Review: Steelheart (Reckoners, #1) by Brandon Sanderson


Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Date read: August 02 to 05, 2013
Read count: 1

I liked it. And that’s saying something because this is clearly YA.

Young inexperienced protagonist, David Charleston, joins a crew of rebels, the Reckoners, to fight and defeat super villains, the Epics. The story is told from David’s POV, and while that’s sometimes interesting–David is smart and calculating–it’s somewhat annoying some times because David is a hormonal teenager who’s in over his head. His struggles, while making the story and narrative more nuanced, were a struggle for me to read. I appreciate the complications and setbacks he faces in the face of danger, but his inner monologues, most of which are Megan-centered, were not that interesting and they tended to drag things down a narrow Megan-themed tunnel.

The secondary characters, however, were more interesting. Prof, Abraham, Tia, Cody, and even Megan were more complex, fleshed out characters. Each seemed to possess their own sense of self and had goals to work toward. While David does have his own goals–defeat Steelheart–he’s still finding himself, while still trying to understand the crumbling world around him and his place in it. This makes me think maybe this book would have been better if it had more POVs. But perhaps switching between each of the Reckoner’s POV would have been too chaotic, not to mention it would have turned the book into an 800+ page doorstop.

Like other Sanderson books, this one has a tight plot and lots of action toward the end. It’s a nonstop whirlwind of a ride once the Reckoners put their plans into motion and move against Steelheart. This is the kind of breathless writing that keeps you glued to the book, and I had to set all (real life) things aside just to get to the finish line.

I don’t read that much YA genre fiction, so I have no idea if this book is considered good or just average by those standards, but I did like it and I look forward to the next books in the series.

“Newcago” still makes me cringe though. Why not call it New Chicago??

*  *  *  *  *


Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Date Read: April 3, 2015
Read Count: 1

I actually like this short story more than the first book. Maybe I’m warming up to David as a main POV character.

Following the defeat of Steelheart and Nightweilder, the city of Newcago–that word still makes me cringe–is now a sunny post-apocalyptic refuge for the powerless. But the people are still weary, as though expecting a new Epic to defeat the Reckoners and plunge the city back into darkness. And one does step up to the challenge–Mitosis. He’s the first to pose a threat, but he’s certainly not the last.