Sunday, 30 August 2015

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart
Series: The Reckoners (#1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
From: COYER Secret Santa/Netgalley
Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Dystopian
Release Date: 24th September 2014
Links: GoodreadsAmazon

10 years ago, David witnessed the rise of the dictator Steelheart, in the moment that changed his life forever; the death of his father. Now 18, David is determined to get revenge on his father’s murderer and to do so he needs an in with The Reckoners, the only group of people who stand up and fight against Epics like Steelheart. But David soon learns that not everything should be about revenge.

Wow. Just wow. I know that I’ll enjoy a Brandon Sanderson book, and there was no doubt in my mind when I picked this one up that it would be good, but even I didn’t actually expect how amazing that book was. It left me with that feeling you get after a really really good book, and had me texting my friend who likes to read saying ‘read it!’

Starting at the end really…there were two big plot twists. One I’d already half figured out and was at the back of my mind, and the other took me well and truly by surprise (but in hindsight the title of book 2 makes more sense knowing what I know now!)  I love being taken off guard, particularly by something like that which makes the whole story look different!

David’s inner monologue kept things going action wise, but there was another side to it too. I found myself laughing aloud at several moments during the book because he just though funny things…and in some cases he said funny things too! I liked the way that the humour lifted the seriousness of the rest of the story.

Now the concept itself…with Sanderson in the past I’ve encountered magic systems which I personally find unique and well structured. In this book I’d say it was less magic and more science. Calamity (which I’m still not 100% sure of the nature of) caused normal humans to manifest powers and become Epics. For the most part Epics seemed to be moraless evil dictators, and lets face it super villains with no superheroes…makes things more interesting!

Even more so is the dystopian element that Steelheart in particular brought to the setting. The people in Newcago were downtrodden, watched all the time and killed on whim, but compared to other places that was a refuge. The dystopian elements worked well and it was interesting, especially combined with super powers!

David did have a love interest in the book, Megan one of the Reckoners, but it didn’t take up a major part of the story. Rather the attraction and feelings he had towards Megan were more a by product of the situation (and as he says several times, she keeps miniature explosives in her bra, that is pretty cool!)

While David was a mature younger character there were still moments that his age came through (see above paragraph!) and I liked that, it made him more relatable. I didn’t even find myself noticing over much that Steelheart had a male first person POV.

This was an amazing book. I loved Sanderson’s books already but this has definitely sealed the deal!