Here’s the thing. I read Steelheart and loved it. Like really loved it. Superheroes, epics – are they good? Are they bad? The fight for revenge, etc, etc. It had such a good plot and I was swept up and really liked it.
Then I started Firefight and I started to wonder if I’d been so caught up in the plot I’d not noticed how it was written, and the further I got through this, the more it bothered me. The plot carried it, again, but even then I was finding massive problems: Megan, for one, is not some mystery. It’s quite clear the part she will play and there’s several surprising endings for her that could have come up to make it interesting, but no.
And it’s just so cliché ridden. David’s a pain, he’s smitten and unthinking. There’s only so far you can support someone throwing their team’s wishes aside from their own stubborn ideas, and there’s only so far it’s fun to see every key character ignore every single person except for the one pig-headed hero. And the will-they won’t-they dynamic is an annoyance, rather than an intrigue, because it’s so poorly done.
The problem is Sanderson’s whole world is quite interesting, and now that the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come out, I’m still really interested. But sparks, the writing is does not live up to the plot. (I have spent the last while critiquing my writing group and doing more freelance editing, so my critical eye is on higher alert than usual, but still).
Superheroes are bloody brilliant. They’re fun, they’re exciting. Sure, it’s easy to read but I kind of wish the writing did this whole deal justice. I’m proper puzzled by this one. Apparently he’s churning out books like they’re going out of fashion (I didn’t know that) but I wish it all matched up and that it didn’t feel so slapdash. But it’s still so good.