Book Review: Steelheart (Brandon Sanderson)
This review is part of Stacie and Maia’s Random Reads
Publisher: Orion Books
Release Date: First Published January 1st 2013
Summary (From Goodreads):
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.
Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.And David wants in. He wants Steelheart – the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning – and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.
This book. Oh. My. God. OMG. This book.In case you haven’t guessed, I am struggling to put into words how I feel about this.
I’ll try and start at the beginning.
The prologue had me hooked. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, and some of the brutality of it took me by surprise, but in the best way. There were some horrible touches that really set up the Epics and their powers, and the world Steelheart was about to create.
David, our protagonist, is really funny and understandable. After that prologue, you know what he wants and what’s driving him, and you want him to succeed. He is awkward and nerdy (though he won’t admit to it) and comes out with some hilariously bad metaphors that had me giggling throughout the book.
While superpowered humans isn’t a new idea, this had enough of its own unique rules to make it original and interesting. They all have their weaknesses, tiers of powers and a pecking order, as well as a few key things which really come to matter towards the end.
It’s definitely a bit of a male heavy book. The majority of superheroes we hear about are male, and most of the reckoners are too, with two exceptions: Tia, the tech girl/medic, and Megan, the badass and brroding love interest. There was something a little bit cliched about David and his attraction to Megan, and I got a bit bored of hearing how hot she was, but it wasn’t her only quality he admired. The fact that – at a critical, highly emotional time, when most books/films would have a declaration of love before the climax – he acknowledges that he probably doesn’t love her at this moment, but he like her a lot, kind of made it for me. It just made it more realistic.
I enjoyed the book the whole way through, but it was the end when it really blew my mind. I almost missed my stop off the bus because I didn’t want to put it down. There were some brilliant twists, one which I did call half way through (proud of myself) but the other just threw me completely. It came out of nowhere, and yet it didn’t at the same time: there were so many little clues, I felt stupid for not seeing it before.
The plot wraps up nicely for this first book, while still leaving unanswered questions about the future, ready for the sequels (which I will be devouring as soon as possible). If you’re after a good fantasy romp with plenty of guns, bike chases and explosions, with some romance thrown in for good measure, and a ton of superheroes, then this is for you. I cannot recommend it highly enough, and I can’t believe I haven’t read it until now. Go forth and read my friends, you won’t regret it.