Steelheart: A book Review

Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)

Book: Steelheart (Reckoners #1)
Author/Authoress:Brandon Sanderson

The cover made me think of cheap sci-fi fics. Overdramatic and cheesy. We see that something’s blasted a hole through a metal sheet. Through that hole is a guy facing off something that looks like a cartoonish trash converter. Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan of the cover.

Characters: 4/5

I like how the protagonist was a major geek.Brandon often refers to the fact that David had made the Epics his life study. If knowledge really was the only type of power, David would be the most powerful person in the book. But forewarned is forearmed. The sheer depth and volume of information David has on hand   turns him into a capable and intelligent character. But don’t go around mistaking him for a super genius.  His awkwardness around the love interest and his horrendous metaphors (like a brick made of oatmeal) offer the much needed comic relief.

The Reckoners are an organization dedicated to killing Epics. And each member we meet has their eccentricities and quirks. Cody with his Irish affectations is hilarious and his banter with … everyone is hilarious. Abraham and the prof are wise and mysterious but each in their own ways. The group meshes well together and you can see that (in some cases, really deep down) they all care for each other.

“I trust you with their lives,’ Prof said, still writing, ‘and them with yours. Don’t betray that trust, son. Keep your impulses in check. Don’t just act because you can; act because it’s the right thing to do.

Steelheart is the Villain (notice how I’ve capitialized the V?)From the very beginning of the book we see his terrifying power and exactly how ruthless he can be.  Most of the plot – especially its mystery – is spent on figuring out what exactly could lead to his defeat, but finding this weakness feels impossible. At the end, you’re guaranteed to have a ‘Duh! That was so obvious!’ moment.

Plot:  2/5
(Taken from
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 wills.
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.

Honestly, I think the plot’s pretty refreshing as far as plots go. I’ve seen the same dystopian ideas repeated over and over again with their authors trying to claim that they’re ‘original’ but this really is. And the plot actually makes sense. We don’t have characters jumping from one place to another because it’s ‘convenient’. Like I said, it actually makes sense!  Random human beings being upgraded with super powers? That’s new (for a dystopian book; not for a comic book) . Them abusing their powers? Sensible. Them having powers (i.e. the powers don’t manifest is certain scenarios)? That’s a new, sensible plot!

Romance: 2/5
Bad news- It’s an insta love. Good news- the characters don’t realize it. Good news- the girl’s capable, intelligent and seems like an actual person. Bad news- the guy spends the entire book lusting over her. Ew. As you can see, the romance was kind of hit and miss for me. The characters were pretty good but I just wasn’t seeing the chemistry. So it’s a goo thing that I don’t read Young-Adult fiction for the chemistry.

Technical Terms/World building: 3/5

I wasn’t able to keep up with all the terms described in the book. The sheer volume is just too much! David uses a lot of strange terms to classify and categorize the superheroes (epics)  But…(there’s always a but) it didn’t matter too much; I got the basics and I could understand the rest by context. If you’re the kind of person who is driven crazy when there’s a single term on the page you don’t know the exact definition for, you’re going to be flipping back and forth a lot.

On the other hand the world that was built was supremely awesome. In fact I’d say that it pulled up this rating by a whole star!


David seemed to be quite blind where ever Meghan was concerned. She did a lot of weird things that he never seemed to notice. I wasn’t that surprised by the end of the book; after all, I had figured it all out ages ago. But David was surprised, too surprised for someone who had been given so many clues. (And now when you read this, you’ll be keeping your eyes peeled for the clues)

In addition, David seems too trustful of the Reckoners. Yes, they’re an organisation which has killed super-villains but in the end they’re human. David doesn’t seem to realize that they’re not the idea l he has built up in his head until the end.

Action: 5/5
The action in this book is amazing. But then I guess you’ld expect it to be since it’s a book which targets teenager guys. The weapons are cool and the fight scenes are even cooler. I could literally imagine what they looked like. They were pretty epic (pun-intended). Even more epic, there were a lot of them. I think I got an adrenalin rush just by reading this book.

Overall Rating:4

Action, a plot and awesome characters? What more could a reader want? How about less plotholes and an easier world building? Yes, I liked the book but I felt there was something missing. Maybe whatever was missing will be in the next few books.


One thought on “Steelheart: A book Review

  1. Pingback: Vicious: A Book Review | Plot Holes be Gone

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