Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review - Steelheart (and err...Vicious?)

17182126Title: Steelheart
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Genre: YA, science fiction, dystopia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary:
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.

Brandon Sanderson continues to be a storytelling god.

This is the fourth book I've read by him (the first three being the Mistborn trilogy), and I had really high expectations going in. Never mind that this one is marketed as YA while the rest of his books are marketed as epic fantasy - I expected nothing less than the usual Sanderson Brilliance.

And I got it.

This book is what I wanted out of V.E. Schwab's Vicious. Both books feature a futuristic world populated by a few superhuman people/creatures that are morally complex and very troublesome. By troublesome, I mean they run around killing people. The main plot of the novels are very different, although they are both driven by revenge. Somehow I was able to connect with Sanderson's characters and their struggles more than Schwab's, which is probably why I enjoyed this one more (also it probably helps that Sanderson is a storytelling god. Just saying).

I'm sorry this review is turning into more of a compare and contrast exercise between the two books, but I couldn't read Steelheart without thinking of Vicious. I really liked the explanation for the superpowers in Vicious, and since we haven't really gotten one yet in the world of Steelheart, I'm hoping it's just as good.

A minor complaint about this book, which is why it got four stars and not a full five - I felt like the writing style took some getting used to. I know that this book is marketed as YA and is thus written for a younger audience, but I have read plenty of YA books that are incredibly well-written and don't seem dumbed down at all. At first I felt like this book was a watered-down version of the usual Sanderson prose, but eventually things got going and I was able to get past the writing style.

I would definitely recommend this to Sanderson fans, as well as people who loved Vicious. It's a superhero story where the heros aren't the ones with the supernatural powers - if that sounds like a fantastic premise, why yes it is.

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8 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear you didn't care for Vicious - I loved it! But you have me super curious to check this out as well.

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  2. Vicious was one of those books I really wanted to love but somehow I didn't connect with it as much as I thought I would. It was still good, but I liked Steelheart better.

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  3. I really love dystopia novels so I think I might check this one out! Great Review!

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  4. Thanks! I hope you like it!

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  5. Awww sorry to hear you didn't love Vicious! I totally fell into it but haven't read this book yet so I'm hoping I will love Steelheart too! I still haven't managed to get around to this yet...

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  6. I haven't read any Sanderson yet! I actually read a lot of DNF reviews for Steelheart and kind of decided to skip it, but this has changed my mind. I should at least take a sniff at it...I LOVE superheroes! x)

    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

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  7. Aaaah this needs to be fixed! If you haven't read any Sanderson, I'd recommend reading Mistborn first - Steelheart is amazing, but Mistborn is mindblowing!

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  8. Everyone I know loves Vicious so I was super excited for it, but in the end I thought it was good but not amazing. I hope you like Steelheart as much as you liked Vicious!

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