Thursday, June 26, 2014

Audiobook Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart
Series: The Reckoners #1
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Published: September 2013 by Delacorte Press (Random House)
(Amazon / Goodreads / Audible)

Synopsis: 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.

So I have a bunch of different ideas for books I would like to write/read. One of them involves superheroes. Superheroes that are douchey, power-hungry jerks who do more harm than good. I no longer need to write this book because Brandon Sanderson has written it so well and I will never reach hat level. Seriously, how do you describe a book with an incredible world, amazing characters, and a brilliant plot full of mind-blowing twists? The only word that comes to mind is epic. Despite it's conotation within the story, that's what Steelheart is... EPIC!

If you're familiar with Brandon Sanderson then you know that what he does incredibly well is create an interesting and complex. Steelheart is no exception. Everything is so lusciously described in incredible deatail and the world of these heroes or Epics is incredibly unique and well-developed. Each Epic has it's own very specific power that is unlike anyone elses. Whether you are an illusionist who can make people see things, can create total darkness, generate power, fly, give your powers to others, you name it there is probably a person with that power. And there is a hierarchy, those who have the best or most powers are the people in charge. It may seem complicated but Sanderson makes it all seem so natural and easy to understand. It's not at all overwhelming and we are definitely shown and not told about this world. The rules are clear and unlike anything else I have read about previously. The book on the whole has a definite post-apocalyptic feel with the world being changed completely by an odd event that gives people supernatural powers. And while these Epics do their best to control the people and "provide" for them, it's pretty clear that things are not going very well.

It is also clear right from the beginning that these Epics are not heroes. This is not Batman and Superman flying around helping keep the streets free from crime. This is a book about people who allowed their powers to go to their head. There is such a deep-seated theme throughout the book about power and control. As the old saying goes "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." But what would they say about super powers? I love books that explore this concept and Steelheart is the kind of book the beauty handles this idea and creates a host of characters that are not only deliciously evil but complex and dubious.

It is these characters that really made me love this book. First there's David who is an amazing protagonist and MC. Right away we are able to connect with him and his struggle for vengence. And whilethat is what drives him he is so much more than that, he is also intelligent and funny. Probably my favorite thing about him is how truly bad he is at metaphors, it was quite the comic relief! The entire book I wanted to see him succeed and get exactly what he wanted because it was also what I wanted. But more than just David, the book was full of amazing secondary characters all of whom I loved. All of The Reckoners were fantastic and likable. There was snarky and badass Megan, intelligent and mysterious Prof, hilarious and optimistic Cody, thoughful and supportive Abraham, and Tia who is cautious and resourceful. Each character was distinct and interesting and I grew very attached to them throughout the book.

But for me the best part of the book was it's amazing plot full of action, mystery, and surprise twists. The book started out with an incredible opening scene and from there it never seemed to slow down. The plot just built and built until there was no way of containing it any further. It was like a volcano with the lid on (a Davidesque metaphor). As usual I spent most of the book trying to figure out exactly what was happening. Usually I'm not completely mind-blown by a plot twist and I thought that Steelheart was going to be just like every other book. I thought I had it all figured out and then Brandon Sanderson reminded me why he is a master storyteller and threw me for not one but two absolutely insane twists. When the book was over I couldn't wrap my head around exactly what had happened. One thing I knew for certain, this is a fantastic book and I can't wait for the next book in the series!

I experienced this book in audio format which was a really excellent choice. I love audiobooks but it takes a very specific book for me to really enjoy it's audio. Steelheart was that book. It was full of action and adventure with enough thrilling moments to keep me on the edge of my seat throughout the audio. And the narrator did a fantastic job of not only telling a compelling story but allow you to become immersed in it with his acting. All the voices and inflections of the characters were perfect. He was able to capture Cody's southern accent, Abraham's French accent, Steelheart's tough guy growl, and even an Indian accent. He was fantastic and he made the audiobook a fantastic choice.

I give Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson a 10 out of 10

It was a fantastic and interesting story with an amazing world, mindblowing plot, likable characters, and deeper themes about humanity. If you are a fan of superhero stories or books with lots of adventure then definitely check this one out!

Have you read Steelheart? What were your thoughts? Leave me a comment and keep the conversation going. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!


  1. Yeah, the twists in this one were brilliant. I was absolutely blown away, and I've read everything by Sanderson that I can find, literally.

    The audio sounds really interesting. I really should check out some Sanderson in audio at some point--the only thing I have so far is Legion.

  2. Woohooooooo!!! I'm so glad you loved this one, Cassi! I loved it too, and your review just makes me even more excited for you to (eventually) read Mistborn!! lol. I feel like Mistborn is an even stronger book in all of the areas you said you loved about Steelheart, sooooo... yeah, you're gonna love it. XDD

  3. I absolutely loved this book! I'm so glad to hear you did too =D your review was fantastic.

  4. I completely agree! This books AND Brandon Sanderson are completely amazing. Yes he does complex worlds like nobody's business. I've met him so many times now because I'm such a huge fan I'll travel just to see him and I got to hold his HUGO last year!!!! Can you believe it - I just about died. He's awesome...ook sorry fangirling there.

  5. Brandon Sanderson is an amazing author. I started reading his books with "Elantris" and I knew I wanted more. His books are free from smut, but they are entertaining ANYWAY! I think what amazes me about this author is how he can crank out so many books and still have every trilogy or story be completely developed and original. The ideas he comes up with absolutely blow my mind.

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