Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Dystopia
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
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 will.
Now, in what was once Chicago, an astonishingly powerful Epic named Steelheart has installed himself as emperor. Steelheart possesses the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said that no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, and no fire can burn him. He is invincible. Nobody fights the back… nobody but the Reckoners.
A shadowy group of ordinary humans, the Reckoners spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in.
When Steelheart came to Chicago, he killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David has been studying, and planning, and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He has seen Steelheart bleed.
And he wants revenge.
First Sentence: I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.
I can’t believe that I thought I wouldn’t like Steelheart. In fact, I was planning on avoiding it, even after seeing most of my friends recommending it, stating how amazing Steelheart was and how everybody must read it. There was also some big hype backing up Brandon Sanderson’s name too – and for a very good reason I discover after reading Steelheart. Honestly, I still can’t believe that I was this close to not reading Steelheart just because the cover doesn’t attract my attention, nor does it appeal to me. I guess I shouldn’t judge the book by its cover for this one and I recommend that you shouldn’t too.
Right from the Prologue, Steelheart managed to grab my attention – and keep it. I was sucked in into the world of Steelheart right from the beginning and couldn’t put it down, which happened to be an extremely bad thing for me to do, with finals and all. With a bunch of murders and a captivating mystery right from the start, there was absolutely no way I could put Steelheart down. I was majorly fangirling to my (very annoyed) friend just from reading the first three chapters – Steelheart was that good.
I know, better than anyone else, that there are no heroes coming to save us. There are no good Epics. None of them protect us. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. (15)
There was just so much action in Steelheart and I absolutely loved every moment of it. David would almost always test my nerves, always putting himself in very life-risking situations and using his brain and street smarts to get himself out of it. Steelheart is a bit unrealistic since David can’t be that lucky all the time, managing to outsmart his prey all the time, unless people were really that clueless in the future.
There’s no doubt that world-building is a huge part of dystopians and is very important to every dystopian no matter how you look at it. Well, I dare to say that the world-building in Steelheart is near-perfect, if not perfect. Everything in the world of Steelheart is explained, even though you’ll have to read on to get the full details eventually. I just loved reading about all the different kinds of Epics and what their powers are, what their weaknesses are, and what level they are in society. I’m starting to think that books inspired by comic books are just my type of books right after reading Steelheart and Vicious by Victoria Schwab.
Did the Epics kill because Calamity chose – for whatever reason – only terrible people to gain powers? Or did they kill because such amazing power twisted a person, made them irresponsible? (77)
If you read some of my reviews before, you’ll probably know that I am really good at predicting plot twists before they actually happen. This happened in Steelheart – I predicted a major part of what is probably the biggest plot twist I’ve ever read in a long time, but I didn’t predict the entire plot twist that was going to happen. The part that I haven’t predicted (now that I look at it, I should have been able to see that coming if I was smart enough) was extremely well done and has me doing anything just to get my hands on the sequel, Firefight. I need to see what would happen next. But I’ll leave that rant for the friend I bothered to hear.
I don’t know if you guys know this, but Barnes & Noble has an annotated first chapter edition of Steelheart. When I was in the middle part of Steelheart, I happened to go to Barnes & Noble, saw Barnes & Noble’s annotated edition of Steelheart, sat down, and read the annotated first chapter. All I can say is boy, does Brandon Sanderson know how to plan out his story and how he was going to write it. I was in total awe of his writing talent and how he created his characters. He can’t write metaphors in this book? Simple, he embraced it. Need some Epic names? Simple, he did something called research. Reading the annotated chapter was fun.
“It isn’t enough to have godly powers, to be functionally immortal, to be able to bend the elements to your will and soar through the skies. It isn’t enough unless you can use it to make others follow you. In a way, the Epics would be nothing without the regular people. They need someone to dominate; they need some way to show off their powers.” (181)
Okay, so I’m going to be like my friends and book push you to read Steelheart. Seriously, go grab your copy now. Don’t speak to me until you get your copy. Just kidding, but seriously, go check it out! (I want to put several exclamation marks with that sentence, but that’ll be overdoing it.)