What sets this series apart from the many other science fiction/urban fantasy series out there is the way it’s written. Sanderson gives his main character, David, such a great sense of humor. Unlike so many books that take themselves a little too seriously (this is not literature, after all) Sanderson infuses these books with wordplay while also giving us a really inventive story and strong characters.
This is Book Two in The Reckoners series, which means there isn’t much I can say about it, and you should go to my Book One review, Steelheart.
I will say this: Book One was a hard act to follow, and the challenge with Book Two for Sanderson is that his main character has lost the mission that drove him his entire life. But Sanderson really rises to the challenge with this book. David is forced to understand a world that is completely different from the one he’s always known, and he can’t be sure that anyone around him is who they say they are. You get superpowers but you also get humans trying to negotiate a world with superpowers in it. You get intrigue and spying and never quite knowing what’s going on. You also get cool gadgets.
The book is set in what used to be Manhattan, only now the waters have risen, thanks to the ruling Epic in this town, Regalia. She is a really interesting character with impressive powers. The setting is one of the things that makes this book so much fun, with people hanging out on rooftops, with glow in the dark paint and strange trees growing inside buildings. While the setting in Steelheart was dominated by steel, here water is everything.
Sanderson throws a lot of new characters at us in this book, and a lot more world-building. So in a lot of ways it’s a transition to whatever comes next. One of the characters, Mizzy, was a little annoying, but she got more developed as the book went on. I’ve seen a few reviews that say that she was their favorite character, so maybe it’s just me.
What I liked was the ambiguity about who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. I also liked the sheer fun of the book. This one is everything it promises to be: a great second book that will leave you wanting more.
More metaphors. I mean similes. Whatever.