Monday, September 30, 2013


by Brandon Sanderson
384 pgs  (The Reckoners series #1)

If you had superpowers, would you use them for good, or for evil?

In the first of a new series of books by Brandon Sanderson, he explores that idea, as a small minority of ordinary people one day inexplicably gain super powers.  Epics, as they become known, possess any one of a variety of these powers, but without exception, they all use them for their own selfish interests. The rest of humanity is left to live in a constant state of fear, trying to live their lives without become the next victim of an Epic's destruction.

Ten years ago David witnessed his father's death, as a particularly ruthless and seemingly invincible Epic known as Steelheart killed him along with almost everyone else who was there. David was the lone survivor of that event, and he escaped with not just his life, but with a secret as well, one that only he knows and which may change everything one day--Steelheart isn't invincible, he saw him bleed.

David dedicates the next ten years of his life to studying everything he can about Steelheart and every other Epic he can. He believes that the more he knows about the Epics, the better chance he has of discovering their weaknesses and maybe one day being able to avenge his father's death.

Normally I'm a very selfish reader, and when an author is writing a series that I really like, and then releases a book that's not part of that series, I tend to get irritated and question why they're not spending all their time writing the book I want them to write. But I think Sanderson is curing me of that attitude. While I'm anxiously awaiting the next in his Stormlight series, he's begun two additional series that quite honestly I'm almost as excited about reading.

Steelheart is a great book. It's written for a slightly younger audience, but that in no way detracts from how good a book it is. From what I can tell, the only significant difference between Sanderson's books for adults and young adults is the length of the book. The characters, action, and world building that Sanderson creates so well are all there no matter who his intended readers are. Buy the book for your teenager, but then borrow it afterwords.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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