Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – Brandon Sanderson

steelheartTen 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.

Rating: 3.5/5

Despite my rating, this was a really good read – I just took off a star because the narrator’s voice really grated on me, for some reason. This was more of a case where it’s not you, it’s me!

I have to admit, while superheroes dominate cartoons and movies, this is only the second book series I’ve ever read involving superheroes. The author did a great job in creating an original world, whereby each Epic has their own level of power and achilles heel, which can sometimes be a completely arbitrary weakness.

As despairing as it was, I loved how the author dealt with people’s inherent belief that those with more power will be benevolent saviours, instead of the destructive brutes they ultimately turned out to be.

The small band of resistance fighters and their inner workings was also intriguing – from their modus operandi to their special tech and team camaraderie. I’m always in favour of the underdogs getting their revenge.

The book also presents some interesting philosophical dilemmas, which I think are summed up perfectly in the following quote:

Ponder. Worry. Stay up nights, frightened for the casualties of your ideology. It will do you good to realise the price of fighting…I need to warn you of something, however. There aren’t any answers to be found. There are no good choices. Submissiveness to a tyrant or chaos and suffering. In the end I chose the second, though it flays my soul to do so. 

I totally called one of the people twists early on, but not the other. Things are set up fabulously for the sequel though – while David’s puppy love got on my nerves, the action-packed adrenaline rush of the narrative more than made up for it.

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8 thoughts on “Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – Brandon Sanderson

  1. Wait, you had problems with David’s voice or the audiobook narrator? Because I enjoyed this so much more on audio. I really liked MacLeod Andrews. Anyway, I really enjoyed this and while I too was annoyed by David’s puppy love, I think you’ll like how he matures in Firefight.

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  2. I love Sanderson and this is on my list. Thanks for the puppy-dog love warning 😛 It’s always best to go into a book knowing such things. Curious, to say the least, from a titan like Sanderson…

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