Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

November 25th, 2013 Kimberly Review 124 Comments

25th Nov
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #1
Genres: Dystopian
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson was an absolute blast to read. This science-fiction dystopian is a superheroes lovers dream. Villains, heroes, technological abilities and action kept me spellbound. This was a smashing beginning to the Reckoners trilogy and one I cannot wait to continue. Mini-review: entertaining, and engrossing with fascinating rebels that kept me flippin’ the pages.

Ten years ago an event now referred to as “Calamity” occurred. A bright, blinding burst from the sky turned ordinary men and woman into Epics, giving them extraordinary powers. With power comes greed, and the strongest want to rule the world. The prologue will grab you by the seat of your pants as we watch an event that changed a young boy named David’s life and forever altered his course. We then fast forward to present day and meet now nineteen-year-old David, as he sets out to find the Reckoners a group of humans who fight the Epics, and the tale that unfolds was riveting.

Sanderson introduces us to a fascinating array of characters beginning with David our protagonist. David has spent his youth gathering information on the Epics, taking careful notes and plotting his revenge against Steelheart. Steelheart is the epic who forever changed David’s life and who rules the city with fear and tyranny. David is bright and fearless, but he is also a young and I found him endearing. His actions, conversations, and metaphors will have you giggling. He has feelings for a kick-ass Reckoner, and it was adorable, awkward and made my heart flip. I really connected with him and loved the nickname the Reckoners gave him. The Reckoners themselves are a diverse group of individuals, and each brings a dynamic skill and mindset to this motley team. The Epics while not fleshed out, were terrifying and unique. Their abilities sprang to life as Sanderson introduced each one. Each has a unique set of abilities from illusions to fire, but all have a weakness much like the Superheroes we all know and love. Sanderson brought the Epics and Reckoners to life keeping me completely captivated.

Steelheart was action-packed, with twists and turns that even I didn’t see coming. Sanderson provided a panoramic view of the city and its residences. The world building was wonderfully done, without a lot of info dumps, and while I still have oodles of questions I felt confident as I read. One of the things I enjoy when reading a book in this genre is when an author makes the impossible seem probable, and I so believed from the Epics to the kick-ass Reckoners. The super abilities to the amazing gadgets the Reckoners possessed made me drool. Sanderson has a wicked imagination, and I thoroughly enjoyed the benefits. It’s a simple tale of good verse evil, man overcoming oppression and adversity. How can one not fall in love with the underdogs and root them to victory? The twists and reveals blew me away and made me freakishly giddy as subtle clues suddenly clicked into place, and I yelled, “OMG, of course!” This was hands down one of the most intense and fascinating reads I have read this year. It’s one of those books you cannot set down, where you travel so deeply into the tale and its characters that the outside world disappears. I imagined myself sitting at the window of a war-torn and abandon high tower building high above the city as I watched this tale unfold.

Enough gushing, all I can say is go, go buy Steelheart if you love what I have described you will thank me. Send coffee or chocolate. Firefight will release in 2014 and Calamity the final book of the trilogy will release in 2015. And so my friends the wait begins.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

124 Responses to “Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson”

  1. Getty

    I saw this book and thought it look interesting, but some mediocre reviews scared me away. But since you liked it so much, I might try it after all!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sweet, glad you are going to try it Getty. I hope school is going well.

  2. Lauren

    Somehow I missed this over my vacation but YAY!!! So glad you loved this one too!! I agree with you about David being endearing, I really loved his goofy attempts at metaphors. I did not see the twist coming at all! Sanderson definitely has a wonderful imagination, and I can’t wait to read Firefight when it comes out! Fabulous review!! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I loved his attempts too and cannot wait for the next one. I want to try some of his adult books too 🙂

  3. Kay

    I feel greedy because I want lots of powers!!!! I guess if I only had to pick one it would be telekinesis. I love superheroes and people with powers in my books so I definitely plan on reading Steelheart!

  4. Ariel T

    I would have to go with telekinesis, because that would save me so much time and trouble. Also just because I’m lazy. Lol.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Vicky, if you don’t mind ebooks this is under 3.00 right now, I think it is a weekend special 🙂

  5. Anya

    YEY I’m so glad you loved this one :D. I so agree about the questions, I can’t wait to find out how all of this started for one thing, so intriguing! Also omg that prologue, all the ugly crying D: Why can’t it be 2014 yet?? 😉

  6. Leanne

    Oh man, Steelheart sounds amazing! I knew there was a lot of anticipation over its release, particularly among my group of friends. I’m almost wary to start it because I know I will end up loving it to bits and want the next two books right away. The anxiety of waiting sometimes is such bittersweet torture!

    Hm for my superpower I would love to be able to blink around to different places – like Nightcrawler, only super-long range. I have such a wanderlust bug that it would be AMAZING to travel literally in the blink of an eye anywhere in the world I wish.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree, I would travel everywhere if I could do that. Waiting for the next book is always hard. Good luck!

  7. Ann

    I would like the power of teleportation. It would save me tons of money on gas. Lol

  8. Ginny

    I want to read this one!!! Slash that…I will be reading this one. Let’s see superpower…really only one??? Lets go with a super fast but balanced metabolism that would enable me to eat whatever I want without gaining weight and also supply me with endless energy and the need for little sleep while at the same time suffering from no unhealthy side effects. That would be awesome!

  9. Alexa

    This sounds like a book my boyfriend would really enjoy as he is a comic book lover. I would have to say if I was to have a power I would want to have control over the weather so I can have mostly 70 degrees year round. Or I can make it rain so I can curl up with a blanket and a good book.

    Thanks for the great review!

  10. Dana

    I agree with a few other commentors: I’d want teleportation. In battle, it’s a great way to dodge attack and launch sneak attacks. In everyday life, it’s a great way to save time because you don’t have to commute by car/bike/bus. ^_^

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh I would love it too, I could pop in at friends and families home all over the world. Read a book set in the highlands, curious about the ruins? Just teleport over and take a peak! Good luck Dana 🙂

      • Dana

        Oh my gosh! I hadn’t considered that you could go all over the world! I was thinking more practical trips, but going to exotic/unusual/fun places would be great too. 😀

  11. becca f

    I would love to fly bc it would be so much more convenient than walking or driving. Lol I’m lazy

  12. Lily B

    I have it! Have not read it yet, was a little nervous honestly. I really liked his other writing, but this one seems so different heh. Glad to hear it translated well thought 🙂 maybe I’ll make some time in december!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was my first experience with his work and found it highly entertaining.

  13. Jenea

    I’m not sure if I could pick just one super power. 🙂 I saw this the other day while I was at Walmart, I knew I should have picked it up! Awesome review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It spoke to you and you didn’t listen..LOL Thanks Jenea 🙂

  14. Lindy

    I love Dytopians! This one sounds fun, fast paced, and very entertaining! Great Review Kim! You’re such an amazing writer, and all of your reviews sound professional, and entertaining. I wish I could write like you 🙂

  15. Christine

    I have this one, but have been on the fence about starting it since I’m a little burned out on dystopians lately (and trilogies in particular). This sounds quite unique though which would be a breath of fresh air!

  16. Carl

    Like everyone I want to save time so super-speed or flying would work for me. I’d like to get all the errands done in like 15 minutes. Thanks for the giveaway, this looks like a great book and a great new series.

  17. Meagan

    I would love to be able to have super sonic speed. I would be able to run around with no one to bother me because they were moving so slow I wouldn’t be seen. I could get so much reading done. That would be awesome. (Btw this book looks AWESOME!!!!!)

  18. Jennifer

    I LOVE that you LOVED this! It is on my radar and cannot wait to get to it!

    I would love to be able to teleport, mostly because I hate driving/riding in a car. I just want to be somewhere instantaneously!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed we would have more time to read, good luck and enjoy this was a keeper 🙂

  19. Hillary R.

    I would love to have the power to read minds! Not only would I know what people were always thinking (whether it was about me or not) but I would be able to ace a lot of tests without studying which would definitely make my whole life a lot easier. I would also like to transport myself to places without having to drive and maybe have elemental powers 😀

  20. Michelle

    I still need to read this *cries* My boyfriend bought me the book so we could read it together and now he’s making me wait…*pouts*
    I’m constantly changing what super power I want, though I could cheat and say the ability to steal other people’s powers. Then I could have them all! Muahaha! (I may lean toward the villain side of things)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Well boo, he needs to read it with you! Love your idea of a superpower!

  21. Naomi

    *Snickers* I am like that constantly, yelling at my books when everything clicks into place!! Steelheart sounds like a book i’d enjoy, awesome review Kimberly!!

    • A Voracious Reader

      Was so excited I forgot what super power…that’s a tough one. So many good ones to choose from, but I think I’d like super healing powers, for myself and the ability to heal others.

      • kimbacaffeinate

        Oh what an awesome power to choose and you totally crack me up with your enthusiasm. You brighten my day 🙂

  22. Christy

    Ohh reeeaaally …? Calling them Epics annoys me, but damn, this book sounds really good. I think I may have to read it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Why does it annoy you? Any who this book was awesome, and yes you must read it 🙂

  23. Melissa (Books and Things)

    How about chocolate coffee? 😀

    This author is on my must read list. This might be the one I read! Sounds fantastic and I won’t feel so behind in the series. 🙂

    Superpower: defying gravity. You could fly (no TSA). 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      you say that know, but spend a day listening to the thoughts in my will be looking for the off button..hehehe

  24. Dragana

    As an old Sanderson fan I found Steelheart a little bit weaker than his adult fantasy novels but still it is original and engaging book. I could not really connect to David as you did so that diminished my enjoyment of the book a little bit but still it was (as you said) one of the better books I have read this year.
    BTW I posted my review of Steelheart today also, what a weird coincidence! 😀

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I have not yet had the pleasure of reading his adult novels, and I can only imagine the depth they might reach. Not being able to connect has it downfalls, and always makes the story a little less enjoyable for me, and I am sorry that is what you experienced.

  25. Candace

    I change my mind about this all the time, but I think teleportation would be great. My family lives far away and I’d love to be able to just drop by to visit them at any ol’ time.

    I have heard amazing things about this book! They have signed copies at Powells and I think I might just have to splurge and grab one if I don’t win cause I really need to read this!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think teleportation would be great my family is on the East coast and I would love to pop in for coffee.

  26. ShootingStarsMag

    That’s great you loved this one! I am dying to check this one out. It sounds wonderful.

    If I had a superpower, I think I’d like to apparate (like in the Harry Potter books) because traveling places can be quite tedious. haha

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I like that power, I could explore places that were referenced in a book and still be home to cook dinner!

  27. Kim { Book Swoon }

    Wow, wasn’t this book just awesome. Brandon Sanderson’s Steelheart was pretty much perfect for me. I loved the surprise twist too. The characters, Epics, world-building, sweet-crush, battles, weapons & gagets…! Great review and so glad you loved it too 🙂

  28. Mishel

    I remember seeing the cover for Warbreaker years ago and really wanting to check out Sanderson. I’ve since discovered how many other books he’s written and read some great things about his writing. I’m so glad to hear that he is still continuing to write great books. I’m looking forward to trying a book of his Kimba. Thanks for the great review =)

    As for the superpowers…ugh it’s so hard to choose just one! I suppose I’d like to be telepathic. Although I’m not (too) nosy I’d like to know what others were truly thinking and be able to speak mentally. It would be pretty cool!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh my lord, with the crazy crap rolling around in my head…I wouldn’t want anyone snooping..LOL

  29. Diana Leigh

    What an intriguing premise! I think my husband and sister would like it – both are very into superheroes.

    If I could have a superpower, I’d pick invisibility. Oh, the fun I could have. 😉

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Awesome, and I highlighted your new Face Off on the Sunday Post this week, I hope peeps check it out 🙂

  30. Tammy

    Ooops, I didn’t know I had to answer a question! I think I’d love to have the power of invisibility:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I need to check out V. E. Schwab’s VICIOUS, and I hope you enjoy Steelheart 🙂

  31. Tammy

    This has been on my wishlist for a while now, I can’t wait to read it! I’m curious to see how it compares to V. E. Schwab’s VICIOUS, which is also about superheroes, and is one of my favorite books of the year.

  32. Tressa

    Hmm. Maybe speed so that I can get things done really fast. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to clean the whole house in 30 minutes and then have lots more time to read? 🙂

    • Tressa

      Oh, I thought about speed-reading too, but then I thought some books I like to read slower to better enjoy them, but then others, yes, I’d love to speed-read and get through a bunch of books. What would it look like to not have a 1000 books on my tbr? 😉

  33. Sam

    I SOO need to read this! I’ve been hearing nothing but good things, and I can tell from your review that this will be exactly my sort of book. I also love it when twists are clever and keep you on the edge of your seat. Brilliant review, Kimba! I’m glad you had fun with this. 🙂

  34. Lark

    Everything I hear about Sanderson makes me want to read him. This is a great review; I’m not normally a dystopian fan but I would definitely read this.

    As for what superpower I would like to have… hmm. They all seem to have their drawbacks. Telekinesis might have the fewest drawbacks (and therefore be the most fun).

  35. Nick

    I have a copy of this and I’m so excited to read it. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well, Kim.
    The world-building and the characters sound absolutely wonderful.
    Fabulous review, Kim!

  36. Jenny

    This is the second absolutely glowing review I’ve read for this book Kim, and I need to get to this book asap. I’m a girl that loves to root for the underdog just like you said, so I’m all for this David vs. Goliath type story. Your mention of twists and turns has me really excited as well, I love being surprised while reading and having the “HOW DID I NOT SEE THAT COMING?” moments:) Can’t wait to try this!

  37. Jayne

    I would love to be able to fly. Not only would it make getting to places easier, but it would just be very awesome. Thank you for the giveaway!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed, although I still want the ability to pause time so that I can read a book and still get the laundry done

  38. Mary

    I started this one but, as I’m a mood reader, set it aside. It’s definitely on my pick-back-up-ASAP list, though! I love that the Epics aren’t heroes, didn’t become heroes just because they gained powers. It is a sad testament to human nature that I could see this happening. Absolute power and all.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I get that way sometimes. Hope you enjoy it when the mood strikes!

  39. Tanja

    This sounds like an absolutely great read! I love the sound of the plot and it all sounds really innovative. Also the character seem well-developed too! Great review, Kim 🙂

  40. Mike

    I’ve been eyeing the audio version for some time now. Your review just convinced me to buy it! 😀

  41. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Oh, yes, I was surprised by the big twist in this one as well! Totally shocked! And I had the ‘OMG, of course!’ moment too.
    I’m so glad to see you enjoyed this, I thought it was such a fabulous surprise. It was my first book by Sanderson and I honestly didn’t expect much.
    Great review!

  42. Bonnie Hilligoss

    I would like to be able to teleport, because I dislike the time it takes to get places. You could just pop in and out! I have not heard of this book before, but it looks really interesting! Thank you for the giveaway!!

  43. Justine

    I’m so glad you reviewed this! I just happen to have cross upon it a few days ago and it sounded interesting but I wasn’t too sure whether I should purchase it. Great review! It definitely made me want to read it even more!