Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is the first in the Reckoner’s series. I’m sure many reviewers have commented that it could almost be read as a textual comic book and I actually agree. You’ve got random people that have been suddenly gifted/cursed with superpowers in a futuristic world where these said people use them to rule the unfortunate. I normally stay away from young adult fiction but seeing how this is written by one of my favorite authors, I decided to take a chance. I did the same for The Rithmatist but unlike that one, I’ll probably continue on with this series mainly because this story’s atmosphere and setting is more to my liking. Besides, we’re talking about superpowers here. How can anyone not like that?!
In Steelheart, we follow in the eyes of David, a boy who along with his father was at the wrong place at the wrong time. We soon learn about the Epics and how a mysterious event gave these seemingly random humans superhuman abilities. We don’t get the answer to the “why” part here in book one so readers will have to tune in to hopefully book two for the author to explain this. Nonetheless, one of the most powerful Epics have taken over Newcago and from there on, David is on a mission to take him out.
To be honest, I felt that the author has reused a theme from the Mistborn trilogy here in Steelheart where a group of protagonists are plotting to take down a mysterious villain figurehead holed up in a palace somewhere that they don’t really know too much about. We get the picture that he is the bad guy yet not much more is revealed. Once again, I felt that the story could have benefited if we got different point of views. It felt as if the majority of the story is spent on them planning for the final showdown with the baddy and that when it finally does happen, readers don’t really know how to feel since not much was revealed about the villain save for the beginning of the book. To make up for it, the author does give us a couple of intense fight scenes and situations the protagonists have to face through.
All in all, I think Steelheart was a fun read and I think that was the intention of the author. Nothing too serious like The Stormlight archive or the Mistborn series. It was definitely great to read about what kind of superpowers certain individuals possessed, not to mention how our protagonists are able to find their weakness and using that to take them out. I’m definitely expecting the plot to pick up in the next book. I’m guessing much more will be explained about how things turned out the way it did.