Series: Reckoners #1
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic, YA
Publication date: September 24th 2013
by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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.
-A copy was provided by Random House Children's Books for review-
This book = insanity!
This will prove my living under a rock, but I had not heard of this author before I went to Book Expo and got told all about his awesome status, and let me tell you, the praise is not unwarranted! Steelheart does not hold back; it’s an edge-of-your-seat read with an intensity that requires you to put the book down regularly just so you can take a breather!
There are book beginnings… then there are Sanderson beginnings; the prologue is all it took to make me fall in love with this book. Already, my heart was pounding, I was left gasping, and my knuckles were white from clutching the book. Sanderson’s writing brought me thoroughly and completely in David’s world – a very dark, merciless world – and in it I stayed until the last page was turned! My advice to you: buckle up, because it’s a wild, turbulent ride!
In David’s world, the Epics – humans with extraordinary powers – have taken over. You must abide by their rules to survive and then hope you go unnoticed. This may not sound like anything new – your average comic book premise, even – but the creativity is in the details. The world building does not falter; with every turn of a page the world comes alive with devastatingly grim, yet strangely picturesque, details. Sanderson paints this cinematic picture of a world corrupted by power. Each new Epic introduced is more fascinating than the last, not to mention terrifying. The various powers that range from death by command, to illusionists, to controlling daylight, coupled with the concept of weaknesses, are imaginative and utterly compelling. Much like Calamity which remains the enigma behind it all, yet to be explored but full of promise. This all results in an unpredictable plot with no limits or hesitations. Not once did I know what was coming next, though I learned quickly to not let myself relax for even a second.
Now let’s meet the characters. We have a protagonist who’s dedicated his life to learning about the Epics, his knowledge on the matter turns him into a capable and intelligent character. His awkwardness around a certain girl and his terrible analogies offer some comic relief to the story’s borderline unbearable tension while carving him into a flawed, easily relatable character. He soon teams up with the Reckoners, a group who is fighting back against the Epics. Each member of this team brings forth a memorable personality, and a few have an air of mystery that will make you constantly question everything about their character. The powerhouse in this book, however, is none other than Steelheart himself. He makes his presence known during the first few pages, paralyzing us with his sheer power, ruthlessness, and invincibility. Most of the plot – especially its mystery – is spent on figuring out what exactly could lead to his defeat, but finding this weakness feels like an insurmountable challenge. My imagination was running rampant with infinite theories and possibilities that made it all the more riveting. Even though I was on the right track, I found myself reveling in the brilliance that was this ending! Besides, this book is so wildly action packed with wicked fight scenes that are so vicious and intense, that you won’t care to spend much time predicting anything at all, let alone achieve success with idle guesses.
Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of this book! Steelheart is a spectacular read that’s impossible to put down; sit comfortably, take a (deep) breath, now get ready to be up all night!