From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Mistborn Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson, comes the first book in a new, action-packed thrill ride of a series - Steelheart. 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.
©2013 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2013 Audible Inc.
If you like your sci-fi/fiction a little on the "lite" side, Sanderson is your man. For those coming from a GRRM or Joe Abercrombie type of series, this will almost feel like something you'd pick up in the young adult aisle. If you want some grit, but not too much brutality and hardly any corse language, Sanderson's got you covered.
I've read the Mistborn trilogy as well as the first two books of Sanderson's Stormlight Archive and there's something about his style that feels just slightly pedestrian. Entertaining, but pedestrian. It's hard to put my finger on... it could be that his stuff just feels like it skews young. I actually once joked to a friend that his books "feel like they we're written by a Mormon" before finding out that he IS, in fact, a member of the LDS church.
Beyond the fact that he keeps things (relatively) clean for the genre, he also has a penchant, in my opinion, for over explaining. His "reveals" go on a sentence or two longer than they need to. His plot twists will "click" in my mind in a very satisfying way, but he will proceed to explain them for another paragraph, spoon feeding the reader flash backs that you've already put together. I often find myself thinking "okay, OKAY! I get it. Cool twist there, but we can move on now." He also loves to invent home spun slang for his characters; I didn't mind this so much in the other series' because those took place, ostensibly, in other worlds, but "Steelheart" is set in a 10 year post-apocalyptic modern Earth. I had a hard time buying into the fact that these people would have adopted the word "sparks" as the equivalent of "damn" or the word "slonce" to stand in for "dumbass" or "idiot" or "noob." It's a touch lame and feels forced.
MacLeod Andrews is quite good here. He really captures the main character's angst and innocence, and covers the other characters quite well. Although, I will say that his portrayal of the 18 year old protagonist; playing up his inner dialogue insecurities with a heightened "why am I so stupid!" teenage voice, may have served to emphasize the "young adult" feel.
No other stories are really jumping out at me right now in the sci-fi realm... and I did enjoy Mistborn and Stormlight, so I thought I'd give this a try. Sanderson comes up with amazing concepts, and really goes the distance with making his concepts well understood so they hold up under scrutiny. That part of his writing is very satisfying. It's not like Harry Potter where you find yourself thinking "wait... if he could just cast that spell the whole time, why didn't he do it way back at the start and save himself all this trouble?!" Sanderson doesn't let that happen. However, as I said, in the course of giving great detail concerning the abilities and limitations of the characters and their powers, he will also over-explain plot points and spoon feed the reader with flashbacks; as if he's trying to make sure that the reader appreciates every once of work he put into creating the misdirection. This detracts from that sense of satisfaction you get as a reader (listener) when you put it all together yourself.
The ending had a very good twist. The premise was fairly interesting and left me wondering how exactly things got the way they are. The character development was weak but only because the author was focused on action. There are a lot of loose ends in regards to the characters at the end of the book and I look forward to whatever red meat the author throws my way as the series continues.
Sanderson did a great job breaking up the monotony of every day fantasy books with book. You never know what to expect, and are begging for book two by the end. Characters are well developed throughout the book. The Narrator does a good job most of the time with only a few sluff points. It is a must read with WisperSync.
I just finished this book and can't wait to read the next. It is a fast paced narrative with great character development.
One of the best books I have experienced in a very long time. Grabs you from the beginning and takes on an amazing journey highlighting the perseverance and stubbornness of humanity. Wish I could give it six stars. Fantastic narration.
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