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Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

By / October 1, 2013 / no comments

Steelheart is Brandon Sanderson’s newest book. Once again, it’s a good one. It’s different from what we’re used to though. Steelheart is a YA (young adult) book, built around the superhero concept.

– If power corrupts, does absolute power corrupt absolutely?
That’s the question Brandon Sanderson asks of you and me.

Steelheart takes place in a world where “Calamity”, a cosmic event, hits one day. Normal people develop superpowers, and these people become Epics. Only, in this world, the Epics do not become heroes, as we have always been told and believed in other stories. Instead they turn into super villains.
Every. Last. Epic.

The worst of all the Epics is Steelheart. After Calamity, Steelheart takes control of Chicago, renaming the city Newcago and ruling as its dictator.
10 years later, the people of Newcago are living in oppression, the American government is non-existent, and the Epics are Gods among men.

Only one group dares to strike back at the Epics. The Reckoners consist of normal people with only one mission. To kill Epics. To kill beings so many orders of magnitude greater than a normal human, they need a plan, masterful coordination, and people willing to die for the cause.

“I’ve seen Steelheart bleed…” – David in Steelheart

The story itself is action-packed from page one and never slows down. And it’s way too short. I wanted a lot more. Just like I did with Rithmatist, Legion, Way of Kings and any other Sanderson book.

The basic premise of the story is a young boy, but he has no special powers what so ever. His drive is a burning hatred for Epics in general and Steelheart specifically.
The story is solid, as you would expect from any Sanderson book. But I found it to be lacking something. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Brandon Sanderson for too long, but something about the book felt off.

Brandon Sanderson paints both a bleak but also an uplifting picture of the way human beings are ruled by their innate instincts. On one hand, power corrupts and people are evil. On the other hand, he tells the basic rebel story of outgunned, outnumbered regular Joes taking the fight to the frontlines, to overthrow the evil regime.

Steelheart is probably the easiest Sanderson book to market for a TV audience, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it on the big screen in the near future. It has serious potential as a movie or tv-series.

Though I joked about it earlier, I do feel the length of the book was a drawback. There were not enough pages to fully immerse myself into the story, the characters and the world. I wanted more exploration and more details.
On the plus side, it’s an awesome book and Brandonesque all the way though. A cool magic system, compelling characters and a potentially amazing story.

Sanderson is the Stan Lee of fantasy and I’m eagerly awaiting the second book Firefighter, along with all the other goodies Brandon provides!

Highly recommended book. If you like Sandersons other works, X-men or just a really good book, you should check it out!

Go team Sanderson!


Review written by Laurentius for bestfantasybooks.com

About the author


Blog editor, admin and founder of BestFantasyBooks.comYou'll find me on the BestFantasyBook forums and spending my spare time reading fantasy books and writing lists for this site. In fact, I have no spare time -- running this site IS my spare time!


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