Book Review: Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson

steelheartAt last, the age old question is answered: “What if you had superpowers?” In Brandon Sanderson’s postapocalyptic novel, Steelheart, a flash of light appear in the sky, giving random people across the world superpowers of all sorts, nicknamed Epics. With the arrival of newfound power, governments fall and chaos ensues. Powerful, invincible, the strongest Epics lay waste to their enemies, and stake their kingdoms across the Fractured States. Only the Reckoners, a band of ordinary people, dare to fight back. They carefully planned and assassinated the epics.

Steelheart, a brutal and undefeatable Epic, rules his city Newcago with an iron fist. When he kills David’s father, Steelheart sparks an obsession. For his entire life, David studied and theorized how to kill Epics, particularly Steelheart. The Reckoners came to Newcago, and his dreams were finally within reach. When he joins the insurgents, he joins the fight.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, having sped through it immediately after the book fair. Steelheart was kind of a twist on what I would have imagined. Rather than powers being used for the good of all, the people destroyed their own society. Would that be similar to a real life scenario? Maybe every child would think twice about their imaginative birthday wishes. I’d want powers anyways.

Steelheart is written very well, once again proving Sanderson’s skill as a writer. The story is fast paced, exciting, and creative- all the marks of a great thriller. Every scene was carefully detailed and engaging. It was interesting to see how people without powers could stand up against impossible enemies and odds. Also, the story was creative and original. Every time a new Epic was introduced, I could count on a new and unexpected power.

The characters! David constantly adapted to his surroundings, but never changed at heart. His determination, humor, and quirkiness were fun to read about the entire time. Even though he seemed casual on the surface, he knew what to do when the time came. The Reckoners crew provided a variety of characters, from the serious and calculating strategist to the goofball who loved jokes. The only character that was somewhat one-sided was the villain, Steelheart. Still, he made a pretty good bad guy.
All in all, read it! It’s a good book as any, with an awesome storyline. While you’re in the pages, you’ll feel heroic too.

-Phillip X., 9th grade

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