Deep Water and Deep Characters – A Review of Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

I had high expectations for Firefight. After loving its predecessor, Steelheart, I was hoping Brandon Sanderson would deliver.

He didn’t just deliver, he delivered something new. While Steelheart was a pepperoni pizza, Firefight was a vege trio pizza from Dominos. Both very exquisite pizzas, if you ask me.

After rescuing Newcago from the tyranny of the epic Steelheart, David Charleston and his fellow Reckoners have defended the city from other superhumans wanting to take over the city. They soon realise each have been sent by Regalia, the epic who runs the now flooded New York, renamed Babilar. While the leader of the Reckoners wants to go to Babilar to kill the epic, David has second thoughts. After all, the leader himself is an epic not yet corrupted by his powers. And somewhere out there resides Firefight, another epic David wishes to save from her powers. Could the Epics be saved from themselves after all?

Again, a strong aspect of this novel was the unique atmosphere of the world. If you thought Newcago had its own personality, then Babilar is something else. Even the way the world was built was very fascinating, seeing different cultures and the political standpoints of epics in this city versus the distance from the ones in Newcago. That and the way the city became rundown was amazing – an epic flooding the city so everyone has to live on skyscrapers AND vines overgrowing inside of buildings? Legendary.

The world was expanded upon well with the lore surrounding the epics too. One key aspect was studying what the core weakness of each of them was, especially when rumors were thrown around of a connection between an epic’s past and their Achilles Heel. This weakness became a key part of each epic it seemed and it was an interesting ride to analyse each of them and work out with David and the team what their weaknesses are. Granted I was often wrong, but it was still very entertaining to guess.

A significant improvement was with the characters as well. So much more depth was added to everyone that I thoroughly enjoyed. I especially enjoyed how David was developed, both with his goal of revenge gone and some fears adding so much depth to his character. He truly felt real in so many moments. Even characters I felt impartial to I wound up loving. But my favourite character has to be Mizzy, introduced in this book. She was fun, relatable and had great one liners right from the get-go. I can’t wait to see more of her in the future.

I found it wasn’t quite as engaging as when I read Steelheart up until the final quarter, but that wasn’t to demerit it. It had a lot more to think and reflect on in the novel rather than things to react to. This was mainly because David’s mentality had changed from react to reflect as well, making it a nice book to get through at an easy going pace. A distinct difference made for a different experience, allowing me to take it all in. It suited the atmosphere of Babilar too, especially being a new environment for David to be in. He had a lot more to take in than in Steelheart. So what it lacked in action it made up for in depth.

I suppose it just served as a calm before the storm that is Calamity: the final book in the Reckoners series. One I plan to tackle later this year. Can’t wait.

Firefight gets a score of 5/5. What can I say? The depth of the characters especially made this epic.

Yours in writing


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