Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Posted 25 January, 2015 by Rinn in Review / 15 Comments

Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon SandersonSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #1
Published by Gollancz on 26th September 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Fiction, Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Source: Owned - ebook
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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.

You know those sorts of books that you go into, expecting to really enjoy – you know you love the author’s work, the premise sounds amazing – but then they pretty much blow everything out of the water and are somehow even better than expected, defying expectations?

Yep, that was Steelheart.

I haven’t been a Sanderson fan for as long as some – my first read of his was Elantris, at the end of 2013, followed by The Final Empire at the beginning of 2014. From then on I knew this was an author whom I had to read as much of as possible. I love superheroes and superhero stories, so when I heard about Steelheart I knew it was the book for me.

You can’t go into this book expecting Sanderson’s usual style of writing. This is a Young Adult book, and the tone is so different. I really hope that doesn’t put many of his readers off, with the stigma that YA fiction sometimes has, because they will really be missing out. As with the Mistborn series, the action scenes are fantastic, and I had such a vivid image of every part of the book in my head.

I loved the variety of characters. David, with his awful metaphors, was hilarious. But he was also determined and dedicated, having spent the past ten years researching Epics so he could get revenge for the murder of his father. The Prof was a bit of an enigma, and I look forward to finding out more about him. Cody was an odd one, with his Tennessee-accented Scottish slang, occasionally mixed with Irish, and I really felt myself warming to this silly man very quickly. Tia was this awesome, super-smart one-woman force who I totally wanted to be. I’m interested in seeing more of Abraham, because he may seem gentle and quiet albeit armed with a rocket launcher, but I reckon with the right situation he could turn into a total badass and go completely crazy. And Megan… well, she is one dark horse.

I had my suspicions about how events might unfold, what secrets were being kept, and despite the fact that I managed to guess a small part of the end, I was still surprised in so many ways. The last 10-15% of the book was just phenomenal, with a huge face-to-face showdown and so many different twists and turns. I was pretty much sat there with this look on my face the entire time:


The other day, I received a copy of Firefight in the post from Gollancz, and I am SO HAPPY BECAUSE I COULD NOT WAIT MUCH LONGER TO READ IT AFTER THAT CONCLUSION. Fangirl mode very much activated.

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15 responses to “Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

  1. I wasn’t that big of a fan of Steelheart though it still was really good. It’s just that compared to Mistborn, this book wasn’t too heavy on the surprises or the amount of details and that happens to be what I was expecting from this book. I got Firefight the other day and I will be reading that one soon, hoping I’ll enjoy this one more now that I kinda know what to expect.

    Kaylie @ Potterhead Reviews recently posted: December 2014 Wrap up
    • I think because it’s a Young Adult book, Sanderson didn’t include as much detail. Plus I feel there was less of a need for it, seeing as it was set in our world, albeit a little different, rather than an entirely new world he had to explain.

    • I have The Rithmatist and Way of Kings on my Kindle as well – I seem to own more of his books than I realised, haha πŸ˜€ I keep forgetting that The Rithmatist is another YA book of his. Definitely picking up Firefight soon πŸ™‚

  2. Ahhh your review makes me want to read this so badly! I read Mistborn in December and absolutely loved it, especially the action scenes, so I’ve definitely got to make more Sanderson books a priority. The Mistborn showdown scene was one of my favourites of the whole book so I can’t even imagine how good the Steelheart version is!

    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted: Review: Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    • That series is so fantastic – I’m reading the 2nd book right now. He definitely has a true talent for writing big fight scenes.

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