I need to thank the lovely ladies at http://litlushes.wordpress.com/ for choosing me to participate in their ARC tour of this wonderful book! I received an opportunity to review this book for free. Steelheart was released on September 26 by Delacorte Press.
Plot summary courtesy of Goodreads:
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.
My thoughts below the cut.
I absolutely loved this book. Loved it. I am now firmly established in the Brandon Sanderson is a fucking genius camp. This is a superhero book, but in this book, it is not the superheroes who are super heroic. It is the quite ordinary people who have extraordinary integrity, and selflessness, and all of those fine qualities that superheroes are supposed to have.
The world building was perfect. Brandon Sanderson has taken the post-apocolyptic novel and done something fresh with it. Calamity is perfect. The Epics are perfect. His creation of Epics and their powers and their weakness was amazing. The categorizing system is entertaining, and the Reckoners themselves are an interesting construct, with their technological prowess and gadgetry. The main character, David, is flawed and passionate and occasionally heedless, but he is also likeable and believeable.
The book moves at a good clip and doesn't get bogged down in extraneous worldbuilding detail, which is often a weakness of writers of fantasy. I would actually call this one urban fantasy, not epic fantasy, but it has an epic feel to it. David is a young man on a mission - his life is dedicated to ridding the world of Epics in general, but Steelheart in particular.
There are twists and turns and surprises in this book. I will not post any more than this because one of the twists really surprised me.
This is the book that will be our next family audio-read. My husband and my son will love it.
A number of people recommended Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy to me when I was asking for fantasy recs. I am wandering off in search of that one now . . .