After witnessing his father murdered by the Epic named Steelheart, David wants revenge. Years later, David finally finds the Reckoners, humans who have killed Epics for revenge. He must convince them to help him kill Steelheart, one of the most powerful Epics of all time. And, he knows exactly what they need.
Why this book?: I’ve been hearing a lot about Mr. Sanderson, and I got this book nearly free as an ebook. Why not start here?
My opinion is mostly mixed on this book. There were a lot of things that I enjoyed, but at the same time, a lot of things also got on my nerves. I had to read this book in spurts–I would open my copy of it only when I couldn’t focus on another of my books, or if I was somewhere I couldn’t bring solid copies. Then, for awhile, I forgot about this book, and only just decided to finish it because I didn’t realize I only had 30% of the book left to read.
That’s one of the few things that made me stick around for this book. The world building was something I’d never seen before, and I was completely in awe by it. It made me want to know more about the world, about Calamity, and how and why it affected people the way it did.
The whole concept of Epics and how normal people see them was also very unique, how the stronger the Epic, the more rights they had, and so forth. How a whole nother religion was created due to the arrival of Epics and Calamity, and what those people believed in, and how other people saw those people. It was really interesting, to say the least.
That being said, that was really all I enjoyed about this book.
Clichè and trope filled
The characters were all cardboard cut outs, all with a clichè pasts and personalities. I didn’t really enjoy the insta-love between David and Megan, especially when it seemed that David was practically nearly obsessing over her every mood and opinion.
Honestly, I felt as if I had read these characters before. In multiple other YA stories. There’s always that token black character, the smart girl, the comic relief (usually Irish), and the old wise guy. Not to mention the Badass Love Interest™, and the protagonist with the angsty past.
It just felt surreal, seeing this amazing world-building with these generic characters. There were a few surprises at the end, although they weren’t much of surprises because it was so obvious where Sanderson wanted this novel to go. Of the three things that were revealed at the end, one surprised me. The other two were a little obvious, especially because I guess one of them before I was even half way through Steelheart.
Final Rating: ★★½☆☆☆
Overall, this book was cringe-worthy at best. Some scenes were enjoyable, others made me throw down the book in frustration. The characters were just boring and stereotypical. While the world made these characters bearable, I only just barely finished the book, mainly because I was curious as to Steelheart’s finale.
Would I Recommend?
Maybe it was just me that found the characters unbearable. I personally think that it was a quick read, despite me having so many problems with it. I’m still a fan of Brandon Sanderson, but not this one. Read it if you want, but I wouldn’t have high hopes for it.
Published: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Random House Children’s Publishing
Page Count: 416
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction/Dystopia
Synopsis: via Goodreads
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.