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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

In the not too distant future, a major event called  The Calamity, changes random people and with that, the fate of humanity.  If that sounds a bit familiar it may be because it’s the basis for many post-apocalyptic stories.  Brandon Sanderson has freshened up this often used trope in his book Steelheart – Book 1 of the Reckoners Series.

In the Reckoners series, The Calamity, ordinary people are transformed.  The transformation gives these random people superhero like abilities and they become known as Epics.  These new powers result in a huge power shifts throughout the country.  Borders are redrawn and governments, though left in place, are powerless.  This story follows a young man named David.  When David was very young, he and his father where in Chicago when an Epic named Steelheart made his mark on the city.  David sees something nobody was never meant to see, the vulnerability of an Epic.  The resulting events become the catalyst that drive David to seek revenge and an end to all Epics.

The character of David seeks out a group of people known as the Reckoners.   Sanderson creates the group with many of the archetypes we’ve seen before like the whiny teen, the aloof love interest and the hard core gun enthusiast.  He doesn’t just use them as filler. He breathes a bit of life into them.  You either like, dislike or are oddly amused by these characters. In time, you start to slowly understand who this band of misfits are and how they function together.  You also see how they have reached this point through their backstories.

By telling the story through David’s eyes, Brandon Sanderson brings you into the story.  He keeps you there with a great combination of action scenes and plot twists.  His writing is easy to follow without being too simple or patronizing.  I like how in this book, he peppers the dialog with slang he created for the time period and it doesn’t sound contrived.

There’s a dose of reality in this story I found oddly refreshing.  The group seems to have more mistakes and missteps than true successes.  It’s not that I like to see the good guys fail, mind you.   I do think that showing their flaws and weaknesses can give the story that touch of reality that makes it easy for the reader to get drawn.

I like this book with its action and twists.  It kept me engaged the whole way. I would not hesitate to recommend Steelheart to anyone twelve years or older. I actually did suggest to my son when for a school assignment and he liked it.  There is violence and some young adult romance but, it’s actually all pretty mild.  I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series coming out soon.Roberts Signature


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Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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