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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

STEELHEART (The Reckoners Book #1) by Brandon Sanderson


Published in September of 2013 by Delacorte Press

Imagine a world in which some people, seemingly random people, were given the powers of a comic book superhero. They are called Epics. Some have extraordinary powers, such as the ability to fly or the ability to control electricity or to heal people. Some have minor powers. But, these powers tend to warp the personalities of the Epics - the more they use them the more the Epics are disconnected from the world of regular people - the more they look at regular people as things to be controlled, used and eventually discarded.
Brandon Sanderson sign
Brandon Sanderson. Photo by Ceridwen.

18 year old David lives in what used to be Chicago. It is now called Newcago and is ruled by an Epic called Steelheart. He has the power to turn anything into steel and he has turned Chicago into a steel-covered wasteland. Plus, he can fly among other powers. In the DC Comic world he would have powers equal to those of Superman. He has a troika of underlings that rule the city and under them are scores more lower power Epics.

Newcago is better than most places if you are not an Epic in that it has electricity and food. But, it has hardly a high quality of life. People are little more than slaves. Some have gone underground, but that is also very, very difficult. 

David scrapes together a legitimate living at various jobs but he also has a secret plan to kill Steelheart because Steelheart killed David's father 10 years ago. This plan just may work because he knows something:

"My mind holds a clue to how Steelheart might be killed...Many of you probably know about the scar on Steelheart's cheek. Well, as far as I can determine, I'm the only living person who knows how he got it.

I've seen Steelheart bleed.

And I will see him bleed again." (p. 16)

Sanderson joins with a secret group of anti-Epic avengers known as The Reckoners and go along for the ride as this ragtag group devises a scheme to kill a nearly unstoppable super-villain and his Epic consorts. 

This is a great action novel with a hard-driving plot and a lot of tension. Everyone knows how its going to end in this David vs. Goliath story (heck, his name is David - can we be more obvious?) but it's a matter of how it will happen and at what cost. Sanderson does not disappoint.

I rate this novel 5 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on July 2, 2014

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