Review: Brandon Sanderson captivates in new superhero action-adventure YA ‘Steelheart’

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Brandon Sanderson, best known for his epic fantasies Mistborn, The Way of Kings, and finisher of The Wheel of Timebrings a whole new YA epic adventure to the world with Steelheart. First in a new series, Steelheart follows the life of David, a normal human, secretly planning to kill Steelheart, a powerful Epic who rules over Chicago and ruined his life ten years prior.

What’s it about? Here’s the summary from Amazon:

steelheartFrom the #1 New York Times bestselling 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 will.

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.

This book is straight action and adventure from start to finish. Brandon manages to completely captivate the reader from the first page. His writing is like magic, teasing and tempting, making you not want, but need to continue. The pacing is great, ebbing and flowing between wonderful action scenes and slower, more informative sections which delve into the backstory.

The premise is what captivated me to read this book in the first place: superheroes exist, but they’re all evil. I wanted to know what that world would be like. I wanted to see how regular humans would fight that, stand up for their freedoms. Following David, the protagonist, was a great and interesting journey as readers experience the technology humans are developing to slowly counter the Epics. And the greater mystery, why this all happened in the first place, always looms over, waiting to be discovered.

This was a fantastic book. Different than the usual YA I typically read, less romance, more action, violence, and adventure, and it was a nice change of pace. Brandon is a fantastic writer and the story was an easy read. I’m excited to see where the author is going to take the story next.

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