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Firefight: The Reckoners #2    by Brandon Sanderson order for
by Brandon Sanderson
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Firefight follows Steelheart as the second in Brandon Sanderson's YA action fantasy series, The Reckoners. In a dystopian future, individuals (Epics) suddenly gained extraordinary powers - and abused them. Though they fought amongst themselves for control, when the dust settled, everyone else had to do their will.

David grew up in Newcago, thirsty for revenge after watching Epic Steelheart slaughter his beloved father. He researched all known Epics and the Reckoners, a resistance group. In Steelheart, he joined the Reckoners and fell in love with lithe, golden-haired Megan. Together they eliminated Steelheart. Along the way, David learned that the Reckoners' leader, 'Prof' Jon Phaedrus, is himself an Epic, barely in control of the desire to dominate others. So is Megan, who was working for Steelheart!

As Firefight opens, the Reckoners are (barely) in control of Newcago and decide to take the fight to Babylon Restored, originally Manhattan. Babilar is ruled by High Epic Regalia, who flooded it to increase her control, via her power over water. They head there to take her out, but David (influenced by his feelings for Megan) has started to wonder if there's a way to stop or even undo the corruption their powers create in Epic. After all, Prof has managed to stay in control - so far, anyway.

David gradually discovers that Epics' powers (and vulnerabilities) might be related to childhood trauma. They work with a new Reckoners cell in Babilar and David is horrified to hear that they plan to take out Megan, known as Firefight. And, as they fight Epics in Babilar (which has 'Epics and people living in a bizarre ecosystem'), it seems that Megan has David's back - are their feelings mutual and will she be able to hold back the inevitable corruption of her powers?

Read Firefight to find out. It's filled with action, humor (David's analogies are just plain awful), and a seemingly doomed romance. And, awkward as his comparisons are, David is a wonderfully engaging hero, his innate optimism casting light in very dark places. The ending of this second episode leaves readers with some very big questions - I for one can't wait for the answers.

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