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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publishing House: Delacorte 
Source of Copy: Purchased from National Bookstore


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.

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Steelheart was part of one of our Waiting on Wednesday posts, so you guys might get the gist of how much I was anticipating this one. "Superheroes" gone bad? Yes please. Revenge on the villain? A heaping plate of it, por favor. An ordinary human boy hellbent on taking on said villain who is endowed with powers that practically render him invincible against bullets and practically anything? Dude, I can count on one hand people who will say no to that. 

David's father may have been a fan of the Epics, still believing that they have some semblance of good in them, but David thinks otherwise. Unless of course you can justify Steelheart for killing David's dad as easily as he would vermin. Which then you can't. Now eighteen, David has compiled a lot of research and data on the Epics and how they can best and easily be eliminated. And part of his to-do list is to be in with the Reckoners, a group of insurgents who are seeking to assassinate Epics as well.

While Steelheart had all of these ingredients that could make it on our 2013 Best YA Books of the Year, Steelheart fell short of its attempt to truly reel me in. While I have no qualms about a clumsy, hormonal boy being the protagonist nor do I expect realistically, some awesome dude who's just naturally good at extracting revenge, I did feel that David was too childish. On my part of the Waiting on Wednesday post, I quote myself saying that "David sounds like a guy who knows what he wants and knows exactly how to get it, which is something I haven't really seen much of in YA fiction." While it does fulfill that expectation of mine, I was somehow hinting at the fact that I hope David is as fierce as the blurb makes him out to be. While I get that it's a different world, and David lives with different circumstances, I was hoping that he would become somehow... cooler, even if that change took on towards the end of the book. David talks and thinks too much, that sometimes I do have to put the book down and massage my temples. His analogies are awful, so awful that sometimes I just skim over them so I don't feel more annoyed than I already am. 

I did like the concept of normal human beings getting random superpowers, and I myself do believe that if we do get them, the bad would likely outweigh the good (Yes, I am this delightful at parties as well.) and on that note, Sanderson did deliver on his promise.

If you're expecting Steelheart to dish out the solid, wicked cool blurb it actually promises, it doesn't. It does have pretty cool action scenes, but it was hardly enough to keep me interested in looking forward to the second book. With that being said, Steelheart would probably translate better on the big screen than it does on print.



  1. Whenever I pass by a bookstore, I always see this book and I find myself in a conundrum : to buy this book, or just get an ebook. So far, none of those options have won.

    1. It's not something for most of everybody, that's for sure!

  2. So sorry this didn't deliver for you, I loved this one and enjoyed the twist and characters. Great review!

  3. I wanted this one to work for me too! Everyone loved it. :(