Saturday, November 2, 2013

Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart--Brandon Sanderson
September 2013 by Delecorte
384 pages--Goodreads

There are no heroes.

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.

Steelheart is another book to add to Sanderson's already long list of great novels. I never thought I'd enjoy a superhero comic book in novel form so much.  Some of the twists are predictable, but over all the story is still very good.  Dan and I spent a long while after finishing the novel discussing how everything might work out in the next books.  Steelheart is a very visual story, almost begging to be a movie.  You can totally tell when during the action sequences we're supposed to switch to slow motion.  And that was part of the fun of it.

The premise is intriguing:  a world of super villains and a renegade bunch of humans trying to fight back.  But these villains aren't as complex as Sanderson's usually are.  It's too simplistic for all Epics to be inherently and completely evil from using their powers.  There has to be at least one good Epic.  But I trust he will develop the magic system later in the series.  And hopefully he'll explain the physics-defying powers, like never ending bullets, somewhere along the way.

Character development is usually where Sanderson shines, but he had a couple of misses in this book.  Cody is hilarious, David's horrible metaphors and similes are funny, and I really want to know more of Prof's back story.  However, Megan is not very fleshed out.  She's mostly a love interest.  She has potential hidden in her history and the end plot twist, which Sanderson could explore in later books.  But so far, she's kind of flat, just the hot fighter chick that the hero/audience to ogles at but who has no real personality.  Hopefully, that will change.

Steelheart is an great beginning to a new series.  My biggest complaint, beyond Megan, is the long wait until the sequel.  And Nightweilder is SUCH a good name for a bad guy.


  1. Reminds me a bit of The Host.

    1. A bit. Less romance, more adventure, and way more superhero movie action scenes.



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