Tuesday, September 24, 2013

tara recommends Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Every once in a while, it is nice to turn your brain off, sit back with a comfortable pillow and enjoy a summer action movie.  Are they formulaic?  Yes.  Are they even a bit mind-numbing?  Yes.  But, in the end, you usually walk out with the satisfaction that you enjoyed a break from reality for 2 hours.  Books can give you that same escape - and in some cases they are actually well-written enough to stimulate some of those brain cells in the process.

Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson, reads just like you are sitting in the theater with some popcorn enjoying the latest action flick (without the mind-numbing effects) - it is fast-paced, interesting, often-times funny, and has unexpected twists to keep you entertained.  To seal the icing on the cake, it also has well-developed characters - most of which are actually quite likable - and there is a just a touch of romantic tension to break up the action.

One day, Calamity came (a burst that appeared in the sky and started giving ordinary people incredible powers) - and now, what used to be Chicago, is ruled by one of these transformed humans, called Epics.  Some Epics have minor powers, like "Curveball" who could fire a handgun without ever running out of bullets.  Other Epics, however, are much more powerful and use that power to control and manipulate those without powers.  The most dangerous and powerful of these Epics, is Steelheart.  He has superhuman strength and is impervious to bullets or swords - and as an added bonus, he is able to control the elements.  All Epics have a weakness, if you can find it - but, can anybody defeat Steelheart?

David watched Steelheart kill his father ten years ago, and has been on a mission to defeat Epics ever since.  He does have one advantage - he saw the invincible Steelheart bleed.  He has used every resource he can to compile a list of Epics around the city and to uncover their weaknesses.  Now, he only has one problem, he can't do it alone.  So, he searches out the one group of people who are willing to take on these superheroes - the Reckoners.

Brandon Sanderson excels in bringing his characters to life and this book is no exception.  The Reckoners are a diverse group.  Some of the characters include:  Abraham, the muscled weapons man; Tia, the red-haired scholar; Cody, the southern boy who provides fire-support (but, who also pretends he is from Scotland and always has a tall-tale story to tell - and consequently establishes comic-relief throughout); Megan, who is the point-person in the team and also David's romantic interest; and the Professor, the serious leader and founder of the group.

In a world of humans vs. superhumans, there seems to be no end to the conflict.  But, if they can defeat Steelheart, they may have a chance to get their lives back.  As the first in a series, the ending of this book furnishes an appropriate twist that will make you ready for book two.

I would definitely recommend this book to any lover of fantasy/action/adventure/fun.

Review copy received from the publisher.

by Brandon Sanderson
published by Delacorte Press
September 24, 2013
Recommended for ages 12 and up


  1. I did not expect to like this as much as I did. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down.

  2. I'm super excited to read this. I love his Mistborn series and it sounds similar in feel.