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Steelheart cover art

Steelheart

Written by: Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
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Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of the Mistborn Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson, comes the first book in a new, action-packed thrill ride of a series - Steelheart. 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.

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What listeners say about Steelheart

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 2020-11-05

Sparks! Does David plan on fighting the Lord Ruler

The story starts off quickly with a fast-paced prologue then grinds down to a halting pace. I felt the story was less YA and more middle grade. I almost quit it, but it started to pick up speed just past the halfway point. It was at this point the story started to feel more like a YA novel.

The Bad
Starting with the parts that I didn’t like. My first big concern was that the story felt like an X-men story, but only the bad guys have mutant powers. There were also elements of Sanderson’s Mistborn novels in the story. For example, a bad Mutant (read Epic) named The Lord Ruler (read Steelheart) has conquered the world (read Chicago) and changed the environment by creating ash falls (read a steel landscape). The X-men (read Reckoners), led by Professor X (read The Professor), are going to take him on. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I had hope for a more original storyline.

Next on my hit list is the swearing. The characters don’t use modern swear words, instead they swear with works like “sparks,” and “calamity.” This would have been fun it wasn’t such overkill. At times it felt like every fifth word was one of these two words.

Finally, as I’ve already mentioned, the pacing was not great.

The Good
The main character, David, was fun. He felt genuine and his many attempts at metaphors were hilarious. No other character in the novel is as well developed as him. The Reckoner crew was fun, and I enjoyed the fact that there was a Black French-Canadian man on the crew. However, I wish his character, and others, had been fleshed out. The characters could have been so much more interesting than the two-note characters they actually were.

The ending of the novel was enjoyable. I had predicated several parts of the ending, but not the entire ending. I am not sure if I was able to make accurate predications because it was a YA novel or because I’ve read enough of Brandon Sanderson’s novels that I was able to guess where he was taking the story. If you’ve read Mistborn you’ll see a lot of similarities.

McLeod Andrews was a solid choice for the narration of this story. He made David come to life. His comedic timing and his voice really went well with David’s character. He voiced the other male characters well but wasn’t as strong when he voiced the female characters. Also, it sounded like he went back and redid some parts of the story when he wasn’t happy with how he voiced a part. When this happened the volume of his voice, and the pitch, changed enough to take me temporarily out of the story, but I do appreciate the effort he made in going back to redo parts of his narration.
I would recommend this book to readers who like action adventure stories and who are 11-15 years old. If you’re a diehard Sanderson fan you might enjoy it too. I’ve heard the follow up novel is better, so I plan on giving it a try.

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8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

THIS IS AN AWESOME BOOK!!!

This book is X-Men, Hunger Games, and Mission Impossible rolled into one epic (no pun intended) masterpiece. Highly recommend.

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5 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

The dialog is unbelievable and cringe worthy

The story is set in current times or perhaps near future in Chicago. As such you would expect characters to speak or act like we do.
However the dialog is written in a very unrealistic and unbelieble manner. Destroys the suspension of disbelief.
It became very hard to listen to, as characters had unreasonable reactions and unrealistic conversations. Had to stop part way through.
Very disappointing since I'm a big fan of Brandon Sanderson. Listened to most of his fantasy books, but seems like he's got a long way to go before writing a good SciFi novel.

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must-listen.

I found this book initially in a store, and thought the synopsis sounded cool. It belonged in the "Teen Literature" section according to the stickers on it's cover. I bought it, and binged it in one go.
The book is fantastic. Great, likeable characters, a pretty decent story, and an awesome twist on the superhero genre make this an absolute must for anyone with even a passing interest in heroes.

This audiobook is no exception.

The narration is spot on, with various characters having decently varying voices (Fans of David Hayters Solid Snake will love the Prof.), The story is well articulated, and at no point do you get tired of listening to him.

I whole-heartedly recommend this to everyone!
Sparks! You guys! Read this now!

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love this Author

#Audible1 I am adding a written review in order to get into a draw, but still an excellent book.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unique Comicbook-like Dystopia.. 'Mutant Mafia'

Dismissing this book as "Children's" literature would be a mistake. The series actually reminds me of William Gibson in it's creativity.. it won't spawn a genre like 'Neuromancer' did (ie. Cyberpunk), but this very cool future reality/alternate reality reads like a great Marvel graphic novel.. it's extremely engrossing. Brandon Sanderson envisions a world where superpowered beings (known as "Epics") set up authoritarian fiefs like Feudal Warlords and essentially run them like crime syndicates. A class of Freedom Fighters called "Reckoners" work to find & kill Epics (each of whom has a weakness to exploit). Sanderson's protagonist - David Charleston - witnessed the murder of dozens of people (including his father) as a child [they observed the weakness in "Steelheart" - the chief Epic in his home city (Newcago).. so the paranoid supervillain murdered them all].
The topic/scenario resembles a comicbook, the chief character is a teenager, and the dialogue is reasonably sophomoric.. but the plot is well-conceived, well-executed, and well-described. The book is undeniably aimed at a younger audience, but the Fantasy is clever and the writing is creditable.

Unfortunately, the book is let down a little by spotty narration from MacLeod Andrews. His interest in the book is clear (timbre, tone, and cadence are commendable) - but his voice-acting is fairly weak (some of the chosen voices for characters are poorly-accented or cartoonish) and his rate of reading is too slow (listening to this book at 1.25X is highly recommended).

Altogether this is a fun 9.5 star out of 10 book - but the narration brings my rating down to 8.5 stars. Certainly younger teens and children can digest this stuff ('Steelheart' would be ideal for a road trip with the kids), but adult fans of Fantasy/SciFi should certainly enjoy it, too. Can recommend.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great book

if you liked"the boys" you will like this. great story that is similar but goes against conventional super heros are idolized approach and more feared

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Finally something worth listening to

Out of all the superhero books this is the first series I’ve found where the powers are interesting enough to stop to ponder, the narrator has good pacing and isn’t annoying to listen to, and to top it off the plot isn’t a generic high school or popular concept with a slight change. 10/10

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Really Good

I may have given a higher rating if it wasn't for me recently watching The Boys and Invincible. Supers, or, epics, I guess, as the bad guys is a little worn for me right now.

It is a good story though. The protagonist is kind of a goof, but a lovable one. His 'luck' throughout the story is actually pretty well explained by the end.

Humanity's reaction to powers is actually pretty spot on. Sanderson is usually good at that though. Interesting to see earth brought into the cosmear.

All in all, would recommend, and do plan on finishing the series.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A phenomenal twist on the “super-hero” genre

A fresh take on an old trope. With a story that can truly hold your attention from start to finish. Unique characters that are believably unbelievable.

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