Book Review: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

firefightFinally, the wait has drawn to a close. On January 6, Firefight by Brandon Sanderson, arrived in bookstores for its hungry readers. Having read the advanced copy before the official publication date, I can assure you that this thriller lives up to the high expectations set by the first book, Steelheart.

After the Calamity, ordinary people around the world gained a variety of super powers. Almost immediately, society crumbled. The elite class of people called Epics subjugated and ruled over the ordinary people. After David and the insurgents of ordinary people called the Reckoners killed the ruthless High Epic, Steelheart, they showed the world that no Epic was safe.

Enter the sequel. Having met Firefight, an Epic struggling to turn good, David is no longer sure of the Reckoners’ vow to kill Epics. Seeking clarity, David travels to the city Babylon Restored, where Firefight was rumored to be. While the rest of the team is focused on taking down any enemy in their path, David must overcome his ethical problems and decide who the enemy is for himself.

Firefight emphasizes that there are always good people out there, which is more optimistic than Steelheart. The first book had convinced us that power inevitably leads to corruption, but now we’re thinking twice. One of the biggest revelations was the fact that gaining and using powers changes the mind of an Epic, forcing them to become violent and ruthless and filled with rage. If they truly can’t control themselves, then who is at fault? Is killing Epics an act of mercy for a doomed human? Much of the story involves David struggling to find a sense of purpose in the wake of these questions.

From start to finish, this story is really fun to read. Sanderson’s imagination and detail comprehensively describes the shape of society after Calamity. Many cities and ways of life have been altered by the powers of a single Epic. For example, the streets of Manhattan became canals and waterways when the Epic Regalia raised the sea level. The mysterious wielder of plants, Dawnslight, supplies the city with an abundance of food. Our protagonist David’s storytelling is realistic. He voices every thought that flits across his mind, as if we were really there. All in all, Firefight is yet another thought-provoking book that will keep you hooked. Look for it!

-Phillip X., 9th grade

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