Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (@jessicadhaluska, @BrandSanderson, @randomhousekids)

Posted February 17, 2016 by Jessica in Jessica, Reviews, Science Fiction, Young Adult / 7 Comments

Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (@jessicadhaluska, @BrandSanderson, @randomhousekids)
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #1
Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published on: September 24 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 418
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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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

Epic FedTheNerd scifi kickass WELLWRITTEN

I’m probably going to make Sandersonite heads everywhere explode when I say this, but STEELHEART might be my new favorite Sanderson book. *does NOT duck* *does NOT run*


Is it the most beautifully complicated of his works?


Is it the plot-twistiest?


Is it the most direct and concise, sans anything that could be construed as meandering?


I love Sanderson. Unabashedly. But as someone who’s spent a cumulative ten years with my husband, I can state with authority that ‘love’ does not mean ‘blind to flaws.’ #sorrynotsorry

And this was just FUN. Which was exactly what I needed after my last several books (I’m looking at you, Morning Star).

Meet David.

David is an orphan who’s father was killed in front of him by an Epic (humans who began to manifest superhero-like powers after Calamity appeared in the sky—no, we don’t know what Calamity is, but it might be my new favorite curse word) named Steelheart when he was a child. *squints* Okay, so it wasn’t 100% flowers and rainbows, but beyond the sad backgrounds of several of our characters, it was frequently hilarious.

David and his terrible metaphors are the source of most of the hilarity:

I stopped as I noticed something different. Motorcycles.
There were three of them in a row near the far side of the hallway. I hadn’t seen them at first, as I’d been focused on the guns. They were sleek, their bodies a deep green with black patterns running up their sides. They made me want to hunch over and crouch down to make myself have less wind resistance. I could imagine shooting through the streets on one of these. They looked so dangerous, like alligators. Really fast alligators wearing black. Ninja alligators.

Ninja alligators. *giggle snorts*

But David isn’t a one man show, there’s also the rest of the team:

“Don’t you ever pay attention?” Tia asked. “We’ve talked about this.”
“He was cleaning his guns,” Abraham said.
“I’m an artist,” Cody said.
Abraham nodded. “He’s an artist.”
“And cleanliness is next to deadliness,” Cody added.

Then there’s the genius that is Sanderson. Part of the reason I loved STEELHEART was how much easier it was to backtrack the groundwork of his LIES.

See, Sanderson doesn’t limit himself to unobtrusively weaving hints about future reveals. No, no . . . He deliberately leads you astray. Sometimes in numerous ways.

Sometimes he paints a clear picture in the very beginning, but then so skillfully undermines the idea that YOU LAUGH AT YOURSELF for having such silly thoughts.


In 1000+ pages of these machinations, it’s impossible to look back and see where you went wrong. The best you can hope for is to find some of your missteps, while you throw heavy objects b/c you know, YOU KNOW, it said something about such-and-such-somewhere (<——does NOT make for good document searches), but you’ll NEVER find it.

In less than 400 pages? Easy peasy.

I am learning the darks paths of your mind, Sanderson. I will not remain your puppet forever.


SO. Do you like supervillains? Do you like adorkable manboys who will not stand back and let evil triumph? Do you like NEVER being able to guess ALL THE THINGS an author has in store for you? Then you, friend, should give STEELHEART by Brandon Sanderson a try. It is fantastic. Highly recommended.

Reckoner’s Trilogy:

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.



7 responses to “Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (@jessicadhaluska, @BrandSanderson, @randomhousekids)

  1. I bought the audio for this book a long time ago when it was on sale but not read it yet. I have actually never read this author, so when I get to it it will be my first. 🙂