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The early Steelheart
on 12 July 2017
As others have said, you can tell this is an early work. I could also tell it was definitely a Sanderson book, and if I hadn't known I'm sure I'd have guessed before long. Having read a few others of his I can see that what seemed very original, is actually what he repeats in book after book. It's write by numbers ~ you can almost see the plotting cards laid out, and the mathematically structured plot points.
There's a hero (many spoilers!) with one main character trait, in this case optimism. He finds a great hideout, builds a friendly gang of heros, and meanwhile has to figure out the secret to the magic/superpower system, putting the mystery together a piece at a time. There'll also be some characters with surprise hidden identities revealed along the way.
It's often said that Sanderson writes characters well, but I find they all have just one defining characteristic which gets repeated and repeated during the hundreds and hundreds of pages. And I was confused with some of the main nobles, just who they were.
It is entertaining story telling, but it is also highly predictable when you've read the formula before. I think Sanderson needs to try a fresh style, rather than repeat this original in slightly different, improved versions over the years.