Book Review: Steelheart

Posted May 30, 2014 by Lyn Kaye in book review, Lyn / 4 Comments

Book Review: SteelheartSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #1
Published by Delacorte Press on September 24th 2013
Genres: science fiction, young adult
Pages: 386
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

There are no heroes.

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.

Steelheart was a book that gained some rabid attention when it first hit. I gladly bought it when it first came out, then I gave it to my sister when I felt slightly intimidated by the overflowing love for this novel.  Said family member gave back with me, and she said she couldn’t finish it, but it wasn’t bad, just a bit too slow for her.  After taking her feedback into consideration, and finding it again in the backseat when I needed something to read, I finally found the courage to pick it up.

I’ll echo the sentiment of my sister: The book isn’t bad, but it wasn’t outstanding. I wanted more from it, and the ending did not fail to delivery, but I felt that a certain mark wasn’t hit, or something was lacking in this story.  “Strongly liked” comes to mind when I think over the story, but it wasn’t downright bad. Just failed to leap some tall buildings.

So let’s look at the story:

Characters: This was a mixed bag. There were characters I really liked, such as Cody and Abraham and Prof, then there were characters that I just couldn’t seem to really focus my opinion about, such as Megan. I didn’t dislike Megan, but I can’t say I really cared for her.  Her main issue is that she was clearly poorly written. Then there was one that I  flat out couldn’t tolerate at all. Looking at you here, David.  I really like what Sanderson did with some of the characters,  and I enjoyed the Epics, but the main character caused some major teeth grinding.  David was so infurinating and self-absorbed.  He tried to veil his lust for his main crush by stating that he wasn’t just into looks, while devoting a large portion of the story only talking about her aesthetics.  David had his strengths, but the way he treated one of the females characters irked me to no end.

Setting:  A bit slow in some parts, I did like how the story came together towards the end.  This book is very action-driven, and I have no qualms with this, since this is a superhero paranormal story.  The action kept coming, which helped drag me into the story over and over.  I also highly enjoyed the smart solutions cooked up by the characters.  There were just a few twists that I predicted, and a few that took me by surprise.

Writing: I feel that this book was not the best written thing I have ever read. Maybe this wasn’t the author’s strongest work.  I’ll give a fair warning now: I think forgot to drink  the Kool-ade when it comes to Sanderson.  I tried to read The Emperor’s Soul once, and I didn’t finish it.

Romance:  Artificial. One of my least favorite romances.

Paranormal/Superhero factor: This is going to cause me to want to pick up the next book.  I LOVE superhero stories.  I LOVE realistic superhero stories. Superheroes will always snag me right in, and this one treated the subject perfectly.  This has to be the best part of the book.


This book was okay.  The book felt like it was leading me on, and some of the characters failed to hit the mark with me, but the ending was exciting, and there were characters I did love.  More than likely, I will pick up the next story, but my expectations are set pretty low.


4 responses to “Book Review: Steelheart

  1. I liked Abraham and Prof too but even their overall characterization didn’t do it for me. And David *facepalm* and Megan *double facepalm* All this actually kinda made me glad for that reveal at the end because then MAYBE one character will get better portrayal as Firelight(or whatever).

    Truth be told, the only things I did like were the setting and the novelty of reading a superhero book in a long while which also happens to be a Sanderson book because, obviously, Sanderson. I myself tried to read another one of his but never even got beyond the second chapter.
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  2. Hmmm, I hadn’t heard of this one! Superheroes is enticing me…

    I’ve just read Sanderson’s Mistborn series and I loved it over all, so I’m sure I’ll get to this one.

    He does seem to have a tendency of writing TOO much but then bringing it back round with an awesome ending though!

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