I have had a few days off work this week and I must admit that I have found this book very difficult to put down during that time.
I was sceptical about approaching this book and have had it on my bookshelf for a while. I have read some of the Mistborn books and A Stormlight Archive and loved it and thought this book would disappoint me and just be a bit .. geeky compared to the complex magic mechanics and exceptional world building of the above mentioned.
It was geeky – yet in a great way and I am not at all disappointed by the 384 pages that I raced through.
We follow, in the first person an everyday dude called David in a slightly futuristic world that is populated by certain ‘super-beings’ who were created following a burst in the sky – named Calamity. These are the Epics who have superpowers ranging from flying, illusion, controlling darkness/ shadow and blasting of destruction abilities (not sure of the technical term). You may have noticed I didn’t use the word ‘super-heroes’ – and the reason would be that these guys and gals tend to be really mean. Flaunting their powers and leaving the normal people to live pretty shitty lives. None more so that Steelheart. He is the strongest, most powerful Epic, who rules Newcargo, no one knows his weakness (all Epic’s have one see) – and David has a vendetta against him! So the story commences.
So many great moments come to mind in this book. The opening scene in the bank blows the metaphorical storybook doors off the hinges straightaway. The confrontation between David and an Epic in a gun store, the high-speed motorcycle chase and just how everything reaches the crescendo of a satisfying finale that would blow Hollywood’s socks off. Included in this sequence are a couple of super unpredictable gems/ moments of suprise that make me want to start reading the next book straight away.
I like the companionship and loyalty of the Reckoners. The underground group that doesn’t have any time for the Epic’s and do what they can to keep the city as safe as possible. This starts by killing minor Epic’s but when David’s nerdiness is placed in the mix (he has been studying how to kill these bastards for about 10 years!!!)- they aim for a higher scale against the High Epic’s such as Nightweilder, Firefly, Conflux and of course – Steelheart. Where the victories here might really mean something to the world. The mysticism and majesty surrounding these Epic’s is, well epic. Lot’s of here-say, guessing, analysis for the normal folks and the Reckoners trying to figure them out and they are just very mysterious and super powerful- that is for certain.
To finish – David is a geek. And that is okay. This book is filled with a lot of bad, fruity, colourful metaphors when he tries to describe the insane scenarios he gets himself into. It is very tongue in cheek and he will sometimes have debates in his head about ‘why did I say that out loud?’. Also – everyone else in the world appears to be amazing descriptive metaphor wordsmiths without trying. It is a cute juxtaposition that annoyed David here and there.
Highly enjoyable. Only got 4 stars because I wasn’t amazingly engrossed by the characterisation – but story 100% wins here. Peace. x
Ps. I also like the dude who loves Scotland so damned much. Especially his description about how they make bagpipes.