Gollancz, out now
After defeating Steelheart – as well as other Epics who have visited Newcago – David and the other Reckoners head to the former New York and an encounter with Firefight… aka the love of David’s life, Megan…
Brandon Sanderson’s take on the superhero tropes continues in this fun and fast-paced novel, which adds considerably to our knowledge of the world that he’s set up, and answers some of the questions left outstanding at the end of the first book. As the story progresses, our narrator, David, finds a new purpose in life now that he’s got rid of the person responsible for the death of his father, and it’s a much more positive aim.
Sanderson takes us to a New York that has been massively altered by its resident Epic which means that all bets are off in terms of our knowledge as readers of the city. Along the way, there are some hilarious sequences, with one of my favourite bringing memories of Dastardly & Muttley in their Flying Machines irresistibly to mind (you’ll know it when you read it), as well as a good evocation on the page of the effect that we saw used by Imhotep in the Stephen Sommers Mummy films a few years back.
There’s plenty of character development, with a new team of Reckoners introduced, as well as the survivors of Steelheart. We’re forcibly reminded of the cheapness of human life to the Epics on more than one occasion, and that they consider themselves far, far beyond human considerations. There are also some very intriguing hints about their fundamental nature, which are bound to be picked up in the third book, given its title.
If you’ve not caught Mitosis, Sanderson’s ebook continuation of the story begun in Steelheart, then it’s probably a good idea to do so before you jump into this new novel, as there are certain plot and character developments within that story which impinge on this. Sanderson does recap where necessary, but you’ll definitely benefit from that.
Verdict: Fast, furious and fun – a great continuation of a different sort of superhero tale. 8/10