Don’t just act because you can; act because it’s the right thing to do. If you keep that in mind, you’ll be all right.

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Steelheart : Reckoners Book #1

By Brandon Sanderson
2013
386 Pages

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.

I picked this up on a suggestion from one of my employees who shares the same love of Percy Jackson that I do. Young adult level book, male protagonist, fantastical elements? Sure, why not.steelheart

Having now finished the book, the recommendation was pretty spot on, though I still think I like Riordan’s series better. Steelheart, which is the first of a trilogy, is centered around an 18 year old boy named David who saw his father die during one of the first days of the Epics. Epics, who are basically X-Men-level mutants though only almost exclusively evil, run the world. You can guess what happens next.

Only… you’d probably be wrong. There are a mess of plot twists, deceptions, and deaths that kept me wondering and reacting throughout. From that stand point it was quite well done- because really, who wants to read something predictable? The strange powers, the technology, the very atmosphere of a Chicago encased in steel- all of it made for a interesting and inventive world.

My only major gripes are twofold. One, the middle section sort of dragged, bogged down with a good deal of strategizing that got long winded. Two, the characters themselves could’ve used more dimension in their personality. The protagonist is a teenage boy who seems almost too perfect at everything he does, and swears repeatedly in that awkward fake-swearing way that YA books tend to have. Sorry, that’s just a weird peeve of mine. Don’t get me wrong, I curse all the time, but when authors create one new, fake swear, and then overuse it? It starts to grate. Be creative with your profanity! Anyway, enough of that tangent… the supporting cast members are for the most part given one defining trait and then left at it. Smart, mysterious, hot, friendly, etc. This is the first book in the trilogy, so I’m hoping for some more growth as the books continue.

Should You Read This?

Did you also enjoy Percy Jackson, or other types of adventurous books with teenagers doing insane things? Like fighting essentially the Evil Brotherhood of Mutants? Pick this up.

Are you more of the YA Romance type? Well.. you won’t really find much of that here. This is a superhero adventure, and while I see a potential for future pairings, it was barely a plot point in this particular book.

Steelheart is the first of a trilogy, though this first arc ends very neatly. I’ll most likely pick up the next few titles, since there are some meta-questions left unanswered, but the lack of a major cliffhanger will at least let me set it aside for a bit and chip away at the rest of my TBR Pile…

Summary from Goodreads

Goodreads