‘Steelheart’ by Brandon Sanderson

I just finished reading Steelheart, the first book of Brandon Sanderson’s young adult trilogy, The Reckoners. As a fan of sci-fi, superhero stories, and yes, young adult fiction — hi Harry Potter and Percy Jackson — this had my name written all over it. As expected, I couldn’t put it down.

The story takes place in a near-future apocalyptic world ruled by a small number of supervillains, all of whom started out as ordinary people but gained incredible powers following the sudden appearance of a strange red object in the sky known as The Calamity. I’ll let the book description take it from here:

There are no heroes.

Every single person who manifested powers—we call them Epics—turned out to be evil.

Here, in the city once known as Chicago, an extraordinarily powerful Epic declared himself Emperor. Steelheart has the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, no explosion can burn him. He is invincible.

It has been ten years. We live our lives as best we can. Nobody fights back . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans who spend their lives studying powerful Epics, finding their weaknesses, then assassinating them.

My name is David Charleston. I’m not one of the Reckoners, but I intend to join them. I have something they need. Something precious, something incredible. Not an object, but an experience. I know his secret.

I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.

While the book was clearly written with teenagers in mind (especially some of its one-dimensional charactarizations), it’s a fun ride all the way through and had some unexpected twists. I’m excited to start the next book in the series, Firefight, which is actually sitting next to me and will be happening literally as soon as I finish writing this.

You can get Steelheart in various editions: