Book Review 6 - Book Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanders on @orionbooks

Book Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanders on @orionbooks


Author: Brandon Sanderson

ISBN: 9780575104044

Publisher: Orion

Imprint: Gollancz

Publication Date: 25 September 2014

Rating: 5 out of 5.


synopsis coycaterpillar - Book Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanders on @orionbooks

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. 

review coy caterpillar - Book Review: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanders on @orionbooks

The Lunatics are running the asylum.

It’s been a while since a Fantasy novel has truly engrossed me, but Brandon Sanderson is a magician amongst mere mortals.  It’s usually within pages that I will be able to determine whether a novel is going to submerge me within its world, whether I mould between its pages…I was a goner by page two.  Brandon Sanderson had my heart beating at a staccato rhythm and my imagination on red alert.  He is the master of foreshadowing, a breaker of wills and the puppet master of emotion.  This book was all kinds of awesome.  Why on earth has it taken me so long to read Brandon Sanderson’s work?

Calamity has visited the earth and brought with its cataclysmic effects.  It has in its wake created Epics, an evolved human if you will. They have superpowers, there is no rhyme or reason to the who or the why, but these epics are not the heroes the world is expecting.  They use their powers for bad…they use it to control and manipulate.  Their rule is absolute, and it’s done with an iron fist.  Life is drastically altered for the average human being.  They no longer have the luxuries and things they took for granted is no long gone.  Things will never be the same again.  The rule and policing from the United States Government has collapsed like a deck of cards.  In its wake we have super epics making the rules and controlling the fractured states, some doing a better job of it than others.  One such fractured state is the destroyed city of Chicago, now known as Newcago, ruled by an extremely powerful Epic, called Steelheart.  This Epic has a mysterious past with non-epic human, David who will spend years plotting his revenge…

I have seen Steelheart bleed.

David has witnessed Steelheart at his most destructive and soul-less.  The death of his father was at his monstrous hands.  Killing him was nothing, no guilt, no remorse.  It was necessary.  After all, his father was the only one to make Steelheart bleed.  David has dedicated ten years of his life researching the Epics powers and what can kill them.  His research is the only thing that he cares about.  He dreams that one day he will be the one responsible for ending Steelhearts vicious rule.  He acquaints himself with a vigilante group, known simply as the reckoners – they have one job – to kill every Epic they can get their hands on, to provide hope, and faith to humankind that this rule can end.  The group is made up of five members – Prof, Tia, Cody, Abraham and Megan.  An intriguing group made up of the very existence of the human condition.  They are fuelled by emotion, strength, an iron will and a badass attitude. 

Just how do you kill an all-powerful being seem to defy physics and time.  Epics than can create illusions to confuse their enemies.  Epics that can power entire cities with the raw power they can harness.  Epics that can harness the darkness to kill its prey.  One thing that David continues to prove time and time again though, is that they all have a weakness.  That one thing that can be used to kill them.  But, how do they discover what that is? 

David’s dogged determination is what gets him taken into The Reckoners fold.  He has lived for nothing else but to take down Steelheart.  The fact that he has seen him bleed has their immediate attention, no one has known why Steelheart got that scar, not even his right-hand men.  Not everyone is enamoured with the new member but what is the reasoning behind it? 

“Sometimes, son,” my father said, prying my fingers free, “you have to help the heroes along.”

A True David vs. Goliath story.  The story encapsulates pedal to the metal.  This is exactly how Young Adult should be written.  The ending ensured I was in this for the long haul.


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