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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power currupts, epic power currupts epically
This is the first of Brendon Sanderson's books I have read. I really enjoyed it. From what I read on the synopsis of this and his other books his style tends to be post-apocalyptic world. This one looks like a Superman gone bad theme. This interested me to read this from a fantasy writer's point of view rather than a comic writes point of view. The way Steelheart is...
Published 5 months ago by K. G. A. Alavi

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Epic disappointment
Okay firstly, this was my first foray into the work of Brandon Sanderson, and I decided to go with his most recent work, figuring that it would more than likely be some of his best writing, given the series that have gone before. All I can say is... really? This is the guy chosen to pick up the mantle of Robert Jordan? The guy who's academic knowledge and vocational...
Published 2 months ago by Deckard


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Epic disappointment, 17 Feb 2014
By 
Deckard (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Okay firstly, this was my first foray into the work of Brandon Sanderson, and I decided to go with his most recent work, figuring that it would more than likely be some of his best writing, given the series that have gone before. All I can say is... really? This is the guy chosen to pick up the mantle of Robert Jordan? The guy who's academic knowledge and vocational insight into all things writing related has led to award winning podcasts and invaluable lectures? It's so hard to believe as you move past the prologue and into the book proper, that I even had to just double check that it was Brandon Sanderson, and not some 80s style straight to VHS style kung-fu movie imposter.. The idea for the book, a world in which attained superpowers have ultimately led to nothing but the corruption of man, and a society ruled by villainous tyrants with only human resistance, is superb and kicks off brilliantly with a decent set-up for a very personal and exciting foray into the steel cities of the books post apocalyptic style. But then, the story kicks in... and with that comes what I can only really describe as some truly shocking writing. There's endless repetition, "Steelheart was impervious to damage; he couldn't be hurt" etc, the pace of action scenes were ruined by rambling narrative and were so terribly blocked they were a confusing mess; then the evil tyrannous "Fortuity" abruptly tells his subordinate not to kill our main character for absolutely no reason (except to get him out of an impossible spot). But worst of all is the constant use of this awful "Of course, everyone knew XYZ" internal monologue. Surely this is writing 101 isn't it? Don't they call this "As you know Bob?" dialog? The glaring lazy hand of the author shovelling information at you in the most obvious way imaginable? It doesn't matter how you dress it up, this is dreadful stuff. And from Brandon? THE Brandon? How does that happen? It's just a confusing mess. I was under the impression this was a Young Adult book (certainly the violence, dark edge and thematic content would support that), but since when does YA mean you can WRITE as amateurishly as you choose? From what I remember, when we were 12 years old we were reading the Crucible, Lord of the Flies and starting out on Shakespeare, so that age tag is no excuse for this kind of quality. In short Steel heart was a really nice idea ruined by execution. Perhaps your kids might absolutely love it, but it kind of seems a bit lost somewhere in a chasm between target audience and quality. Think I will check out Way of Kings and see how that goes!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power currupts, epic power currupts epically, 1 Nov 2013
By 
K. G. A. Alavi (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This is the first of Brendon Sanderson's books I have read. I really enjoyed it. From what I read on the synopsis of this and his other books his style tends to be post-apocalyptic world. This one looks like a Superman gone bad theme. This interested me to read this from a fantasy writer's point of view rather than a comic writes point of view. The way Steelheart is described to look exactly like Superman does in the comics and cartoons, except with a black cloke instead of the Red one.

An event called the "Calamity" happened, casing normal people to gain super powers. These people are called Epics. As with the old adage of power corrupting. The Epics quickly establish themselves above normal people. The more powerful the Epic's ability the higher they are in the pecking order. Steelheart is arguably the most powerful epic of his time. He does not exactly have Superman's powers, but is very close. Superhuman strength, invulnerability, flight seemingly through gravity manipulation, turn non-living matter into steel and energy projections (blasts) from his hands. He is not really Superman gone bad; it is more if superman was never good.

The story starts with 8 year old David with his father in a bank trying to get a mortgage. With the appearance of the Epics, and property damage from their battles for supremacy the banks are even more dubious about lending money than they are today. Then an Epic enters to rob the bank and prove his dominance over the people of the city. Unfortunately for him the city already has an Epic who has claimed it. Steelheart. Quickly schooling the "little Epic" about his place in the pecking order of thing Steelheart is attacked by the military questioning his rule. The Epic see this opportunity to attack Steelheart. David's father shoots the Epic but in the process injures the seemingly invulnerable Steelheart. Enraged and wanting no wittiness to this event Steelheart kills David's father, everyone in the bank, destroys the bank itself and even the rescue workers. Only David escapes.

10 years later Epics have established themselves as the rulers. Governments have been destroyed, there is no police or military that is not under Epic control. The only resistance left are a group called the reckoners. Burning from his vengeance David has spent the last 10 years studying the Epics, their history their powers and their weakness. David is this worlds Batman, driven, intelligent, methodical and tactically gifted. For 10 years he has been planning analysing and cataloguing data in ultimately killing Steelheart. Knowing he will need resources to put his plan into motion he need to join the Reckoners, predicting their next hit. He now has to convince them to first take him in then also convince them to take on his quest to take down the most powerful Epic there is.

A great book, good story, great character development/revelations and extremely fast paced. Despite the pace I really enjoyed the way David analyse situations and "improvise" when he has to. The book is written from David's point of view, and you get revelations the same time he does. Really enjoyed this book looking forward to the next part.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proper Fiction for Young Adults, 4 Oct 2013
In YA fiction I want strong characters, believable settings and a sensible plot. I don't want watered-down "hero's journey" stories full of stereotypical, childish characters and no real peril.

And I loved Steelheart.

I loved meeting characters who surprised me, visiting a city turned to steel where the sun never rises and riding a storycoaster with twist on top of twist. This is gutsy fiction where bad guys can be clever and good guys can die - and some characters are not what they seem. Superpowers do not automatically make heroes - or villains! And having finished, I'm tempted to reread in the same way everyone has to rewatch The Sixth Sense.

David is a young man with a serious grudge and a near-complete focus on killing Steelheart. He wants revenge and doesn't care what it costs him to get it. Until he meets the Prof, Megan and the other Reckoners. And on the way, he learns more about the world and himself than he ever expected.

When your only wish is to die for something, how can you bear to live?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yep, read this one too., 4 Feb 2014
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J. Aitken (uk) - See all my reviews
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Nothing has surpassed the mistborn for me yet but his worldbuilding is so convincing and his storytelling is excellent. Good length, good characterisation, satisfying conclusion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 7 April 2014
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this book was recommended to me by a friend and I just said why not? and it was a great choice indeed. this book is riveting in all its plots twists, puzzles and action scenes are very detailed! it's like your there!
well done to Brandon Sanderson. this is a truly amazing book
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4.0 out of 5 stars What would happen if?, 5 April 2014
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A book all about what would happen if the super powers made you arrogant and evil. And what would happen if hundreds or thousands of people suddenly got them around the world. What would happen to the world and what would happen to those who didn't change. How do you fight super human powers? A fast paced story from Brandon, very different to some of his other work but in some ways very similar. Brandon always puts interesting twists on his stories and this is no exception. I'm looking forwards top reading the next in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story, 25 Mar 2014
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This story is a great read. Highly recommended. If you've read other Brandon Sanderson books, you will not be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good fun read, 24 Mar 2014
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I really enjoyed this. It does feel though as if he was writing this imagining the tv show/film in his head as he went. It seems to me as though Sanderson has been looking for his own transition from book writing lately. However this is still a good story just not as detailed as his older works.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Superhumans but not as we know them., 21 Mar 2014
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My score: 3.5 out of 5

Imagine a world full of super-humans. But instead of great power bringing great responsibility, it only brings corruption . . . and evil. Only a dedicated band of humans, calling themselves the Reckoners, work to find a way of defeating them; the Epics.
David is the only person alive who has seen Steelheart, the Epic who rules over Newcago, bleed. He hopes that secret will be his passport to joining the Reckoners. He has spent the last ten years studying the Epics for a chance at vengeance, a chance to make Steelheart bleed again and avenge his father's murder. However, David didn't fully understand what that would entail until he is caught in the middle of a hit on an Epic. David must survive long enough to prove his worth to the Reckoners and somehow convince them that he can defeat the most powerful Epic in the world; Steelheart.
This is essentially a revenge story set in a post-apocalyptic world caused and now ruled by superheroes. Whilst there seems to be a good effort to classify and explain the various superpowers on display, it lacks the hard edge theoretical science to be true SF. The characters themselves comment on this by stating that no one really understands why these people have become supers, though it is alluded to that a huge red comet stuck in the Earth's orbit has something to do with it, and that the powers and weaknesses are somewhat illogical. The story is entirely contained within Newcago, formerly Chicago until Steelheart, in a rare display of his powers, caused most of the city to turn into metal. Steelheart rules his domain with an iron-fist, destroying anyone who defies his rules, with the highest crime being acts of attrition against any Epic. However, in comparison to other parts of the world, Newcago is a veritable haven, with people generally protected from attack from anyone other than Steelheart's inner circle, plus running water and electricity and a police force to ensure law and order. The ground level and the high-rises are reserved for Epics and those humans that serve them, e.g. accountants, scientists, engineers, etc. Most of the rest of humanity live underground in subterranean levels burrowed out by people "gifted" with the ability to burrow through metal. "Gifting" is one of the cooler innovations Sanderson has attributed to a rare few Epics. Its kind of the reverse of David Farland's Runelords, or if you like, the opposite to Rogue's (X-Men) powers, i.e. an Epic can gift one of his abilities for a limited time to a normal human being.
The story is told in the first person, with David as the viewpoint protagonist, filling in the reader with his encyclopedic knowledge of Epics. David has been shaped by the traumatic experience of watching his father murdered before his eyes by Steelheart and then spent the next ten years of his life gathering as much intel on Epics, whilst trying to keep his head low and working in a weapon's factory becoming an expert in guns. The supporting cast is made up of the Reckoners, with Megan, a red headed femme fatale that favors pistols over rifles, Cody, a Scotsman from Tennesee with a penchant for wild stories, Abraham, a French-Canadian who provides the voice of reason and superior marksman skills, Tia, a tech wizard with a sweet-tooth for Cola and Prof, the enigmatic leader of the Reckoners.
The writing and dialogue is solid and functional, telling the story well enough with little artistic flair. But perhaps that isn't so important in the bigger picture of presenting an interesting take on the superhuman mythos. The plot really does come into its own after David has become a fixture within the Reckoners. I found some of the twist perdictabe, nevertheless the execution of these twists and the pacing is faultless, with the big reveal at the end still worthy of the time invested in the book by the reader.
Sanderson supposedly developed the original idea in 2007, but it is difficult not to draw parralells with the plot of Injustice: Gods Amongst Us, in which Superman is tricked into killing Lois Lane by the Joker (just like Herucles was tricked by Hera), who then kills the Joker in cold blood, then goes on to establishing his dominion over the world and all the other superheroes and villains. The Reckoners sound a lot like a dispersed and under-funded version of Batman Inc, with the Prof even doing a good impression of the Bat in his black lab coat and apparell. There are even a few nods in the story to Superman, with David's dad wearing a Superman tshirt when he is killed by Steelheart, who incedently could be a dead-ringer for the last son of Krypton, and Abraham wears an "S" shaped locket around his neck. Despite these similarities and homages, Steelheart still comes across as an original take on the superhero mythos and will definitely appeal to fans of Tom Reynold's Meta and the Double Helix series by Jade Kerrion. There is a good chance that Steelheart will be picked up by Hollywood and will grace the silverscreen in the not to distant future. What I would like to see is a video-game adaptation of this book. Would I read the inevitable sequel? Most definitely, yes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read it!!, 15 Mar 2014
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This is a fantastic book, i love reading but even i can admit that sometimes it's a struggle if there are slow sections....this book is a pleasure to read, there are no slow parts, its been written beautifully only down side is I'm still waiting for the second book!
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