Steelheart [Reckoners, #1] by Brandon Sanderson

Delacorte Press | Hardcover, 386 pages
Publication Date: September 24th, 2013
Young Adult | Science Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

I’ve always been a fan of superhero books. There is something thrilling about characters who save those who are oppressed; brandishing extraordinary powers that only Stan Lee can write in his sleep. Steelheart features a brand new taste of the extraordinary. From illusionists who can manipulate what you can see, to an indestructible being able to withstand ammunitions of every kind, this book is just the kind of read I look for in a superhero novel.

Ten years ago, an event called Calamity struck; an explosion that gave ordinary humans powers that are unheard of. Those that weren’t affected called themΒ Epics.Β They are no heroes, however. Humans being the weaker species, were dominated easily, hence creating a new world order where the Epics rule the world. United States of America was divided, ruled by the most dominant Epic who managed to overcome a weaker one. In the place that once was Chicago, Steelheart is the most feared of them all. It is said that he can’t be beat, can’t be harmed. But there’s one person who bore witness to his possible demise; a human with the extraordinary taste for revenge.

David saw his father’s death in the hands of Steelheart. His father, who had false hopes that not all Epics are evil. Ever since then, David made it his lot in life to live, breathe and die of studying the Epics. He knows them like the back of his hand; knows their weaknesses, their triggers. All he needed is to get recruited to the underground fighters whose aim is to rid of the world of Epics. But it won’t be easy as Reckoners are hard to track. When he managed to infiltrate the inexorably covert group, he would be tested over and over again to prove his worth.

This book is relentless action and suspense with a world that was viscerally well imagined. Brandon Sanderson, being known for his epic fantasy novels, managed to create one that is admittedly less daunting than most of his work. But it is no less fantasy-like.

It was such a delight to discover each of his characters’ powers; as much as it was to find their “anti-bodies”, if you will. David, through years of his obsessive study of the enemy, knows each of the Epics’ kryptonite. All except for Steelheart. Much of the novel was dedicated to finding his weakness and David trying to prove his worth to the Reckoners.

Above all things, David is a teen with hormones, and we’ll see him – not so much as obsessing over Megan – but continually being drawn in with her beauty. The flow of his thoughts vacillate between how hot Megan is and what he would do when he gets the chance to be near Steelheart. This is not as annoying as it sounds, however. I thought David was a perfect interpretation of a post pubescent boy governed by hormones and an almost hero-like worship of the Reckoners.


Buy a copy.


  • I HEAR you! I love superhero/villain books too πŸ˜‰ So of course I LOVED Steelheart. I have listened it on audio and it was fantastic. (loved David’s voice) And I totally didn’t see the Twist coming. Can’t wait until Firefight comes out~

  • I just read my first Sanderson book recently and loved it. Now I definitely want to read this one too. I’m a fan of superhero books and of Sanderson, so I’m guessing this one should be right up my alley!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  • this is one of those books I’d stare for along time at the bookstore thinking whether I’d buy it or not but maybe next time I hit the bookstore I’ll buy this. superhero books are definitely one of those genres I’ve yet to get into and this sounds like a nice book to try out~~ Great review πŸ™‚

  • I never read a book by this author (of which I heard incredible things!!) But I think I will start with this one since it doesn’t have that many pages lol. Also, I love powers so I’m excited to discover theirs!! Lovely review and so glad it was a good one. πŸ™‚

    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

  • I agree with you entirely. I really enjoyed this one and the nonstop action. Stories involving superpowers are usually favorites of mine and I think this one was better than average. Glad you enjoyed it!

  • I have a copy of this book but I couldn’t get into it. I know I’ll finish it one day. A lot of people do love Sanderson, but I’ve yet to fully experience his works.

  • Aw, YAY for mostly loving this book πŸ˜€ Amazing review Joy. <3 And ohh. I do like this cover. Pretty πŸ™‚ Aw. He sounds like a fun guy, hih πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing. <3

  • I have found that I do not love superhero books, and I felt so bad about that when I read your first sentence. So I tried to think about why that is. I guess I don’t mind if a character has a special ability, but when that ability is so powerful that it puts them into the superhuman/superhero category, I just can’t relate. I guess I really prefer to read about characters that have to overcome things using their human capabilities. But glad you enjoyed this book so much πŸ™‚
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  • Superhero books are awesome and I had no idea Steelheart was actually a superhero book…that just makes me more excited to pick it up! πŸ˜€

    David does sound like a realistic teenage boy but I’ll be honest, I am pretty sure I am going to be at least somewhat bothered by how enthralled he is by Megan.

    I am glad you enjoyed this one, Joy!! πŸ™‚

    Lovely review!

  • Brandon Sanderson definitely knows how to come up with epic stories. The thing is, I’m not all that into his writing style, which is why I’ve yet to completely finish a book written by him. πŸ™ Maybe they get better once I get used to the writing? Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Joy!

  • Oh I didn’t know this one but it sounds really good! I only read one book by the author, a fantasy one and I enjoyed it, I’m curious now to read more. great review!

  • Ahhhh I didn’t know this was about superheroes. MUST.READ.IT. I’m going to check if my library has a copy right now! Great review, Joy!

  • Sounds interesting, Joy. I don’t know if I had read any superhero books. The only one I remember reading was Vicious and he wasn’t a superhero. But this one sounds like something I would like!

  • I just read this last week and IT WAS AMAZING. There was absolutely no dull moments because of the constant action. Yep, definitely one of my best reads this year! Beautiful review, Joy!

  • I LOVE action, but for some reason super hero books just don’t do it for me. Mind you, I’ve only read one, so it’s hard to say for sure. And, now I’m thinking that maybe I should give Sanderson’s writing a try…

  • Thank you for this review! I was really curious about this one but wasn’t sure since I saw many mixed reviews. Yours though convinced me. πŸ™‚

  • It’s a downright embarrassment that I love fantasy as much as I do and haven’t read a Sanderson novel yet. I KNOW. I need to rectify that ASAP and I desperately want to get my hands on this due to all the praise it has received, so hopefully it’ll be making its way into my grubby hands soon. Fantastic review! πŸ™‚

  • Wow a superhero book?? I don’t think I’ve read one yet, but I’m dying to. And since it’s Brandon Sanderson, that’s even better! Good thing it’s in the read-a-long, which I’m also signed up for ^ as lilrarad commented on πŸ˜€

  • I actually signed up to The Social Potato’s Sanderson Read-a-long and Steelheart is included so I’ll be reading this soon. I suck at readalongs but I really do want to get in Brandon Sanderson’s books and I think this is a fun way to do it. After your review, I can’t wait to get started on this, I don’t read a lot of superhero books but I enjoy superheroes in general. You’re right, there is definitely something about a person who save the oppressed. Awesome review Joy, I’m really glad you enjoyed this! πŸ™‚

  • Great review! I love the sypnosis of the book and I’m super interested in this one! Adding this to my TBR pile πŸ™‚

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

  • It has been forever since I read a really good superhero book. I think this is one that I need to try.

  • GAH. I love superhero books too. And this is one of MANY Sanderson books I have to read, but sadly, have NEVER read (seriously, I probably have six, at least). Maybe this should be my first . . . 386 pages is definitely more manageable than the 1000(ish) page epic fantasies in the lineup . . .

  • I’ve been avoiding reading this book because of how much everyone just loves this book, but you’ve managed to change my mind. I’m going to put a hold on this book at the library. It sounds very well-written, especially the action-packed plot. The author also seems to have well-crafted the characters although I do think I’ll be annoyed by the MC’s hormones. Great review, Joy! I’m glad you liked it so much. πŸ™‚

  • the suspense and discovering the characters powers sound like it makes this a great read