Review: Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson.

The public stood in awe ten years ago as Calamity came, giving ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. Not all the Epics used these powers for good. But, said David’s father, we must wait for the heroes, for they will come.

Except, when faced with an unruly Epic in a bank ten years ago, they didn’t. The one he hoped for, the invulnerable Steelheart, proved even worse than the rest. Though his father was killed by him, he also made him bleed, and David’s life wish is to see revenge and make him bleed once more.

He’s spent the subsequent ten years studying in secret to learn all that he can about the Epics and, more importantly, the Reckoners – the only people in the city who have the will to fight. One day he puts himself in their path in the hope of being offered an interview of sorts as they plan to take out another Epic and events haphazardly unfold.

And, you know, for a book randomly picked up in Waterstones with no review to go on, no recommendation from a friend, just a simple, “Well, this looks kind of cool”, it proved a complete and utter surprise that it was more than you bargained for.

David, Megan, Prof, the host of other characters – they all have their own personalities and backstories that make it interesting and, more so, they don’t stick rigidly to them. David’s bloodlust for Steelheart is integral to the plot and it’s testament to the development that he loosens his grasp on his reasoning because of those around him.

In one sitting, 230 pages were devoured, so go figure. It’s fast paced, it’s different, it’s interesting, it’s exciting. You try to play detective, maybe pick up some clues as to the elusive weaknesses or identities of those they’re looking into but, perhaps this is down to lack of talent for solving such mysteries, it actually surprises you.

There are some bumps – a plot twist here or there that could be done without or handled differently, perhaps. But man, the book cover says “Sanderson will be forever mentioned as one of the finest fantasy writers of this generation”, and if his other books are as grabbing and frankly exciting as this one, then I dare say they’re right.


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