Genre: Young adult – fantasy
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.
“The government eventually declared men such as Steelheart to be natural forces, like hurricanes or earthquakes.”
This book feels like superhero comics in novel version, but where all the villains have replaced the actual superheroes. It’s chaos, destruction and humans being undermined. But it’s also has an amazing team, fast-paced well-written action, story with quality and underground secret lair. Almost forgot; a lot of purposely bad metaphors which I found strange, but grew to like amazingly quick.
Brandon Sanderson writes with incredible speed and skill, while making complex stories. This is not an exception. It’s a young adult book in all the right ways; it’s definitely geared towards a younger audience and has lots of action, without being “dumbed-down”. The only difference I was laughing at, was him not being able to naturally put theology in there, but I spoke too soon. Turns out superhero-villains appearing like from empty air and crushing all hope is the perfect time to create beliefs.
The Reckoners are a group trying to fight back. From the looks of it, they’re part of a bigger network, but claim to consist of just two groups (i don’t believe that). There’s some original types in that group and I hope I get to know them better in the next books.
I would especially recommend this book to teenage boys, it’s written as to get those action and superhero-loving guys into books. I rarely read books where the targeted group has been as clear as here. If I wasn’t more a tomboy than my brother I would recommend it to him too. I mean – “She can shoot like a dream and she carries tiny grenades in her top, a bit of my addled mind thought. I think I might be in love.” Tell me that’s not written with the intent of marketing. Having that target-group in mind also explains the move from focus on character’s backstories to current action and problems. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy and trying to catch up with Sanderson’s other series. If someone’s an Epic, it’s him with that writing-speed.
– favourite quotes –
“For some reason, I was realizing, when things got really, really tense I found it easier to relax.”
“Ponder. Worry. Stay up nights, frightened for the casualties of your ideology. It will do you good to realize the price of fighting.”
“He was right. I was letting myself get distracted, like a rabbit doing math problems instead of looking for foxes.”