Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Power

Now Playing: The Spiritual Machines - Aching to Live

I keep thinking about a pivotal scene in Brandon Sanderson's Firefight.

(Spoilers for the novel; back away from this post if you haven't read The Reckoners series).

My brother never reads this blog (or doesn't read it extensively), so I'm pretty safe writing this: I got him Steelheart as one of his Christmas presents, mostly because David's odd metaphors, spirited nature, and love of weaponry often make me think of him. Plus, it's the kind of action-packed story my brother loves. My parents have been struggling for ages to get him back into reading, but the books I've picked for him have been plenty successful. That's my superpower, I guess.

Anyways--before I bought him Steelheart, I read through the first two Reckoners books. And I liked them for the same reason I know my brother will like them: they're amusing, they have a ton of focus on combat--in and out of the battle field, they've got a great cast of characters, and they take a lot of comic book tropes and play around with them. Plus, I just agree with them on the concept alone; I always figured if superpowered individuals appeared, they wouldn't be persecuted ala X-Men. Nope. They'd take over.

And there's this scene middway through Firefight that, if it'd gone down any differently, would have made me hate the series.

The primary antagonists of Firefight is Regalia, an Epic in control of Babylon Restored (Manhattan, before the time of Calamity). At one point in the story, she takes David--our hero--to Calamity. She does it in hopes that he will acquire power, become an Epic, and be corrupted by his new abilities in the process.

As the scene was unfolding, I imagined its imminent future. David will be given some great power--something that will turn him into a High Epic--and he will resist the corruption and become so grand, so unstoppable, he can take down Calamity itself in the finale.

In a way, I understood that such a narrative wouldn't have been unwarranted or an instant kill for the series. After just a book and a half, I trusted Brandon Sanderson to do that which Stephanie Meyer couldn't do in her own series. I trusted David not to have a Bella Swan arc, where the one human character who is given the chance to become powerful does so without repercussions. I thought, "okay. David will become an Epic. A High Epic probably. He'll struggle, he'll fail, but he'll be powerful in the end."

And yet I still hated the prospect of it. I still kept reading thinking fuck no don't do it don't let this happen I don't want David to be an Epic.

My inner-voice got really whinny. The book was driving me into a toddler-style tantrum. But I couldn't help it. I seriously might have glared endlessly and contorted backwards in rage if David had come out of that ordeal as an Epic. Because if his namesake, Biblical!David, had turned into a giant to face Goliath, no one would give a shit about that story. Or at least I wouldn't.

So I was sitting there, reading Firefight, thinking no, no, no, don't do itttt.

And then when being offered the power, David's all,

"Nah."

and

"I’m good here. Not interested.”

GHAAA. I LOVE THAT BOOK.

That's it. That's all I've got for you. It's just been stuck in my head for weeks now and I can't stop thinking about it. Even if it turns out David becomes an epic later on, I'm glad it wasn't now. I'm glad for over half of this trilogy, he's been an ordinary boy accomplishing incredible things.
~Becky

P.S: Speaking of giants, I think that was part of the reason that, while I love all of Attack on Titan, I loved Mikasa and Armin more than I loved Eren. Hmm.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:21 AM

    *wheeze* *wheeze* Why would you write a post I couldn't read? @_@ *wheeze*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To encourage you even more...TO READ FIREFIGHT @_@

      ...wait, you didn't read this post, right? SPOILERS D;

      Delete

"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.