Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is thorough proof that Sanderson can write kick-butt dystopia and YA! Steelheart has all the awesome elements of YA dystopia and the wonderful plot twists that I’ve come to expect from Sanderson. While I expect plot twists, I never seem to be able to figure out all of them. I ended up staying up two hours later than I planned to while finished Steelheart because I just couldn’t stop reading. The ending was edge-of-your-seat-amazing. I’m very excited for the rest of this trilogy and highly recommend Steelheart to Sanderson fans and YA dystopia fans (you will become Sanderson fans after this one!). Thank you so much to my friend Krys for lending me her ARC! Steelheart is scheduled to be published September 24, 2013!

Note: I read an advanced copy of Steelheart, so there may be changes in the final version.

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Title: Steelheart
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Length: 384 pages
Genre-ish: Dystopia YA

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 will.

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. – Goodreads


  • Super-powers without super-heroes??? Craziness! Steelheart’s premise is a chilling reinterpretation of the comic book heroes we are more familiar with and begs the question of why. Why did these powers show up? Why is everyone who has powers cruel and unjust? Don’t worry, Steelheart has hints of answers, and I trust Sanderson to reveal more of this awesome world in the rest of the trilogy.
  • One of Steelheart’s powers is to turn every inanimate object to steel. For example all of Chicago…. This makes for an intriguing setting for Steelheart, because tunnels have been dug into the steel ground by a digging power. The grass of playgrounds becomes pretty dangerous when it is turned to steel, quite pokey!
  • The plot twists! I had suspicions about one of them, but then there were more and more that I didn’t see coming, so epic! ;-)
  • David is an exceedingly sympathetic character. He is admittedly bad at metaphors, and so his first person narrative is sprinkled with attempts at metaphors that are hilariously bad. This adds the perfect touch of humor to an otherwise pretty depressing dystopian world.
  • There is also an adorkable crush ;-). David is such the typical teenage boy who thinks a girl is pretty but can’t figure out what to do about it, haha.
  • The rest of the Reckoners team had other awesome personalities. This includes Cody, the “Scotsman” who is quite eager to tell you all about bagpipes (you have to hunt your own dragon and unicorn to make a set), leprechauns (his family had to steal one from Ireland), and all sorts of other “Scottish” traditions ;-).
  • If you haven’t read any Sanderson before, trust me when I say that his writing is fantastic. If you have read Sanderson before, you know what I mean. There aren’t boring descriptions, but you also will be clued into just the right amount of information to have a running movie in your brain. There is just something satisfying about reading writing like that.


  • The prologue is sooooo sad. There was ugly crying on my part, so probably start Steelheart not in a public place >.>.
  • If you are looking for heavy romance, you will be disappointed. There may be a slow burn romance brewing over multiple books, and there is moving devotion between team members that could be something more, but there isn’t the full blown romance that many YA novels have. (I was okay with this, I just figure some of you might not be as happy about it.)
  • Not enough answers D: I wanna know what Calamity is! I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next book, haha.


I get all bouncy and excited whenever I talk about Steelheart to my friends now. I am just so excited at the new take on super-powers, the chilling dystopian world of which we are just scratching the surface, and all the answers yet to come! Steelheart was just so much fun to read in the way that dystopias are the best setting for truly epic battles between good and evil. It was especially cool that Steelheart’s main character doesn’t have some special power all his own, he’s just a regular guy trying to make this screwed up world better (and get revenge, but he can do both at the same time!). While Steelheart left a lot of questions as to what is really happening in the world, it also laid the ground work for a truly epic trilogy. (It’s so hard to avoid the word epic in this review, haha!)