Brandon Sanderson · Reckoners Trilogy · Young Adult

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

steelheart

~Synopsis~

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 (goodreads.com). 


~Review~

I LOVE Brandon Sanderson’s books. Everyone that I have read so far has been on my favorites list, so I was eagerly awaiting being able to read the Reckoners Trilogy. Of course, I had to wait until the final book was released so I didn’t have to wait so long between books and could binge read!

This is a great book to introduce the Reckoners Trilogy. It was fast-paced, engaging, and action-packed with lovable characters and an interesting world. I highly recommend for fans of Brandon Sanderson,  fans of superheroes, or fantasy book enthusiasts.

Plot

This book is FANTASTIC, I had such a hard time putting it down! I love the concept, which was done so well and the pacing was incredible. There were no parts in which the story lagged for me, which is why I couldn’t put it down. It was just action, action, action! There was also a perfect blend of action with character development thereby creating an engaging story!

Books that are not predictable are the best! Or at least ones in which you have fun trying to figure things out and seeing whether or not you were right. Throughout the entire book, I was trying to figure out what exactly caused Steelheart to bleed. I had a couple of ideas though none of them were right. You do find out at the end of the book of course, but I just didn’t figure it out at all, though maybe I should have been able to? Hmmm… One of the characters was also interesting and I kept trying to figure out why she couldn’t do certain things, but I did not see that coming! Steelheart is a rather unpredictable book, one that was fun to guess and more fun finding out you are wrong and having that WTF??? kind of moment. However, I suppose its possible that some people could predict the ending.

World-Building

I loved the world building and since the story takes place in Newcago, similar to Chicago, it wasn’t difficult to visualize. In Newcago there has been darkness every day, all day for over a decade and everything is steel (streets, buildings, signs, etc), creating a familiar environment that is changed enough to be new and interesting.

I loved the concept of the Epics, which are basically anti-superheroes. Their powers were mysteriously given to them shortly after Calamity arrived and no one knows why. Each Epic has different powers as well as different weaknesses, and they are incredibly horrible people who think they are better than everyone else. I thought it was very interesting giving the Epics different weaknesses, it makes them vulnerable, but only once someone has studied them enough to figure out what their weakness may be.

It was interesting learning how people are able to survive in a city with not only perpetual darkness but one made entirely of steel. I thought this was one of the most interesting aspects of the story besides the Epics. Since Newcago is the only area explored, it would be nice in the following books to be able to see how others are surviving. It was mentioned that Newcago was doing rather well compared to a lot of other cities.

Characters

I really enjoyed the characters, all of whom you either loved or hated. There were quite a few characters, which bothered me just a bit, however, Sanderson does a terrific job fleshing out his characters and giving them their own personality. This way it was easier to tell each of them apart, especially if you listen to the audio book! The narrator does a great job voicing each of them.

David, the main character is well-developed, personable, and funny. We really connect with him as a character from the very beginning when he tells us of the death of his father. He is very organized, kind of a geek in the book. He has been preparing for 10 years (he is only 18) gathering information in order to avenge his father, if anything he is very determined. Although David is intelligent, his flaw is most definitely his obsessiveness both with killing Steelheart as well as his infatuation with Megan. Both of these obsessions got him into trouble more than a couple of times. I would also say that he is impulsive, which almost got him killed a few times as well, but was also beneficial.

I really liked David, but didn’t like his interest in Megan. I thought it was a bit overdone and though he knew she didn’t have the same feelings he kept trying to get her to like him. She was actually rude to him most of the time. I also didn’t like that he never really acted like he was 18, more so like he was 16 or younger, which was annoying.

Megan was an interesting character because I couldn’t figure out what was up with her. The Reckoners have equipment that they use, but Megan couldn’t use it and her mood was always changing. Sometimes she would be angry or annoyed and then all of a sudden she would be happier and actually start warming up to David. It was a cycle and it isn’t until the end of the book when you figure out what is up with her. Although not my favorite character, I thought she was intriguing from the very beginning and definitely bad-ass!

Prof is another of the interesting characters. As the leader of the Reckoners he had a lot of responsibility, which I thought explained some of his behavior (it didn’t). His background is mysterious and the reason why he can’t use the own equipment he invented is also another fascinating mystery. Towards the end of the book we find out a lot about him and I can’t wait to see more of him in the next book!

Although Steelheart didn’t have a huge presence in the novel, I still want to mention him. From the very beginning, I pictured him as what it would be like if Superman was evil. I think this is a very accurate description of him because he even looks a lot like Superman. He only has one weakness and no one even knows what that is, yet. He is bulletproof, indestructible, and all around awesome (in a horrible kind of way). It is an interesting thing to think about and I love that Sanderson has created all of these anti-superheroes.

The other characters on the Reckoners team were well-developed and relate-able as well, and I liked that they were all older. I loved Cody and his hilarious accent and personality. Abraham was also a great character, as well as Tia. Nightwielder was also an interesting, creepy epic!

Writing

I love Brandon Sanderson’s writing. It is fantastic as always, even for a young adult novel! I even loved that the writing was in David’s point-of-view.

Cover

I love the cover! It is designed well, it’s eye-catching, makes sense according to the plot of the book, and well…I just love it, okay? It also doesn’t have any distracting stickers (advertise elsewhere!) and/or blurbs, which I hate.

~Review Spotlight~

            Renai LeMay                   Book Chick City

          Reanne Reads                Effortlessly Reading

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2 thoughts on “Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

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