Sunday, September 22, 2013

Early Review of Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart
Classification: Young Adult (12 and up)
Genre: Science Fiction / Superhero Fiction
Format: Hardcover; 400 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press (September 24, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0385743564
ISBN-13: 978-0385743563
Author's Website: 
Notes: Received an ARC at BEA. Any quotes used were verified against the free chapter sampler Amazon is allowing sneak peeks of.

“Where there are villains, there will be heroes,” my father said. “Just wait. They will come."

Those were some of David's father's last words before an Epic, Steelheart, killed him.

"I know, better than anyone else, that there are no heroes coming to save us. There are no good Epics. None of them protect us. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts."

It's been ten years since his father's death. Eleven since the first Epics were transformed from mere mortals. David has been patiently waiting, watching, studying, and readying for the chance to wreak vengeance on the man, if you can call him that, who murdered his father in cold blood. A group called the Reckoners have been assassinating Epics all over the world and David wants nothing more than to join and help them. He's taken notes on the powers Epics have and has created strategies based on their weaknesses on how to eliminate them. While to some fighting may seem futile, David knows better...

"If there’s one fact we can hold on to, it’s this: every Epic has a weakness. Something that invalidates their powers, something that turns them back into an ordinary person, if only for a moment. Steelheart is no exception; the events on that day in the bank prove it. 
 My mind holds a clue to how Steelheart might be killed. Something about the bank, the situation, the gun, or my father himself was able to counteract Steelheart’s invulnerability. Many of you probably know about that scar on Steelheart’s cheek. Well, as far as I can determine, I’m the only living person who knows how he got it.
I’ve seen Steelheart bleed. 

And I will see him bleed again."


So I've never been much of a fangirl, but this book may have just converted me. lol Okay, so maybe I'm not quite that obsessed, but I absolutely loved the book. While superheroes and Super Villains are nothing new, I truly enjoyed this tale and it seemed to be a more mature and sophisticated rendition of those ever popular comic book series that have seemingly been around forever. I will admit to owning several copies of comic books while growing up, and being a tad bit addicted to the super friends Saturday morning cartoon shows. Wonder Woman was who I longed to be. Heck, I had the dark hair and blue eyes, but unfortunately the darn bullet defying bracelets just never worked for me. *disappointed sigh* I guess some things are never meant to be. *giggle*

From the very first sentence, "I have seen Steelheart bleed." Brandon Sanderson catches our attention. We know immediately something significant is about to be told and we want to know what. The world has been transformed. Calamity, as it came to be known, was a light which appeared in the night sky a year before people started sporadically changing into Epics. No one knew for certain if the Epic change was a direct result of Calamity or some lab experiment which went drastically wrong, but many believe it was due to the celestial event. Regular people were normal one day and transformed into Epics the next. No rhyme nor reason as to why some were transformed while others were not--even within a single household.

In the eleven years since the Epics made their presence known, the government has been over taken. As no one could find a way to defeat the powerful super humans it was inevitable. With the ability to predict a persons responses, point at a person and have them die, repel bullets, and many more, what chance did normal humans have of fighting them?

When Epics took over, normal people became subservient. Some Epics were more powerful than others. Those who possessed more powerful and dangerous talents tended to lead those with less. Steelheart is one of the more powerful Epics and he declared Chicago his own and it was renamed Newcago. While other cities have suffered similar fates, Newcago is one of the few profitable and self sufficient. While still not as ideal as the cities of yesteryear, it is seen as a haven by many. If David and the Reckoners succeed in taking down Steelheart and his cohorts, will things get better or will they make things worse? Will they be seen as heroes or villains?

Overall, I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 roses. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the sequel. If you grew up liking superheroes and still have a soft spot for them, then I HIGHLY recommend this book. It had a good pace, lots of action, suspense and plenty of twists and turns. I liked the fact that this story started out with a lot of super villains instead of superheroes. I can't wait to see where the author takes the series and look forward to jumping once again into the wonderful world Sanderson has created.

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