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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment
This book was my introduction to Brandon Sanderson, and I would strongly recommend it. The book is well-paced, well-planned with sufficient twists to the narrative to keep you uncertain as to precisely what's been happening until the final few pages. The writing style is crisp and evocative: I found it easy to imagine the steel-city of Newcago, stratified into tiers and...
Published 6 months ago by GreyMonarch

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I did enjoy Steelheart, it sets scene perfectly for the next ...
This is the first Brandon Sanderson book I have read and not a book I would normally choose as I don't read much in this genre. I did enjoy Steelheart, it sets scene perfectly for the next Reckoners adventure. The characters are all interesting and well thought out and the plot moves along very quickly with plenty of action. I would recommened this book to anyone who just...
Published 4 months ago by Ms. J. Manders


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment, 6 Jun 2014
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This book was my introduction to Brandon Sanderson, and I would strongly recommend it. The book is well-paced, well-planned with sufficient twists to the narrative to keep you uncertain as to precisely what's been happening until the final few pages. The writing style is crisp and evocative: I found it easy to imagine the steel-city of Newcago, stratified into tiers and presided over by Steelheart, an invulnerable epic with whom our protagonist, David, has his grievance.

The premise to the book was surprisingly engrossing, so much so that I read it entirely in two sittings. Epics, humans with supernatural abilities, surface within civilisation after the event known as Calamity, about which there is much speculation but as of yet no explanation. The Epics choose to subjugate society, although there is great disparity concerning their powers, so that only the most eminent emerge as dictators. Steelheart, one of such, features early in the novel: causing the death of the David's father in his power play that sees him become the despot of Newcago. David devotes the rest of his life to having his revenge.

It would be easy for a different writer to become stranded and inconsistent with the vast array of possibilities that come with a new flock of supernatural abilities, but Sanderson is quick to tabulate the lore, including colourful terminology that really makes the reader believe in the setting. There's a whole new economy set around the Epics, with plenty of hints for potential plot lines in future instalments. In addition, the narrative is deeper and more gratifying than a standard revenge set-up, with plenty of debate from the main characters, the Reckoners: a guerrilla group dedicated to the assassination of Epics, about the merits of Steelheart's rule, and how harmful the consequences would be to Newcago should he be removed.

Sadly, the manuscript has its caveats. The main character is confined to the peripherals of being believable. He repeatedly states that his entire life is devoted to death of Steelheart, yet these iterations are interspersed with banter about his poor command of metaphors, back-and-forth with the comedian of the team, and frequent endeavours, along with much worrying, to impress the girl. He is also socially apt, despite abjuring friendship in the orphanage in which he grew up, and not at all shy about opening up. This is all evident before his character is given chance to develop. Were it not for his saying so, there is little indication that this character is damaged; therefore, his vendetta feels like a contrivance to place him where he needs to be in order to advance the plot.

There is some discussion about the idea that 'power corrupts,' although it seems restricted to superficial forays. Nevertheless, it forms a firm foundation on which the entertainment value is delivered, and my only complaint is that the philosophical revelation David experiences at the novel's climax feels incongruous, as though it's trying to be more than the novel set out to be. Ultimately, however, despite the imperfections, Steelheart is sufficiently engrossing and well-thought-out, so as to leave you anxiously awaiting the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted page turner, 22 Aug 2014
By 
AGH (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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A well crafted plot with good characterisation from a story engineering perspective with more or less all the right ingredients in the right place. Coupled with Brandon's vivid imagination it succeeds in keeping you turning the pages and building dramatic tension. The prologue is a great hook into the story which you can read for free, so if that appeals to you jump on board for the ride.
Written in the first person from the perspective of the eighteen year old David with ambitions to join the Reckoners, a group dedicated to fighting the evil "Epic's" in possession of a variety of super powers following on from an event known as the "Calamity". The narrative does feel like it comes from an eighteen year old man with David's background which naturally places certain limitations on style and content. I quite enjoyed the humour introduced by David's own assessment of his ability to produce fitting metaphors during the telling. Coming from the mind of an eighteen year old character I suppose you do loose a little depth in the telling but I'm not going to criticise Brandon for that. He's decided that is how he is telling the tale, in some ways it works better this way as it is logical certain revelations come later in the story when only seen from David's perspective.

Its the first Brandon Sanderson book I've read, I will definitely be reading his Mistborn series later and more from the Reckoner's when they are published.
This is a easier faster to consume novel than many heavy weights in the fantasy genre which is exactly what I was in the mood for. I needed a break after reading Tad William's Dragon Bone Chair before I pick up the sequel to this one. Anyone who has read the Tad Williams' Memory Sorrow and Thorn series will know it is heavier going and slower moving but ultimately probably more rewarding that a shorter tale like Steelheart. But there is a place on my bookshelf and in my Kindle for both kinds of novel.

Yes five stars because I think the author succeeded in what he was aiming to do, it was clever enough, with a thought provoking enough theme and a genuine page turner. Falls only a little short of the perhaps mythical perfect book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly implausible but great fun, 14 Aug 2014
This is my first Brandon Sanderson novel and I have to admit that I enjoyed even though the story line is beyond implausible, bordering on the preposterous. The author seems to cheerfully violate every known law of Physics in this universe with his Epics, not to mention common sense at every turn. Even so, his heroic characters are so sympathetic and his villains such despicable that I found I had to stick with it until the ending which is a completely daft one but which somehow doesn't disappoint. Recommended although I don't know how he does it. Teachers of creative writing must be in despair about this one.

Chris Allen is a Technical Author and writer with the following books available through Amazon:
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
Call of the Void: The Strange Life and Times of a Confused Person: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Super-Hero / Anti-Hero clashes, 8 Jun 2014
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Another example of how Sanderson can turn his hand to almost anything and make it amazing. I loved this story and I read it in one sitting. The character David is a loveable yet nerdy guy who has worked his whole life to attempt to find a way to defeat the Epic, Steelheart, who controls the city and who killed his father. He is a well-written character with a terrible lack of metaphor ability which makes him charming in some ways and ridiculously silly in a good way too.

The plot is exciting and eventful and the character's abilities and potential is endless so it's an enchanting read. The plot is fast-moving and there are a few twists which really make me want to read the next one as soon as I can!

Highly recommended and a wonderful read! My first superhero-like read, and certainly not a let-down!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really love the storm light archive books and Elantris, 3 July 2014
By 
M. J. Odell (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Really love the storm light archive books and Elantris, so found Steel heart very different. But it is so well written and the story kept me hooked up to the end. So respect to BrandonSanderson for being such a diverse writer, a true storyteller which is rare. I particularly like the way that though you want him to continue with the story he forces you to stop and think take time to pick up the clues. Also his characterization in this is excellent I could actually picture Megan. Read it if you want to know about superheroes or if you are like me addicted to Brandon Sanderson
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good holiday read?, 30 July 2014
By 
JPS - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Much has been written about this book not being Sanderson’s best although since this is the first of his books that I have read, I simply cannot support or criticise this statement. What I can state and confirm, however, is that the book worked well for me and was indeed “action-packed” and “fast-paced”, to use two of the usual sentences applied to this kind of book. The meaning here is that, regardless of whether you end up by liking the book or not, and for whatever reason, you will have no time to get bored.

The other thing going for this book is that it belongs to what I tend to call the “easy reading” category (no offense intended, nor is this an attempt to be condescending in any way). By this, I simply mean that it is the kind of book that makes a good and pleasurable holiday read - I happened to be on holidays when I read it a few days ago – even if the plot is not entirely original and even if, at times, it does “look and feel” like a “YA book” or something that could be directly drawn from a comic.

Then there is the story itself, which takes place in a futuristic and rather grim Chicago that its inhabitants call “Newcago”. A decade before, Epics with superhuman powers destroyed the United States (now called the fractured States!) and set up their own private little realms which they rule as unpredictable tyrants. One of the most powerful of all is the horrible and cruel Steelheart who killed the hero’s father ten years before when he seized power in Chicago. So the hero will join "the Reckoners" who resist the Epics' tyranny by killing them and seek hs revenge...

I will not write much more about the plot or the characters, to avoid spoilers. Neither is exactly original. Nevertheless, both manage managed to be entertaining and there was at least some element of suspense that kept me “hooked up” almost to the end, although I guessed the other one rather early on. I would certainly recommend reading this book, especially when on holiday and in need for some “light reading” so for me this one is worth a good four stars, although not five…
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another brilliant read!, 28 May 2014
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Brandon Sanderson's books have always been a fantastic read, but this has to be a favourite. A teen novel yet with with an adult feeling/theme, the difference between this and his other writings is the plot appears quicker, sucking you into an epic world within pages.

As a parent, the first chapter pulls at the maternal instincts as it talks about a mother within the plot (those that read it will understand the point I'm trying to make!) yet although shocking was brave and brilliantly written.

Outstanding. Refreshing. One hell of a page turner...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I did enjoy Steelheart, it sets scene perfectly for the next ..., 28 July 2014
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This is the first Brandon Sanderson book I have read and not a book I would normally choose as I don't read much in this genre. I did enjoy Steelheart, it sets scene perfectly for the next Reckoners adventure. The characters are all interesting and well thought out and the plot moves along very quickly with plenty of action. I would recommened this book to anyone who just wants to be thouroughly entertained and not to have to think too much. It's written well and plays out like a movie. Would recommended this book to anyone looking to try this genre for a change.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Read!, 30 May 2014
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I picked this book on a whim, having been a massive fan of Sanderson's other books. The concept is a fresh take on the over-used 'normal people get super-powers' scenario, with the world now transformed into broken society ruled by super-powered warlords.

I sat down to read the book before bed 2 days ago, and ended up reading well into the early hours of the morning! This is a real fast-paced page turner, with constant action, revelations & twists.

Now I'm really looking forward to the sequel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting begining, 17 Jun 2014
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Brandon Sanderson doesn't let you down and his books are always engrossing reads. This isn't an exception and I only gave it four stars because I'm comparing it to some of his other books e.g. the Mistborn and way of kings trilogies which are some of the best books I've read. In my opinion Steelheart isn't quite as good as these as it lacks some of the depth and intrigue that some of his other books have however its still a classic action packed book which you won't want to put down!
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