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Publisher's Summary

The first book in a new, action-packed thrill ride of a series, from the number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Mistborn Trilogy and The Way of Kings.

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.

Read by MacLeod Andrews.

©2013 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2013 Audible, Inc

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • jason
  • Spanish Town, Jamaica
  • 10-28-13

Good book for a first listen

Would you listen to Steelheart again? Why?

yes i would because the story line is gripping

Who was your favorite character and why?

my favorite character was prof

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

He brought life to the characters and his voice was certainly not one dimensional. You got the feeling that you were in a performance rather than listening to the monotone in a narration.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Steelheart's weakness was revealed

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A Piece As Solid As Steel

I was a bit sceptical after reading the summary...thinking that oh this was gonna be just like the myriad of super-human stories or movies we have around...
But mehnn was I wrong..
I loved every inch of it and starting the book 2 right away.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pieter
  • Clubview, South Africa
  • 05-27-15

Brilliant! Sanderson is a genius.

Great book. Loved it. Sanderson seems to know just how to tell a fantastic story using very interesting characters and good twists!


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Great book

This book was great. The plot was really interesting... The characters were really something else; definitely a must read if you're into superpower, superhero, action fantasy stuff.

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  • Jon
  • Cape Town
  • 02-04-15

New fantasy

I was not sure what to expect. But I love this author and the story did not disappoint. The voice actor was awesome. It was a good ride.

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An enjoyable listen

In a world ruled by epic beings, seemingly invulnerable, one young man stands against them. David who witnessed the murder of his father at the hands of Steelheart wants revenge. He joins a rebel group calling themselves Reckoners, and together they fight against the evil of Steelheart and his Epic minions. Steelheart is an enjoyable listen.

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Andrews & Sanderson – fantastic combination

Would you listen to Steelheart again? Why?

Macleod Andrews and Brandon Sanderson – it just doesn't get any better than these two working together

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  • Robyn
  • 12-29-13

Sanderson never disappoints

Brandon Sanderson never disappoints. Like Rithmatist, or Alloy of Law, this has a lighter touch to it than did Mistborn or Stormlight, but it's equally engaging.
MacLeod Andrews' narration for this was just right - his accent fitting perfectly with the lead character's dialogue and attitude.

I think one other reviewer has written that they are always waiting for the "raspberry" from Sanderson, but it never turns out that way - I agree. Even when his style changes, and the story takes on more of a sci-fi twist, it's still a great bit of entertainment, and his characters and plots never disappoint.

I seldom seek anything excessively "deep and meaningful" when I listen to audiobooks (there's too much reality in real life!) - instead I like escapism and entertainment - and this is what Sanderson delivers in buckets.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • joe
  • 01-29-15

A little childish, but great fun.

Great book. Sanderson has created yet another brilliant world of magic and fantasy. This series is clearly written for a younger reader so if you've read Sanderson before don't expect the depth or intensity of the Stormlight series or Mistborn trilogy (both of which i highly recommend)

That being said, even as a 27 year old i really enjoyed this book. Just great fun, easy listening entertainment. Think - Harry Potter meets The Avengers.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kexin
  • 03-31-14

Another epic in the making

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely would recommend this! It is much more thought out than the mistborn series for which brandon sanderson is known for. Definitely a much improved work from his earlier novels. A more realistic view on what people would be like if super powers were real.

What did you like best about this story?

The plot twist. The author goes to great length considering the readers anticipation of events to come and what is to be predicted and subverts all our expectations in a timely and spectacular manner.

What does MacLeod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Nothing more than what other fiction narrators have narrated for Brandon Sanderson. He does good and does not fail to deliver, though probably not quite on the level as Michael Kramer.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The prologue

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 01-18-14

Original, action packed and does not disappoint.

If you could sum up Steelheart in three words, what would they be?

Intriguing. Fun. Fantastic

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

After listening to the first thirty minutes I did not want to stop. I found myself waiting to get back and listen to the story.

Any additional comments?

I have read many different superhero stories, comics, novels etc. This is something new! Mixing the post-apocalyptic and superhero genres in a fantastic way, where only supervillians exists. Tense action from the start with some twists and turns along the way. You will not be disappointed with this story. Download, listen, enjoy.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 12-06-13

Light reading and action packed

One of Brandon Sanderson’s lighter novels, which is aimed to be enjoyed by teenagers and adults alike. I found it thoroughly enjoyable, but it isn’t a masterpiece by any means.

Story – 4/5

As a simpler novel, a lot of the complexities of the superpowers/magic system are skipped by having the main band of characters have limited knowledge of the characters with powers. He has done this well though, as it keeps an element of mystery in the story, making the mission to kill them seem very daunting and difficult. I get the impression we will find out more in later novels

The story is action packed from start to finish. Compared to Brandon’s other novels, he doesn’t waste time on back story and world building, we are thrown into the deep end of the main story arc which is linear.

All good characters are extremely likeable. In most novels, there is always a character that annoys me. Steelheart is an exception to that. There are no grey areas, only good and evil characters, adding to the simplicity of the novel.

Performance – 4.5/5

MacLeod Andrews American accent suited this book perfectly, as it was not only set in America, but all of the dialog had a very American feel to it (i.e. the mannerisms and sayings). He was superb at giving everyone an extremely distinct voice, which may have been made easier by the fact that the cast of characters was small. All scenes were performed smoothly and Macleod made it very easy to get sucked into the action and excitement which was plentiful in the novel.

Overall – 4/5

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • CathyR
  • 10-06-13

Really enjoyed this

Imaginative storytelling, lots of action, suspense and fast paced with a good cast of characters. A really descriptive and sad prologue sets up the storyline, the trauma suffered by David and how that affects the choices he makes. In a post Calamity world ruled by dark and chilling Epics, humans who gained fearful super powers, a small group of resistance fighters, The Reckoners, are killing Epics to try and undermine their hold on the world.
David wants revenge against the most powerful ruling Epic, Steelheart, for the murder if his father 10 years ago. He joins The Reckoners (great characters) and they devise a plan. David knows Steelheart has a weakness, he saw him bleed, but he doesn't know for sure what the weakness is.
There are morality issues to confront and lessons to learn and several unexpected twists and revelations turn things upside down.
The characters are strong and the relationships and banter between them is appealing and also comical at times.
The story leaves enough unsaid to make you want to follow on with the next book.
Loved the audio.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • GhostMuppet
  • 12-02-13

Where are all the Super Heroes?

While this is a Young Adult novel, i really enjoyed it (and i am in my 40s). I am a fan of Brandon Sanderson so this may affect my view on this book.
The book is a coming of age story, revolving around a young male who wants revenge against the title Steelheart.
The book is full of Super Villains and very light (virtually non existent) of Super Heroes. This may change in the coming books - or an explanation will be given (better than the one in the book). It is a first book and as a result it can be a little slow in some places. While the book has an ending, it is setting up the follow up book.

The narration of the book was excellent. It was easy to know which character was who, and the action scenes were gripping.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike Murphy
  • 02-19-15

Exciting, original YA SF with dark undertones.

The main idea behind "Steelheart" is compelling and original. Steelheart is the most powerful Epic in what used to be the United States. Epics have super powers that corrupt them, robbing them of empathy and compassion, making them cruel, aggressive,and self-centred. Steelheart is who Superman might have been if he'd enjoyed killing people, wanted to dominate the world and could turn all of Chicago into steel. The Reckoners are a small group trying to discover the specific weakness that each Epic has and use it to kill him or her.

If there had been no more to the book than that, I'd have been pounding through it, enjoying the ride.

But there is more, much more."Steelheart" is a fast-paced, action-packed, young adult novel, crammed with cool weapons, wise-cracking heroes, motorbikes with gravitonics, and lots and lots of explosions. Those things would be enough to make it a great video game concept. What makes it a great story is the thoughtful approach Brandon Sanderson takes to the motivation of his characters, the world they live in, the conflicts they face, and the difficulty of deciding whether an action is right or wrong.

I've been a comic book fan since I first learnt to read (long before the term "Graphic Novel" had been coined.) I always preferred Stan Lee's characters because, powerful as they were, they were always haunted, vulnerable and fallible. I loved that he wrote lines in comic books that could have been Shakespeare. How do you beat "With great power comes great responsiblity."

Brandon Sanderson steps into Stan Lees shoes and makes them his own. He makes you care when people die. His characters are more likely to be driven by a hunger for revenge or a need for atonement or a refusal to bow their heads then they are by an ideological attachment to "truth, justice and the American way". In Sanderson's future world the invulnerable man with the super powers is not "The Man of Steel" saving the world, but a tyrant with a steel heart. His "heroes" are assassins, one step away from being terrorists, with no life other than the violent struggle to kill Epics.

Yet the best thing about Brandon Sanderson is that, as well as having great ideas, he can write. The Prologue to "Steelheart" is all you need to read to know that. At the end of the Prologues eighteen year old Dave Charleston, remembering the day his father was killed, ten years earlier, says:

"I've seen Steelheart bleed. And I will see him bleed again."

This sent a Stan Lee shiver of anticipation down my spine that the rest of the book lived up to.

Let me paraphrase that:

"I've seen Brian Sanderson write. And I will see him write again."

My thanks to Glenn Hates Books who's review convinced me to read "Steelheart".

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Stuart
  • 06-02-17

Finally, Sanderson with good narration!

The thing that immediately stands out about this book is the narration. MacLeod Andrews does a much better job than Michael Kramer or Kate Reading do in the Mistborn and Stormlight series.

As for the book itself it's just as good as those two series.

What I really like about Sanderson's writing is the attention to all the little details. Anything that seems like it doesn't fit or isn't quite consistent gets returned to and cleared up later in the book.

I have a tendency to spot every little plot hole, oversight, contradiction and inconsistency, and they annoy me. With Sanderson's books, I can usually just relax and enjoy the ride. His ability to hold on to everything and make it all come together without forgetting something or contradicting himself is great.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lulu
  • 02-05-15

Simplistically Brilliant

This book starts with a simple but tragic scene, with a boy losing his debt-riddled father, who like many relied on hope; hope that the bank would help him, hope that there were those out there, heroes, who'd come save mankind and make this world a better place!! From the point at which the boy loses his father, we are taken into a world that so easily relates to our own world, where those few with greater power over the ordinary citizens seek to dominate, manipulate, deceive and exploit. But it's no ordinary tale, and we're intellectually stimulated, entertained by fast paced action with bursts of humour and constantly left on the edge of our seats with anticipation!!
The performance is brilliant and well suited to ALL the characters. Here ends my review because I must download the next book in this series - I've been drawn in, you will too, I bet!! :-)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-06-15

pretty good

good storyline lives up to what your expecting when you tead a brandon sanderson book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-25-17

Great read !

First ever audio book so can't compare on hiw well the narrator was but to me he seemed very good.
The book itself was amazing, had a nice alternative take on the superhero scene.
The main charcter was funny and well likable and had lots of other memorable charcters.
Deffinetly worth a listen !

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  • Sammy
  • 09-30-17

Great Story and Very Focused Plot

The book is all about one thing and is very well written. The author does a very good job making the characters feel real and makes all the bad characters interesting.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-23-17

Terrifying

Gives you a new perspective on superheroes and is told in a suprising but comforting young voice. David is a really good balance of hope against the dark world he lives in. Not just for teens.

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  • Steven
  • 06-14-17

Excellent

An excellent, gripping story. The characters are all memorable and interesting with lots of creative twists. Some twists, although hidden very well, aren't the best twists. Perfect amount of foreshadowing but little reason to listen again.

The main problem is with the writing. There's nothing wrong with it, there's just nothing too memorable about it. It's not outstanding. That said, it still earns its four stars.

Also, I don't think the author knows what a metaphor is.

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  • Cate
  • 07-03-15

Just... wow.

Brandon Sanderson cements his place as an unparalleled story teller with this book. And boy does he know how to write a final fight scene! MacLeod Andrews does a great job narrating but his female voices are rather weak.

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  • Tristan
  • 03-25-15

For teens only.

I have really like or loved everything Brandon Sanderson has written till now. I stayed away from this book for quite a while knowing it was for teens but haven seen quite a few reviews I thought were from adults so I gave it a try. Very disapointed intersting story idea the epics but boring characters not very exciting story and I could see what was coming a mile away. If I was 20 years younger I might have enjoyed the book. Can't stress this enough this is a teen book if you are a mature adult stay away.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Joanne
  • 02-14-15

Great story

It's a different take on people with special powers with some great twists and turns along the way. I really enjoyed it.

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  • Mr. N. J. O'Connor
  • 01-28-15

a different spin of superheroes

this has to be one of the best books, its a complete different take on the superheroes and anyone that likes the Marvel or DC universe you will love it.

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  • Keet
  • 01-10-17

not as good but still

after having devoured the mistborn series i couldnt be quite as amazed by this story which was alittle more predictable but once warming to the new voice the story still managed to sweep me away. still epic...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful