Review | Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson

“Sometimes, son,” my father said, prying my fingers free, “you have to help the heroes along.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: chases, car crashes, steel, superpowers, explosions, tensors, bandages, intercommunications, “sparks”, bad metaphors, illusions, weapons, the power of fear, Epics and the Reckoners.

I have never read a superhero kind of book before, and that’s because I’m not naturally drawn to this theme. I started this book because a friend of mine wanted me to read it but it’s really not my thing, and unfortunately this reflects on my rating. When I started the book I wanted to dive in with an open mind and I’m glad I did. It’s truly an amazing story and I completely understand the hype around Brandon Sanderson books – I never read other books by him, but I assume they are written in a similar way.

I said that this is a superhero book, but that’s not exactly the truth. Even though I stand for what I categorized the book, this is not your typical superhero-saves-the-world kind of book. They are evil and they control people through violence to get what they want. In this dystopian world, these superheroes are called Epics, who got superpowers through a weird phenomenon that happened on Earth named Calamity. Like I said, after getting their superpowers, Epics became obsessed with power and they started to kill everyone who stood in their way, instead of saving the world like superheroes usually do. This story starts when David’s father gets killed by Steelheart, one of the most powerful Epics ever known. Everyone thinks Steelheart has no weaknesses, but David saw him bleeding that day – something no one has ever seen before. David escapes alive and keeps this huge secret with him, hoping one day he would get his revenge by killing the Epic who killed his father. He dedicated most of his life to studying Epics and he believes his knowledge could help “The Reckoners” – an assassins group who tries to kill Epics who abuse their power.

I can completely understand why this book is so popular. The world is very well built, the character development is good, the pacing is great and there are a lot of action scenes that make the story interesting. I also liked the characters, especially David. He was a very likeable character to my eyes and he didn’t sound childish for his eighteen years. I really liked his personality and his weird metaphors! I also thought it was really funny how the author switched the cursed words to “sparks” and “slontze”, but it got to the point where it started to sound kind of goofy!

There was a cute romance between David and one of “The Reckoners”, but nothing over the top which I appreciate when it comes to books with strong themes. It was very well made, and it didn’t feel like an instalove romance at all. 

The ending is very good and it makes you wonder what will happen in the second book. I have to say I was really impressed with some of the secrets that were unfolding and developments in general. I had my suspicions about some of the things that were revealed later, but some of them were a huge surprise! There are so many twists and turns that you will never feel bored while reading this.

At this point I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series because I have mixed feelings. I’m still not very interested in superheroes, but I’m not completely ruling it out for now because now I feel invested in the story. The truth is that it is a really good book, I’m just not a fan of superhero stories.

xoxo, Neide

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