ARC Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Title:  Steelheart
Series: Reckoners #1
By: Brandon Sanderson
Author Info: Website | TwitterFacebook
Age Group:
Young Adult
Genre Type: Sci-fi, Dystopia, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: September 24th 2013
Pages: 384 pages
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Publisher: Delacorte Press

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.

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.

Get ready for an amazing, action packed adventure as Brandon Sanderson introduces Steelheart, the first book in his Reckoners trilogy, featuring a fantastic new teen hero whose voice will have both young adults and adults cheering for him.

Steelheart takes place in an unforgiving, post apocalyptic world after a strange explosion in the sky, known as Calamity, causes perpetual darkness and begins changing ordinary men and women into Epics, people gifted with superpowers. The problem is, instead of superheros, they've turned out to be supervillains.

The story is set in Newcago, a strange new world created by the Epic tyrant Steelheart after the Great Transfersion in which he turned most of Chicago, including it’s buildings, cars, and streets, as well a large chunk of Lake Michigan, into useless steel.

David’s world is one where Epics fight battles against each other for territorial right, similar to cowboys and gunslingers dueling it out in one giant showdown. Only instead of guns, Epics battle one another with immense powers and extraordinary gifts, causing destruction and mayhem as well as unbelievable battle scenes. David has witnessed this power first hand when he saw his father cruelly taken down by a ruthless Epic know as Steelheart. After years of studying the Epics, David is ready to find revenge by joining the Reckoners, a mysterious group devoted to destroying the Epics. He brings with him not only courage and determination, but a secret no one else knows, except Steelheart himself.

    “I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.
    And I will see him bleed again.”

Brandon Sanderson has created a fascinating new story with a protagonist that I immediately loved.  David is a young and brash hero who I immediately admired and sympathized with. After losing his father at a young age to the Epic Steelheart, he is set upon a journey of vengeance and retribution. With his penchant for odd metaphors, and his love for weapons and tech, he come across as a combination of the young & wild hero and teen geek. His amazing bravery and resourcefulness against Epics such as Nightweilder and Conflux had me rooting and cheering for him until the very end, holding my breath as battles scenes ensued.

The other characters in Steelheart are just as amazing, from the team members of the Reckoners to the Epics themselves, each adding a special quality to the story. One of my favorites characters besides David, has to be the amazing kick-ass Megan, a member of the Reckoners, who is a tough, gun carrying assassinator who has no problem fighting Epics. I immediately was intrigued by Megan, and even though she comes off gruff and standoffish at times, I loved her interaction with David, who has a sweet crush on her.

“She can shoot like a dream and she carries tiny grenades in her top, a bit of my addled mind thought. I think I might be in love.” David-

Then there is of course there's the Epic Steelheart who definitely is worthy of his supervillain name and an Epic to fear. There’s tons of tension involving the plotting and planning the destruction of Steelheart, and with his character, Brandon Sanderson created the perfect villain. The kind that leaves no room for anything but intense dislike. The kind that causes fear, terror, and destruction.

“Steelheart rose into the air a few inches, cape flaring out. He began to glide forward into the room. Arms like steel girders, legs like mountains, neck like a tree stump. He wasn’t bulky or awkward, though. He was majestic, with that jet-black hair, that square jaw, an impossible physique. And a frame of nearly seven feet.
    And those eyes. Intense, demanding, uncompromising eyes.”

If you've read any of the other amazing books by Brandon Sanderson you'll know that he creates  unique worlds filled with fantastic characters and magic. Steelheart is no exception. I loved this story, from the fantastic characters and unique world, to the intricate plotting and planning to overthrow Steelheart. There is no easy win in Steelheart, but lots of daring and bravery which I loved.

Steelheart is recommended to fantasy lovers, especially those who enjoy the plotting and planning in a story, as much as the final execution of epic battles scenes. Steelheart should please his long time fans, and veteran fantasy lovers, as well as being a great introduction to a new and younger crowd looking for a exciting and fabulous new hero in a world inhabited by superhumans called Epics. Steelheart proves to be a fantastic start to a new trilogy, with an unforgettable new hero to cheer for. I can't wait to continue this amazing story with Firelight, and Calamity, the next two books in his Reckoners trilogy.

My Rating: 5 Stars. I loved it!

 PLEASE NOTE: A Copy of this book was provided by NetGalley/Publisher in exchange for my review. Thank you Delacorte Press for the review opportunity!