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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Steelheart by Bradon Sanderson (Reckoners #1)

Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

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 is said to be invincible. 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 an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

A new to me author and series.  I've been seeing good reviews about this book/author and decided to make it a book group selection.  This is being promoted as YA.  On one hand, it didn't feel like YA.  On the other hand, when compared to something like the Hunger Games, it was definitely young adult. 

So much to enjoy in this book! 

  • It had an almost comic book feel to it (which I liked) with the description of the Epics, their various powers, and the setting of Newcago.   
  • I appreciated that the "coming of age" aspect which is so heavily predominant in YA (and other fantasy) happened in the defining moments in the prologue.  When we next meet up with our protagonist, 10 years have passed and we have a street hardened young man; there is really nothing special about him (no secret powers, not a "chosen one", not a long-lost heir to a kingdom that we are aware of).   He's just a smart guy. 
  • I liked the humor - David is constantly trying to work on his metaphors, sometimes with disastrous results.
  • The "technology" was unique and at the right level for the world building.
  •  A well rounded cast of characters where there was a small love interest appropriate for the setting.  

My criticism's with the book are actually few:  I thought it was a bit too action packed (purely personal preference here), the Reckoner's leap from one crisis to the next and planning all happens off-page.  I would have liked to have seen a bit more "behind the scene's" character and plot building.  I thought the ending was rushed.  Three days to set up and operation the size and complexity of which was executed?  I found that unlikely.  And I would have liked to have seen David interacting with the other team members on a one on one basis outside of the action scenes - again, a bit more character building.

But overall, my complaints are minor.  I enjoyed the book enough that I would consider reading the next in the series.

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