book review

Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1)

Brandon Sanderson - Steelheart

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.

It took me some time to get my thoughts together after reading this book because it was so good. Honestly, I couldn’t put this down at all because there’s always so much going on and there’s an awesome setting and great characters and it was just an amazing read.

When I first picked up this book, I though this book was about superheroes. I mean, look at that cover. What else could it be about? Well, I can tell you, this book is not about superheroes. It’s about super villains! Which is even better than I expected. This is a book about an ordinary group of people (the Reckoners) trying to take down super villains who are far too powerful for their own good. This book is just crazy. But it’s awesome.

One of the first things that made me fall in love with this book was the world building. The idea of Newcago is brilliant, especially the way it’s created in the first place by Steelheart. To me, it’s exactly what a sort of dystopian/superhero kind of city would look like. And the cover portrays perfectly as well, seeing as that’s the sort of image I had in my head whilst reading the book. Newcago is also filled with these steel catacombs, and it’s such a great idea. It’s so easy to imagine exactly what this place looks like. What I like about the world building though in this book is that Sanderson hasn’t stopped at Newcago. He’s figured what’s going on in the rest of the US – if someplaces still exist, who’s got control of where and so on. He even adds in little things like mentioning Irish Epics just to let us know that the rest of the world is suffering too.

Of course, the world building isn’t the only good part about this book. It has some brilliant characters too, like David, the main character. The whole story is told from his point of view and it’s really cool seeing his take on the world of Epics. A lot of the ordinary people are just trying to survive in this book, but David doesn’t want to carry on living under Steelheart’s rule. He knows exactly what he wants in his life – revenge – and he’s a very dedicated person because of it. However, his need for revenge is also a weakness, and in the book David develops to understand that his life can’t just be about revenge. There is plenty of character development in this book for David, and I liked the way his feelings about the world changed as he met the Reckoners and spent time with them.

The other characters in this book are also brilliant. My personal favourite was Cody, especially when he was making references back to Scotland and telling David all these slightly crazy stories that David wasn’t sure he should believe. Honestly, Cody made me laugh almost every time his character appeared. And that’s the thing about this book. It went from fun and humorous scenes to ones full of tension and danger within a chapter or two. And it surprised me a lot. There are quite a few plot twists towards the end of the book, and they are brilliant!

Basically, I totally loved this book because of super villains and cool technology and normal people saving the day, and I would totally recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a great book to read.

“Sometimes, son, you have to help the heroes along.”

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