Sunday, November 3, 2013

Audiobook Review: Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)

Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews
Released: September 24th 2013
Publisher: Audible Frontiers
Lenght: 12 hrs and 14 mins
Buy: Audible

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?!


  1. Sounds like a great book! I love having audiobooks as well as "regular" books! Audiobooks get me through all of my house cleaning woes! Hehe!

  2. If you want the read their grocery shopping list, that's saying something! I have seen so many great reviews on this, I think I'd happily buy it right now. It's good that not only the MC was favourable, but the entire cast was.

    Lovely review, Maja! <33

  3. Well girl I'll just go ahead and add this to my to-read list. There is no other way. I mean it seems to me you're blown away buy this one. Also meeting a new sort of superheros sounds really good! Great review Maja :)

  4. Jealous! I so want this one cos I love Sanderson

  5. This book sounds incredibly good. I love the whole bad-superhero concept and it's great that he managed to capture a teenage boy in such a realistic way :)

  6. I've yet to read anything by Sanderson myself, though I own his entire Mistborn Trilogy. I'm really looking forward to finding the time during the holidays to snuggle up and read it all in one go. I'm so glad you enjoyed Sanderson's work, Maja, and this novel sounds fantastic. I think I may have already bought it on my Kindle, so I'll have to get down to reading it ASAP!(:

  7. I love Sanderson writing and he did such an amazing job in taking over the wheel of time series that I am glad this book is just as good! I do own a copy of this one, so it makes me giddy reading an awesome review!

  8. I just got this for a tour in November and so I only read your first paragraph and boy am I glad I said yes, despite my crammed sounded good and I am so delighted.

  9. Thank you for sharing this! I vaguely know of Brandon Sanderson as That Guy Who Finished the Wheel of Time series (I think), and now I'm really excited to read this book!

  10. This is a long audio book, but it sounds like you enjoyed every minute of it, Maja. I love it when the narrator breathes life into the character, and understands the complexity of the story enough to get it just right. I think I loved Kate Daniels a little more just because of the narrator. Her narration of the male characters improved greatly after book one but I always loved her portrayal of Kate.

    I like that this is a different take on the superhero story, and the fact that humor finds it's way into the story through David. Excellent review, Maja. I'll have to check this out. Maybe when I get my next credit. :)

  11. Brandon Sanderson has been HIGHLY recommended and I have several of his books on my wishlist because of it. I wasn't so sure about this one though. I'm not a big fan of superhero books usually. But it sounds like this is quite different from others, so maybe I should consider it after all. Especially after that great review!

  12. Okay superhero reads are normally not my thing but you have me so intrigued now! I want to find out everything that happens.

    I think I am going to have to put this author in my TBR pile now. :)

  13. "I’m eager to read everything he’s ever written. 5th grade homework? Yes, please. Grocery list? Give it here." :D Awesome! I love when I discover a new-to-me author who makes me feel this way. It doesn't happen that often, but when it does, it's a magical feeling. Sanderson is certainly deserving of this statement, I've loved his fantasy books for years (especially the Mistborn books), and it's no surprise that Steelheart would make you feel this way. Wonderful review, I'm so glad to hear you loved it!

  14. I started this one but put it to the side for some reason (I feel like I've done that with too many books lately! Am I slumpy? I don't know!!) but I loved the idea of people -- even those with super powers -- just out for themselves and a kid who refuses to accept that.

  15. Superheroes are HUGE right now! I didn't really know what this book was about, but I'd kind of put it off my radar. However, you have definitely peaked my interest in it! Well developed characters and action scenes? Sounds fantastic!

  16. Almost perfect! Great. I have this book so looking forward to reading it. And yes, you're so right about the comic book heroes popping out everywhere. I am a fan so this book is right up my alley.

    I hope you'll have the chance to read Vicious, Maja. :)

  17. You definitely know how to sell this book, Maja! I'm convinced. Especially since this was one I was originally going to pass on but now I feel like I have to read it, the characters sound so amazing.

  18. Awesome! I love finding new gems to listen to. I'm sold I just added to my wish list :)

  19. I loved Steelheart, isn't Brandon Sanderson's writing amazing. The story, the characters- the bad guys! David's character really stole my heart, the funny little odd-ball phrases he used and his teen hormones/crush were perfect to lighten the mood. I have to admit, I also loved all those cool gadgets and weapons against the Epics. Great review Maja :)

  20. I haven't read Sanderson yet myself, although I have a copy of his Mistborn on my Kindle. I heard that's his best series, so I'm eager to start that soon. I can't wait to read him myself, and I hope that he continues to impress you with other works. :)

  21. I still need to read Steelheart myself, my paperback copy is with the bf now so we're gonna be synching the reading as soon as his sister is done with it! I should keep a better eye on my books when surrounded by fellow bookworms! So very happy to read that you also loved this one, Maja!

  22. I didn't recommend the first book initially, but I'd like to change my opinion and recommend it conditionally. I think you should read Reckoners 1 contingent upon you investing in the long haul. If you read the first one, read this one also. This book's provides perspective and development from the groundwork of the first installment. This book is thrilling and unpredictable. This book had me anxious to pick it up and read more.

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