Saturday, April 4, 2015

Time to Talkback: Review on Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

The Authors had their time to talk now it's Time to Talkback. This gives me the chance to review the book or books I have been reading. Now I'm all for a honest review and at times I can be a bit harsh with some of the judgements I voice, as far as book go. But it has nothing to do with the author(s) for without them what would my imagination be (goodness help us all). It is just my own opinion, constructive criticism (I say) and I just want to state it as so many of us sometimes do. Good or Bad, I am always thankful for the books I read and the author(s) who wrote them. So, welcome to Talkback and here to a honest review.

Title: Steelheart
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners #1
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre Type: Fantasy, Science-Fiction
Publication date: September 23rd 2014
Publisher: Ember
Format: Paperback
Pages:  384 pages
Source: Prize/Give Away
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brandon Sanderson, author of the internationally best-selling Mistborn trilogy, brings an incredible tale where evil rules all in chaos and destruction. Steelheart is a wonder Sci-fi Dystopian, with fast-paced action and surprises. It's a wild, energetic read with characters that are expertly drawn, assassinations, gunfights, superheroes, villains, romance, hope, and lost. Sanderson creates a thrilling journey giving wonderful characters and a vividly described world. His writing flows off the pages in imaginative and vibrant details leaving you wanting more.

Ten years ago, Calamity came and with it a burst in the sky that presented ordinary people with extraordinary powers, super human abilities. The frightened public called them Epics. Epics were not heroes but yet villains in the renewed world, taking “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” to a whole new level. Epics with the incredible gifts came to the desire to rule mankind no matter how they achieved it. Steelheart, is the number one, the alpha, of these Epics, claiming a newly reform Chicago aka Newcago and its dwellers. Steelheart is say to be undefeatable, unbeatable, and undefeated. No one has ever seen Steelheart fall, but someone has seen him bleed. 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 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 a special event, a memorable experience.

Sanderson loves to begin with a prologue for his stories and to some readers this is unsettling or disgruntling. However, the prologue which Sanderson opens with for this novel is one of the best parts of the story, sowing seeds of intrigue and developing the premise for the rest of the book. In the prologue the reader meets the narrator, David, an awkward young man with a habit of creating bizarre metaphors. David in the prologue narrates the day that Steelheart, an invulnerable superhuman, took over the city of Newcago, turning it into a city of steel and ensuring with the help of other super-humans that it is a city of eternal night. David has his own personal reasons for wanting to kill Steelheart and so he seeks out the aid of the Reckoners, a group of humans who aim to kill as many of these super-humans as possible.

The book explains that these met-a-humans, who call themselves Epics, gained their powers when some kind of red satellite called Calamity began to orbit the Earth. Of course, one gets the feeling that what Calamity is will be explained throughout the rest of the series, for this is one of the ways that Sanderson writes. He sets up a basic premise and gradually begins to explain the finer details. Another of these details is that every Epic has something that acts as a kind of 'kryptonite' for their powers. Something that causes them to lose their powers. These powers, when being used, further lead to the Epics having their selfish and impure desires doubled and tripled, which means that all Epics in the novel are evil or at least self-centered beings. It is as if Sanderson is creating the idea that in gaining extra-human powers that the darkness of humanity (the hamartia) is also doubling... The themes of this novel focus around the abuses of power and what would really happen if we, as humans, were granted great power. Would we really do what is best for others? Or would we use our powers in a whimsical fashion, destroying rather than creating. Furthermore, there is the subject of revenge, the need to have something other than vengeance to dedicate oneself to and the matter of action and inaction, which at one point David is told that one cannot worry about what could happen as a result of action, but what will happen as a result of inaction.

Of course, in true Sanderson fashion, the novel ends as both a nice stand alone and as part of a continuing series. So, if you want to be sucked into a new trilogy then by all means: read this book. I will be hoping desperately for a quality film version, and starting on the sequel.

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