Monday, January 20, 2014

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

Narrated by: Macleod Andrews
Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins 
Format: Unabridged
Release Date: 09-24-13
Purchase links: Audible | Amazon

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.

This audiobook purchase was a completely random, spur of the moment decision for me. A GoodReads user had previously recommended Sanderson as a male author who did a great job of writing heroines. Steelheart (told from a young man's point of view) wasn't one of the titles suggested to me, but when I saw this author's name again I thought, "Eh. Why not?". Best decision ever. 

I loved the concept of Steelheart. It's a post-apocalyptic story where an occurrence known as Calamity changed the world and granted super powers to some of the population. These individuals became known as Epics and began dominating ordinary citizens. Although they possessed super powers, none of them were superheroes. In fact, they all seemed to lack any morals or compassion, almost as if they were no longer human. 

We are introduced to the Reckoners, a group of humans dedicated to eliminating the Epics, when they cross paths with the protagonist, David. He's been studying the Epics his entire life, documenting their strengths, weaknesses, places they frequently visit, and the people they travel with. All of this is done with the hope that he will one day join the Reckoners and eventually defeat the strongest Epic of all, Steelheart. 

David's vengeance against Steelheart is what drives this story. It's his entire purpose. It decides his every move and eventually leads to him convincing the Reckoners that Steelheart must be the next Epic to die. 

While I enjoyed David's character I also liked Megan, one of the Reckoners' newer members and the girl that David develops a crush on. She's beautiful, she's badass and there are hints throughout the story that suggests she is more than what she seems. There are questions that surround Megan's character that I'm certain will be answered in the sequel, Firefight, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

The final showdown against Steelheart was one of my favorite parts of this story. It was intense, action-packed and had me on the edge of my seat. I thought I was clever and had Steelheart's weakness figured out early on in the story. I was wrong. Looking back, there were a few small clues that could have helped me figure it out, but I actually liked that I wasn't able to. It's always more exciting when there is an element of mystery and surprise involved.

Overall, I thought Steelheart was an awesome story and it held my attention from beginning to end. The only reason I'm not giving it a 5 star rating is because of the narrator. He was good, but he occasionally had issues with transitioning from one voice to the next. Also, I had a hard time believing that the Reckoners would go through with a plan to kill Steelheart without having more than a couple of guesses as to what his weakness could be. But these were issues that I found easy to overlook and I was able to enjoy this story regardless.


Neyra said...

Love your review Cat! I've seen this book taunting me from Walmart's book section... lol I picked it up just to see what it was all about, but had to put it down due to budget restraints :( I did love the blurb though and I'm curious about it. I'm so glad I saw your post today, I have been debating whether or not to just get it, and now I'm willing to pay for the hardcover version. These characters sound intriguing too, and I can't wait to jump into this world!

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