A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Firefight is the sequel to Steelheart and continues the saga of David Charleston and his fellow Reckoners who battle supervillains known as Epics. Heroes, villains, and innocent bystanders are killed in cold blood, but the bloody details are usually omitted. "Hell" is used less than a dozen times and "damn" even less often. Characters prefer an invented slang: "sparks," "calamity," "slontze." David has a crush on Megan, the young woman who apparently betrayed him, and they flirt whenever they meet. They also share a quick make-out session before being interrupted.
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What's the story?
Having killed Steelheart, the "High Epic" who ruled as a tyrant over Newcago, 18-year-old David Charleston journeys with his mentor, Prof, to what used to be Manhattan, now known as Babylon Restored or Babilar. The Reckoners' mission is to find and kill Regalia, the mysterious ruler who controls the flooded city via her water-based superpowers. Regalia also is in cahoots with Obliteration, the merciless Epic who burned down Houston and seems to want to do the same to Babilar. While searching for the young woman who betrayed him -- Megan, now known as Firefight -- David must discover the secret weaknesses of the Epics he and his colleagues want to destroy before the Reckoners are led into a deadly trap.
Is it any good?
FIREFIGHT mostly avoids the "second book slump," offering a new, wetter setting for the superhero action and delivering a couple of monumental twists that kick the plot into high gear at the climax. The various fight scenes are well realized and clearly choreographed, even if everyone tends to be more talky than would be expected in a duel to the death. David is an appealing protagonist, although his habit of using awkward similes in nearly every conversation gets old after a while. Still, David's unique perspective raises Firefight above the usual X-Men rehash.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why superheroes are so popular with so many audiences in such a variety of media.
How would you begin to forgive someone who has betrayed you? What actions would they need to take before you could start to trust them again?
Does great power always corrupt those who wield it? How do people with great responsibility gain the wisdom to use it wisely?
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