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Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1 | [Brandon Sanderson]

Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

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  •  
    D corona, ca United States 09-26-13
    D corona, ca United States 09-26-13 Member Since 2015

    I read, I write; I listen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"

    I always find it fascinating where writers get their ideas and, according to an article by Rachel Brutsch of the Deseret News, Brandon Sanderson was cut off in traffic one day and immediately thought of the other driver, “You’re lucky I don’t have super powers because I would totally blow your car off the road.” That immediate thought horrified him; and he thought, “Its a good thing I don’t have superpowers.” Then he pondered, “What if the evil guys had all of the super powers?” That idea was the essence for his new Y.A. series, “Reckoning.”
    Steeheart is a super-villain. He is one of many that received their power from a star called Calamity that appeared in the sky one day. Most thought the people that received these new found powers would use them for the benefit of mankind; wrong. With ultimate power comes ultimate corruption.
    Steelheart has the strength of 10 men. He’s virtually indestructible, he can fly and when he’s enraged he can turn inanimate objects into steel. He exercised that particular power to transform most of Chicago and part of Lake Michigan before becoming the emperor of “Newcago.”
    David Charleston was an eight year old boy when he saw Steelheart murder his father. Ten years has passed and David can think of only one thing; bringing Steelheart down. He is just a normal human and decides to recruit another group of humans, called “Reckoners” to help him. Reckoners study those like Steelheart, to learn their weaknesses.
    This is a story that has been told many times, the struggle between good and evil, but this time Superman is not on our side; can good still win?
    Its billed as a Y.A. book, and there is some romance that is usually associated with such genre, it does not, however, overwhelms the story; anyone that like Sci-Fi adventure should like this book. It is, after all, by Brandon Sanderson; and, by all indications it is the start of an epic tale.

    112 of 129 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Anderson Utah 01-11-14
    E. Anderson Utah 01-11-14 Member Since 2011

    stormnangel

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Suprising"

    I was shocked at how much I really like this book. At first I was worried it would turn out to be only so-so, but it totally wasn't. The surprise twists and character development and underlying moral lessons made this a fantastic book. I really hope the author does a sequel to this book soon.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Naka 04-13-14
    Mike Naka 04-13-14 Member Since 2012

    Avid Zombie fan who's starting to listen to more and more Fantasy and Sci-Fi stories. So, my description is apt to change. Dog lover who's known to have cats. LOL C# coder, part-time prepper, B movie fan, AMC watcher, recovering but successful day trader, perpetual student, overjoyed uncle, former adrenaline junkie with a flare for cooking, and lots more. LOL

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "wondrous storytelling"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes, but i couldn't. hey! i have a day job! LOL it took 2 days. after writing a bunch of SQL and LINQ code for 6 hours straight ON A SATURDAY, this story was a welcome reward. even though i had to be up on sunday at 7 a.m., i kept listening until i was finished at a little after 3 a.m. yup, i was totally engrossed!


    Any additional comments?


    i'm attracted to stories where a person or group of people are up against a seemingly impossible situation, and what's more impossible than trying to kill the most powerful super villain, especially when you have no superpowers yourself?

    this is the situation our protagonist, david, finds himself in. david is at the bank with his father the day steelheart decides to take over Chicago. during a melee with another "epic," super-powered human, david's father manages to injure steelheart by accident. as any paranoid super villain would, steelheart decides to utterly destroy the bank and everyone in it to hide the fact that someone as seemingly impervious to any type of attack as he's supposed to be was some how injured. david barely manages to escape, and he knows that steelheart will go to any lengths to protect his secret.

    there are layers of conflict in this story. the outer layers are obvious- the conflicts between battling epics for the domination and subjugation of normal humans. the middle layers- the conflicts between characters. the inner layers- the conflicts raging within each character. i can't say much more w/o spoiling some of the story. sanderson seamlessly weaves these layers together, creating a rich depthness of character, and you can't help but wonder what you'd really do. the characters connect with you, and each character's viewpoint is distinct enough that different listeners would undoubtedly decide which character's viewpoint matches their own. i actually found myself wavering between 2 drastically differing viewpoints- prof's and megan's. both are cogent arguments.

    the pacing of this story is perfect. the action sequences are exciting, and the dialogue is spot on. it is meaningful and believable. there are a few nice twists and turns in the story.

    the narration is great. i have been a fan of macleod andrews since i heard him narrate the sandman slim series. his gritty voice matches our young protagonist, david's. he also does a great job voicing the other characters.

    26 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 12-31-13
    Tim United States 12-31-13 Member Since 2011

    I don't write book reports.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Future Days Combats"

    I was a little worry about this one just because I don't like reading 5 stars reviews on a title that I'm interested in, but I can totally see why that "Steelheart" is getting raving reviews from avid readers that like science fiction. Brandon Sanderson is an awesome writer and I need to read more from his list. If his other books are just as good as "Steelheart", I really need to keep this author on my radar.

    I really enjoy reading sci fi. It helps me take a break from the norm and lets me escape and let my mind drift to another universe. This is why I love sci fi. Sanderson is a solid writer. Instead of building up mindless fluff, he writes his characters to be bad to the bone. Steelheart was like watching an action movie, expecting explosions at both ends.

    I can't wait for more upcoming books to this series. I can't wait to read more of future days combats. It's like reading a graphic novel with many words.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tacco Coole Kirkland, WA United States 01-12-14
    Tacco Coole Kirkland, WA United States 01-12-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Big Adventure and Exciting World-building"

    Below is my review of the story, which I recommend strongly. First let me speak to the narration -- this is a strong reading and I found the narrator was overall a great fit. There is one challenge of the American South + Scottish character but the voices are distinct and clear and nicely arranged around the point-of-view character of David.

    Sanderson’s Steelheart introduces us into a world where, after a mysterious light appears in the sky, a few people emerge with super-powers. However, with these super-powers comes incredible anger and greed, and the “Epics” as they are called become tyrannical rulers of near-future earth.

    In Chicago, now called Newcago and whose streets have been turned to steel by the power of its Epic lord Steelheart, we find young David, who as a child witnessed Steelheart’s rise to take control of Newcago. Now, David watches and learns the powers and the weaknesses of the Epics, hoping to take them on directly. He’s not alone, the Reckoners are a team of others who also work to overcome the incredible powers and corruption of the Epics.

    Overall the story moves fast and remains fascinating as David learns secrets of the Epics and of the Reckoners and battles Epics directly and indirectly. Two pieces felt slow to me -- there is a ton of detail around each gun and weapon available to mere mortals. While the detail adds authenticity, it feels like people are talking a heckuva lot about gun mechanics all the time. There’s also a philosophical debate regarding how to deal with the Epics -- makes for interesting discussion but felt like it bogged down in repetition.

    Like other Sanderson novels, there’s a lot of buildup and sudden overdrive in speed, tension, and twists at the very end, where many pieces come together and we have a satisfying conclusion. This payoff works well here, and I enjoyed every second of the endgame, and can’t wait for the sequels, which will no doubt explore more about the Epics and their mysterious powers.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Ashton, IL, United States 01-11-14
    Holly Ashton, IL, United States 01-11-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Riveted"

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The story itself was novel (for me, anyway), and well written. I love a book that really gets me invested in the characters and between Sanderson and Andrews, this story was really brought to life. Andrews' narration was exemplary. As this is the start of a series, I really hope he reads for the next book, as well. I usually listen to books while running and I found myself listening to this one also while driving, cooking, cleaning...I couldn't walk away from it. Very enjoyable read and I would highly recommended it.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael New Orleans, LA 09-24-13
    Michael New Orleans, LA 09-24-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Moral Compass, An Achilles Heel Exposed..."

    Of all the scifi/fantasy audiobook genre to be found, one of my favorites is the superhero genre. Of course, it's nothing new - The greeks were all over this eons ago, and the story of Hercules is the penultimate hero, perhaps the culmination, of the genre' in its earliest era.

    In this first of his "Reckoners" series, Brandon Sanderson has, as usual, moved into a fantastic departure from the typical. In this universe he's penned, the villains reign supreme, and the old adage "Ultimate power corrupts ultimately" is the norm. There are no superheroes, per se, as the various powers these unique individuals, or "epics," have acquired acquired so suddenly and completely have removed all moral boundaries and ethical limitations. The moral compass has been totally removed from the equation, and brutality rules supreme.

    The epic in question, Steelheart, is a juggernaut that has little or no limits to his reign of terror. To him, the futile attempts of the government, rebels and even other epics to destroy him are not even a consideration. He is Hercules without conscience, and to him, we are afterthoughts, mere distractions compared his all-encompasing power and plans.

    So, then, you ask, where is the story in all this?

    This is a story of revenge, of desperation, of anger. It seems that this Hercules has an Achille's heel, a weakness that one ordinary man has quietly discovered, and is driven to both expose and deliver an end to this epic's reign of terror. This audiobook delivers plans within plans, a rich world with characters with varying motivations, and all at a strong pace, told by Sanderson in his always engaging and very entertaining writing. It's action from the very prologue through the ending of this first Reckoners novel. The narrator, Mr. Andrews, is strong, and worthy of the work.

    Single words to describe this audiobook? How about: Engaging, Powerful, Entertaining to name a few?

    For those of you who follow my reviews, look at my rating for this audiobook. It's HIGH, and it's EARNED it. It's quite rare for a novel to get this high of a rating from me - I'm BRUTAL in this regard, so when it DOES happen, you can be sure the work is well worth the listen.

    And this audiobook is EXACTLY that.

    If you enjoy Sanderson's body of writing, you're as excited as I am to see him dive head-first into this genre, and look forward with keen anticipation to the very next novel in the series.

    Don't hesitate on this one - This is a "must buy" recommendation for your hard-earned Audible credit.



    86 of 112 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie @ Book Lovers Life 01-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing Book."
    Any additional comments?

    I can sum up this book in one word and that's phenomenal! I flew through this and loved every single word. This book right here is why I love reading, it grabs you and takes you on a journey. It's rare that you find a book that will blow your mind and make you love reading all over again. This is such a book, its not just a book, it's a masterpiece!!

    Life for David changed when he was a child. His father was murdered by an Epic and David has made it his lifes work to kill that Epic. The only thing is, the Epic who killed him is Steelheart, the epic of all epics, the seemingly untouchable and invincible Epic, but David has a secret, he is the only one left alive who has seen Steelheart bleed. He thinks he knows Steelhearts weakness and is hell bent on revenge. He wants to join the only group that will stand up for humanity, the Reckoners, and get their help. Can David hurt someone that is impervious to everything? How is he going to kill the unkillable?

    I loved David. He is smart, kind, funny and brave. He has been studying Epics since his father was killed, he has documented all he knows about them and has made it his lifes work to get revenge. David is determined to try to rid the world of as many Epics as he can but his ultimate goal is Steelheart. I loved his character and wanted him to succeed! He was funny as well as brave! His interactions with the Reckoners was hilarious sometimes, especially with Megan, the newest Reckoners recruit. He bumbles a lot when around her and often puts his foot in his mouth. It's adorable!!

    Megan was kickass. She is the newest Reckoner and gets stuck right into fights. She is aloof and mysterious but opens up a little for David. I loved reading their interactions!!

    Then we have Prof, the leader and founder of the Reckoners. He has invented some technology to help fight the Epics and is the heart of the gang. He has the final say on targets and if David can join or not. He is brave and a smart leader.

    I loved the world building in the book. Its such a unique and cool concept. The idea that the ALL the people who got the superpowers are evil was awesome. Usually you have a superhero who has the same, if not better powers come to the rescue, not so here. Everyone who got the power turned evil. It's up to the humans to fight back!

    I also loved the powers that the Epics had. So many different ones and all used for nefarious purposes!!

    Anyway, Steelheart was such an action packed, edge of your seat, breathless rollercoaster. So much happens but you cant see where it's going. There are so many twists and turns that it's impossible not to gasp at most of them. This book has it all, epic fights, heroes, super super villains, a touch of humour and plenty of breathless action. The pacing and flow were perfect and it never let up. I flew through the book and didn't want it to end. From it's amazing characters to its superb writing, Steelheart is a must read. It's a riveting, fun and enjoyable story. Brandon Sanderson is a master story teller and I highly highly recommend this book!!

    I listened to the audio and I loved it. MacLeod Andrews is very talented and he really knows how to tell the story. He did an amazing David and Prof and I loved how we knew the different characters with his tone. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it and can not wait for book 2.

    I could keep gushing about this but better wrap it up, it's such an amazing book and everyone should read it!! My favourite book by far in a long long time and if I had an Epic rating for an Epic book I'd give it that!! Brilliant.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 08-12-14
    Andrew 08-12-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book for the whole family"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, its imaginative with new cleaver "magic" and he keeps the bad language out


    What other book might you compare Steelheart to and why?

    maybe like a robotech book from long ago.


    Have you listened to any of Macleod Andrews’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, this was good


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this with my young kids and we all enjoyed it

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cricketstomper 07-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book, it doesn't have unnecessary sex scenes. I don't have to delete in my mind swear words. My grandchildren would love it, and I wouldn't be embarrassed to have recommended it.


    What other book might you compare Steelheart to and why?

    I love the Mistborn series. OK, I love how Brandon Sanderson writes.


    What does Macleod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He really sounds like the character that he is speaking for.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I was taking a trip YES!, But, I can't just sit and listen when I am at home...the phone rings, I have appointments. I really would like to just listen though.


    Any additional comments?

    Really worth buying.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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