Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews
Released: September 24th 2013
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Lenght: 12 hrs and 14 mins
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 was my first book by Brandon Sanderson, and now that I’ve finished it, I’m eager to read everything he’s ever written. 5th grade homework? Yes, please. Grocery list? Give it here. I really wish I’d discovered him ages ago! Have you guys been slacking off? It seems I’ve been missing out on a lot! Now I have to struggle and change my schedule to catch up.
I think it’s clear by now how much I enjoyed this first installment in the Reckoners series. To be fair, Steelheart is a perfect example of publishing the right book at the right time – I doubt superheroes were ever more popular than they are now. Sanderson borrows the basic idea from Marvel and DC, the only difference being that his superheroes – Epics, as he calls them – aren’t here to save anyone; they’re here to take whatever they want exactly when they want it. In Sanderson’s world, law of the jungle is the only law that still applies.
David, Sanderson’s protagonist, is no superhero, he is a regular teen boy, but one who refuses to accept the way things are. After all, Steelheart, the most powerful Epic and ruler of Newcago, killed David’s father when David was just a boy. He may be reputed to be invulnerable, but David is the only one who has ever seen him bleed. I thought Sanderson did a wonderful job with David. For a teen boy, he was both observant and fairly wise, but I loved that he never stopped being a teenager with raging hormones, prone to rash decisions and careless behavior. He was likeable from the very first page, and his remarks were often hilarious, as were his horrible metaphors.
Secondary characters weren’t far behind. Each one of them interesting and complex, with some, like Prof, mysterious enough to keep us on the edge of our seats the entire time. But even with such fabulous characters, Sanderson’s experience is most evident in action scenes. He knows exactly when and how to speed things up and which moments to describe in detail. His control over every scene and every one of his characters is superb and his understanding of the emotional side of his characters enviable.
MacLeod Andrews narrated the story confidently and perfectly. He breathed so much life into the main character, I really felt David was the one telling me his story. This was my first audiobook narrated by him, but I will try to find more.
If Steelheart is any indication, Sanderson is an author who can do no wrong. I came this close to giving Steelheart 5 stars but I decided against it because there is still some room for improvement, although admittedly not much.
Can I have book 2, please? Like, now?!