Book Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Steel heartTitle: Steelheart

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Series: The Reckoners #1

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Overview: 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.

Steel heart 2

The Review:

I really liked Steelheart, which is awesome because I wasn’t totally convinced I was going to. You see, even though it’s a Sanderson (a HUGE endorsement in itself) I was afraid I’d find the comic book storyline too cheesy. While the book constantly straddled that line, I never felt like I was reading something juvenile. Not to say that I didn’t roll my eyes on occasion, but only because the main character kept using these ridiculous metaphors (which I thought was a brilliant character quirk) that were so bad they were good, if that makes sense.

Overall, Steelheart was just plain fun to read. And it was different from anything I’ve read before. The book was fast-paced and action-packed, with good guys you can really get behind and a villains who are fun to hate. I will say, though, I did find it a mite predictable. In fact, all of the members who attended March’s Escape Reality Book Club meeting agreed that Steelheart was highly predictable. The interesting thing is that none of us predicted the exact same twists to the plot. They noticed things that I didn’t and vice versa. What this says to me is that the book has to be a lot more complex than we originally gave it credit for because of the sheer number of opportunities we all had to predict things. That also makes our predictions a lot less impressive – we were bound to be right some of the time, right?

The bottom line is, there were a lot of elements to this book, which is a big reason why I enjoyed reading it so much. All of that thinking ahead and trying to figure out what was going to happen invested me in the story and made it feel more… interactive. I know some people had trouble getting into it, but I was hooked right from the very beginning by what I consider to be superb storytelling. I am eager to find out what happens next in Firefight when it comes out in January!

Sanderson has yet to disappoint, and every new novel sends him higher and higher on my favorite author list. I have not yet read a book from him that I didn’t like – the writing, story, world-building, and characters are always superb. Steelheart was no exception!

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11 comments on “Book Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

  1. I also picked this up based solely on the author (though my favorite works of his are the Stormlight books). And I enjoyed it more than I expected to (I really never found a “superhero” book that I liked).

    I agree, there were some twists that were rather predictable. Ok. There’s two major twists and one of them was very predictable. The other I didn’t see at all.

    My review (does contain spoilers at the end – separated, sort of):

    On a side note, have you gotten to the Rithmatist? Curious on your thoughts comparing his YA outings.


    • I haven’t – it’s actually one of the two Sanderson’s I haven’t read yet. But I did just buy it in hardcover so hopefully I’ll be picking it up within the next couple of months. I’ll get back to you when I do. What did you think of it?


      • It was ok. It had a much more obvious YA feel to it than Steelheart. I read it a while ago. I’ll have to look at my notes… I think I reviewed it on the blog… That wasn’t one of my favorite reviews, I’m not even going to link to it. It was good. Nothing great. Doesn’t hold a candle to Stormlight Archives.


      • Hmmm, that’s a bummer – the stormlight have really inflated my expectations for him. Good thing the hardcover was in sale lol. Seriously though, as long as it’s mildly entertaining I think I’ll be okay. :) thanks for the feedback!!


  2. Pingback: Series Review: The Reckoners [1.5-3] by Brandon Sanderson | The Obsessive Bookseller

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