Monday, September 28, 2015


by Brandon Sanderson

Story summary: Continuing on their quest to rid the world of the evil superheroes called Epics, David and his friends move on to a new city and a new Epic. This time, it's Regalia, one of the most powerful and intelligent Epics around, and ruler of Babylon Restored (New York of old). And while they fight to defeat this Machiavellian and almost all-seeing High Epic, David has his own agenda: to discover the truth behind the Calamity.
Sequel to Steelheart.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Plot twists and well structured surprises.
  • Excellent world-building.
  • Entertaining writing.
  • Some memorable imagery.
  • Just... a really great book. If you don't have anything against fantasy, you should really try out Sanderson's books.

And Why You Might Not:
  • If you don't like superheroes, I guess? (Even though these superheroes are definitely different than the normal ones.)
  • The characters are a little one-dimensional as well. Doesn't really detract too much because it's not the point of this book, but it's the main criticism I have.

Thoughts: A delightful sequel. Sanderson is so fun; I just can't wait till I can read everything else he's written.

Most comments I could make here are exactly the same as for the first book: there is an awesome rationality in world-building, the main character is refreshingly investigative, the story telling is entertaining and gripping, but the characters aren't very complex. There are really only a few things I want to add to that.

1. I found the imagery striking in this one, especially the whole city of Babylon Restored, with the water and the plants and the strangely complacent people.
2. The continued discussion of the morality of their mission is fascinating, and I'm glad it's included. I suspect some of that aspect will come to a head in the third and final book (which doesn't come out for ages, sigh).
3. The attempt to make the characters seem a little more real by adding quirks didn't quite work. David's whole bad-metaphor thing actually got a bit old for me.
4. I ended up taking away half a star for this grading, not because it wasn't good, but because it didn't quite pack the emotional punch for me that the first one did. It didn't have the advantage of David's personal vendetta against Steelheart.
5. And brief spoiler (translate through rot13): V ybbbbirq gur ovg jurer ur unf n pubvpr gb orpbzr na Rcvp. Oevyyvnag yvggyr cneg. Jung jvgu gur yvxravat bs Pnynzvgl gb n snyyra natry, vg oevatf va fbzr eryvtvbhf haqregbarf juvpu ner ernyyl pbby gb zr..

Sometimes it's hard to tell what you really think of a series or author until you've read a few books. I have now read two in this series and three Sanderson's all together, and I think I have information now to say: he's awesome. Read him.

Grade: 3 1/2 stars

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