Saturday, January 24, 2015


In the typical superhero tale, the hero puts on his tights and goes out to round up the bad guys. Eventually, he may run into the "super villain", but that is not until after the "good guy" has shown his worth to society.

What if the tables were turned? What if the super villains came out first? And what if there were not any super heroes out there?

Steelheart is set in a near future Chicago that has been taken over by the eponymous Steelheart. He is an "Epic" with various super powers, including the ability to turn things to Steel. "Newcago" as it is called is now a city of Steel ruled by a super dictator. Steelheart does engage in acts of random killing. However, he provides general infrastructure and some sense of daily life for humans, making his city more desirable than many of the others.

David witnessed Steelheart killing his father a decade ago. In the intervening decade, David has been consumed by the thought of revenge. He had been spending most of his time researching Epics and finding their weaknesses, with a goal of eventually taking down Steelheart. He manages to meet up with the anti-Epic group, "the Reckoners" and help take down many of the Epics. Being a YA novel, he falls in love with Megan, a Reckoner with a few secrets of her own. However, here they are busy with the action.

The book is fast paced and loaded with plenty of twists and surprises that all seem to make sense in the end.

Each Epic has their own power and weakness, providing all sorts of fun in the story. David also has a knack for really bad metaphors, with explanations that manage to be even more over the top. Though Sanderson is best known for his Epic fantasy, he seems to have the most fun when he writes for younger ages.

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