Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson : Review

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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.

While this isn’t the type of book I typically read, (I tend to avoid superhero type books), Brandon Sanderson‘s Steelheart is an imaginative, and enjoyable read. Taking place in future Chicago,Steelheart follows David on his quest for revenge, ten years after Steelheart kills his father.

While this was an enjoyable read, I found myself not entirely a fan of the characters. The protagonist, David, felt to be too perfect, with no real flaws besides for some awful metaphors (a bit ‘Mary Sue’ in my opinion), The characterization felt weak and a shallow (with only a couple exceptions) compared to many that we see in his other novels, which was a bit disappointing. However, I did enjoy the dynamics between the Reckoners, and as always with Sanderson’s works, there’s more to them than there seems to be on the surface. There were some great backstories to go along with a couple of the characters.

The plot of the book felt a bit formulaic — being extremely reminiscent of the first Mistborn novel (fans of his other books will feel right at home while reading Steelheart). However, the story had an interesting premise, was well-executed and was a fast-paced story. And as with all of Sanderson’s novels, his world-building skills showed clearly throughout the novel.

While this isn’t my favourite of his works, Sanderson once again proves himself to be a fantastic writer, painting a vivid picture of a strange new world, with vivid battles and a new magic system. Steelheart was a fun and entertaining read. It’s definitely written with a young adult audience in mind. I did enjoy it more than I did his other YA novel, The Rithmatist which came out earlier this year.

Steelheart will be released September 24th, and the sequel is set to be released sometime next year.

The prologue is available to be read here.

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