it becomes clear Prof and Regalia had some history – possibly even before becoming Epics themselves.  David is also looking for Megan/Firefight, who he believes is the key to his understanding the link between Epics, their powers turning them evil, and their weaknesses as well.  Oh, and he loves her.

It’s a quick read, and it manages to both have a solid cliffhanger ending and not feel like it just cut off halfway through a story.  If you don’t mind the YA trappings, it’s worth checking out this series as a palate cleanser between your latest massive high fantasy series or space opera.

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Books Review

Book Review – Steelheart

Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson, is a spin through a dystopian world where an event (the Calamity) has given a small number of humans super powers.  The problem is, they are ALL evil.  Even though not all ‘Epics’ are equal in power, there are enough that they pretty much carved the world up into chunks they rule with impunity.  It’s in this world that we see our protagonist, David.  He witnessed Steelheart, now ruler of a large swath of the former United States centered around what once was Chicago, kill his father.  David’s dad was one of the Faithful, who believed that with villains around, heroes would come.  His father died for that belief…but not before he wounded Steelheart.  David is the only one who knows what happened that day, having escaped the purge by Steelheart that followed, and he’s trained himself for years to hunt the villain down and kill him.

To make that happen, David finds and worms his way into a group called the Reckoners.  Normal humans who hunt down and kill Epics by studying their weaknesses.  Every Epic has one, of course, and it’s their most guarded secret.  Our hero believes he’s the only one who can figure out Steelheart’s weakness, since he was there on the one day he was hurt.

This book was quite a bit of fun, even if you’re not into comic books.  Steelheart is an obvious ‘evil Superman’ stand-in, though comic fans might feel Black Adam is a closer fit.  The world is interesting, I’m very curious about the Calamity and what caused it, why all heroes go bad, and the fate of one of the characters left at the end.  The supporting characters (the typical band of misfit rebels of the Reckoners) don’t get far beyond basic characterization, but for a YA novel, that’s not the end of the world.  The action is fun, and as a whole I was engaged enough that the plot twists worked on me.  4 of 5 stars.  Definitely want to know what happens next.  Steelheart is $4.99 as of now on the Kindle and Nook.