Teen slayer of evil, superpowered Epics David Charleston carries the fight from Newcago to New York in this slash-and-burn sequel.
Arriving with his boss, Jon Phaedrus, Dark Knight–ish founder of the Epic-killing Reckoners, David is stunned to find the city—now known as Babylon Restored, or Babilar—flooded, weirdly lit by glowing graffiti and populated by lotus eaters who subsist on glowing fruit that grows indoors. He faces three powerful Epics: Newton, who can deflect bullets; Obliteration, mad destroyer of Houston; and, most dangerous of all, hydromancer and wily former attorney Regalia. As in the previous episode (Steelheart, 2013), Sanderson presents a Marvel Comics–style mix of violently destructive battles, fabulous feats and ongoing inner wrestling over morality and identity. He lightens this with such elements as an Epic who is felled by Kool-Aid balloons and David’s predilection for hilariously lame similes (a room is “lit by fruit that dangled from the ceiling like snot from the nose of a toddler who had been snorting glowsticks”). Risky romance plus late revelations about the source and flaw in all the Epics’ powers set up the (probable) closer.
Big in size and vision, this is the rare middle volume that keeps the throttle open and actually moves the story along significantly. (Fantasy. 11-14)