Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart (Reckoners #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Released September 24, 2013
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3.5/5


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 (Summary from Goodreads).


I was originally going to give 3 stars, but the action-packed ending made me move it up to 3.5 stars.

I was instantly hooked by the prologue of Steelheart.  Unfortunately, the majority of what came after that did not appeal to me as much.  My main issue was that I felt annoyed by the characters and the dialogue.  I usually have a hard time connecting emotionally to Sanderson's characters, and these characters were no different.  The characters just seem too stereotypical.  We have the geeky main character that knows everything about the Epics, the female side character for him to oogle at, the person in the group that knows all technology, etc.  When the characters are too cookie-cutter, they start to seem like cardboard.

David often used metaphors that were supposed to be bad, and although I think the intended effect was to be funny, I thought it was cringe-worthy.  I was basically reading the second half of the book to get it over with as quickly as I could.

This was supposed to be a young adult book, but it felt more like a middle-grade book (except for the prologue).  It's hard to explain, but that's the general tone I got from the language, and the fact that David seemed to only see a certain female character as a piece of ass.  I just think that an 18 year-old would be a little more mature, but what do I know?

HOWEVER, the story itself was very original (all the characters with superpowers were villains) and the ending was a typical epic Sanderson ending.  A couple big and exciting twists at the end gave me hope for the sequel, but I probably won't be continuing this series.  I think Sanderson's strength lies in adult fiction, and the Mistborn series remains my favorite of his work.

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