The short: 4.5/5 ✦. An excellently thrilling middle novel in this exciting, trope-twisting trilogy.
I really need to work on managing my expectations.
To be fair, when you read a lot of books, especially YA, you kinda get a sense for predictability. Usually along the lines of “protag likes person, person ends up liking protag, now KISS.” Well, not all the time. But there are definitely certain tropes I wish would just . . . go away for a while.
Anyway, I thought I had Firefight all figured out: David is in lurve with Megan and so is gonna recklessly go to Babylon Restored (Manhattan) to win her back to the side of Good.
And that’s not what happens! Not entirely, anyway. It’s Prof who invites him along to confront a powerful Epic in “Babilar,” and though David is concerned about finding Megan, he doesn’t abandon the mission or his teammates to do so.
I think David is one of the most interesting protags I’ve read about in a long time. Normally, most protags when they have to do terrible things in the name of justice, they get all dark and broody and intense and boring. But not David! He’s still optimistic. He’s still bad at metaphors (or rather, similes). He’s still a nerd. Better yet, even though he’s incredibly impulsive, he still only takes action after taking stock of the situation and thinking the matter through. He listens to his heart more than his head, but it works because he’s normally too much in his head – so when he’s out on a mission and does something that may be considered rash, you root for him because it’s usually a smart if dangerous thing to do or there’s very little choice in the matter. Basically, David is one of the best dorky heroes ever.
In my review for Steelheart, I complained a bit about Megan. She’s a lot better in this book, though I fear it’s only because of her limited role: she’s the enemy at the moment and so doesn’t share as many scenes as David and the others. Speaking of which, the standout character is Mizzy, who is totes legit and awesome and needs to stick around forever. The rest of new team are cool but none are as memorable as Cody.
As I’m writing this, it’s kinda clear that this series is character-driven, which I like. It has science and fantasy elements interwoven together in reality, which I also like. It has a lot of exposition and details about the world and the characters’ backgrounds and such, which I also also like.
So I like this series, and I liked this book. 😉 I’m really excited for Calamity! (Er, the final book, not the world-destroying star.)
By the way, for those who’ve read these novels, do you have any dream casting for the characters? I think this would make a pretty interesting movie, but I can’t think of who would play who. On another site, I read a suggestion for Liam Neeson as Prof, which is like, excellent, but I pictured Prof as a James Cromwell type . . . I guess he’d be too old, though. Thoughts?
Header image: “Firefight” by Brandon Sanderson, published January 6th 2015 by Delacorte Press.