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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Thoughts: Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson

  • Age Range: 12 and up 
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385743564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385743563

"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."- Goodreads

My Thoughts
At first glance Steelheart looks a bit bland. A shadowy group named "The Reckoners"? A little revolt? You need more than the simple "rebel citizen" cliché to carry a novel, I mused. However as fate would have it, apparently you don't. You just need a brilliant author called Brandon Sanderson, and a thing know as "character development".

“Never throw the first punch. If you have to throw the second, try to make sure they don't get up for a third.”

The Rebels in Steehleart felt surprisingly real/relatable. Each of them had their own voice and flaws, that you just couldn't help but like them. The Professor and Megan are two prime examples of this. You could distinguish them from all the other Reckoners, just by the way the spoke, acted, and thought. 

"We were like deaf people trying to dance to a beat we couldn't hear, long after the music actually stopped.” 

Returning as a standard for Sanderson books, is Brandon's avoidance of robust descriptions. Most of his talent is spent on "in the moment" descriptions, as opposed to permanent, locale building depictions. This Bizarrely gives Steelheart the vibe of a near-adult novel; enabling it to transcend the YA boundaries.

Another recurring issue with Brandon's books, is his tendency to "use up" the character's setting by the end of the story. I said this with my Rithmatist review, and I'll say it again. Steelheart was great, but I can't handle a sequel in the same location. 

Regardless of my complaints, I have a good feeling about Fireside. David's story was semi-wrapped up, and very nicely mind you. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel.

 My Rating: 4.2/5 
Reader's Rating:

*All quotes below "my Thoughts" are taken from Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson*

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