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Steelheart

The Reckoners, Book 1
Written by: Brandon Sanderson
Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (169 ratings)

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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.

©2013 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2013 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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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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Love this Author

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

2 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    1 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.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Don Gilbert
  • 2013-09-26

He got the idea from a near traffic accident

I always find it fascinating where writers get their ideas and, according to an article by Rachel Brutsch of the Deseret News, Brandon Sanderson was cut off in traffic one day and immediately thought of the other driver, “You’re lucky I don’t have super powers because I would totally blow your car off the road.” That immediate thought horrified him; and he thought, “Its a good thing I don’t have superpowers.” Then he pondered, “What if the evil guys had all of the super powers?” That idea was the essence for his new Y.A. series, “Reckoning.”
Steeheart is a super-villain. He is one of many that received their power from a star called Calamity that appeared in the sky one day. Most thought the people that received these new found powers would use them for the benefit of mankind; wrong. With ultimate power comes ultimate corruption.
Steelheart has the strength of 10 men. He’s virtually indestructible, he can fly and when he’s enraged he can turn inanimate objects into steel. He exercised that particular power to transform most of Chicago and part of Lake Michigan before becoming the emperor of “Newcago.”
David Charleston was an eight year old boy when he saw Steelheart murder his father. Ten years has passed and David can think of only one thing; bringing Steelheart down. He is just a normal human and decides to recruit another group of humans, called “Reckoners” to help him. Reckoners study those like Steelheart, to learn their weaknesses.
This is a story that has been told many times, the struggle between good and evil, but this time Superman is not on our side; can good still win?
Its billed as a Y.A. book, and there is some romance that is usually associated with such genre, it does not, however, overwhelms the story; anyone that like Sci-Fi adventure should like this book. It is, after all, by Brandon Sanderson; and, by all indications it is the start of an epic tale.

309 of 339 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AdaChaDad
  • 2015-12-21

Really fun book!

What made the experience of listening to Steelheart the most enjoyable?

Sanderson has great creativity and twists throughout the book. Hardly any dull interludes are included. The action and descriptions are excellent. MacLeod Andrews does an amazing job with the narration.

What did you like best about this story?

It does a great job of pulling you right in. Within just a few pages the listener is hooked and has a hard time stepping away from the action that Sanderson creates.

What does MacLeod Andrews bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Andrews is superb. He brings the characters to life with vivid color. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job.

Any additional comments?

While I am 30 or so years past the primary target market for this book, I really appreciate how the work was handled. An exciting fantasy that is "clean" is a wonderful thing.

34 of 38 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-07-26

comicbook based wasn't my taste but narrator great

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

if you like comic book super heros its great just not my taste.

What was most disappointing about Brandon Sanderson’s story?

not well advertised as comicbook style

Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favorite?

I really like this mans ability to run the gambit of voices. I so far like them all. The deep male Russian style accent is my favorite so far.

Could you see Steelheart being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

With the love for comicon, avengers batman etc sure

Any additional comments?

Good book just not for me. Keep up the good work there are plenty out there that love this type of thing.

52 of 60 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike Naka
  • 2014-04-13

wondrous storytelling

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes, but i couldn't. hey! i have a day job! LOL it took 2 days. after writing a bunch of SQL and LINQ code for 6 hours straight ON A SATURDAY, this story was a welcome reward. even though i had to be up on sunday at 7 a.m., i kept listening until i was finished at a little after 3 a.m. yup, i was totally engrossed!

Any additional comments?


i'm attracted to stories where a person or group of people are up against a seemingly impossible situation, and what's more impossible than trying to kill the most powerful super villain, especially when you have no superpowers yourself?

this is the situation our protagonist, david, finds himself in. david is at the bank with his father the day steelheart decides to take over Chicago. during a melee with another "epic," super-powered human, david's father manages to injure steelheart by accident. as any paranoid super villain would, steelheart decides to utterly destroy the bank and everyone in it to hide the fact that someone as seemingly impervious to any type of attack as he's supposed to be was some how injured. david barely manages to escape, and he knows that steelheart will go to any lengths to protect his secret.

there are layers of conflict in this story. the outer layers are obvious- the conflicts between battling epics for the domination and subjugation of normal humans. the middle layers- the conflicts between characters. the inner layers- the conflicts raging within each character. i can't say much more w/o spoiling some of the story. sanderson seamlessly weaves these layers together, creating a rich depthness of character, and you can't help but wonder what you'd really do. the characters connect with you, and each character's viewpoint is distinct enough that different listeners would undoubtedly decide which character's viewpoint matches their own. i actually found myself wavering between 2 drastically differing viewpoints- prof's and megan's. both are cogent arguments.

the pacing of this story is perfect. the action sequences are exciting, and the dialogue is spot on. it is meaningful and believable. there are a few nice twists and turns in the story.

the narration is great. i have been a fan of macleod andrews since i heard him narrate the sandman slim series. his gritty voice matches our young protagonist, david's. he also does a great job voicing the other characters.

94 of 110 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve Woolley
  • 2015-03-31

Captivating but somewhat childish

I liked the story and the characters. However, it is written from an 18 year old perspective and I think this may at times bother older "readers".

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha Knight
  • 2016-08-30

Character development a little weak, but enjoyable

I liked the concept of this book, and the universe that was developed for it, but the characters and the teenage love story felt ham-handed. The main character is bad at puns and metaphors, which the author plays off as an endearing character trait, but it comes across as weak writing. Still, the book was enjoyable, in the way that a movie by Michael Bay is enjoyable when you want to put your brain on autopilot and watch something shiny.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Cory Welch
  • 2016-08-13

I gave it a chance...

I'm sorry to say after being an avid fan of the Mistborn series and being excited to listen to Steelheart, I was incredibly disappointed. Maybe comic book fans can more readily overlook the plot holes and stupid assumptions, but unfortunately I couldn't really stomach a lot of this book. The "powers" and "weaknesses" were equally ridiculous at times, and overall it was caddy and silly. It did have it's moments, but aside from giving Mr. Sanderson a chance to prove this book's worth, I certainly would have passed. :( I guess when I get to the Alloy of Law series, I'll have to check some reviews first - unfortunate.

26 of 31 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kaye
  • 2016-04-19

So-so story, fun narration

Would you try another book from Brandon Sanderson and/or MacLeod Andrews?

Probably

Would you recommend Steelheart to your friends? Why or why not?

For young adults who appreciate the superhero genre

Have you listened to any of MacLeod Andrews’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

MacLeod Andrews made the Morgue Drawer series so much more enjoyable.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

Sanderson is a good YA author that older adults can also appreciate. I quite liked The Way of Kings, and was able to overlook some of the small annoyances. With the overall high rating for Steelheart, i bought it. This book however, would have fared better as a graphic novel to be enjoyed by those who love the superhero genre. The book has an age old premise: that power can corrupt. It includes the now standard Sanderson young (annoying) romance, and humor that isn't funny. Cliches abound, starting with the names -- David, the boy going up against a giant. Abraham the wise, Doc the scientist. If nothing else, Sanderson does entertain with his tales. This audio version is read by MacLeod Andrews who is also the narrator for the very funny Morgue Drawer series -- which gave this audio book instant cred from me.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 2013-09-24

No Moral Compass, An Achilles Heel Exposed...

Of all the scifi/fantasy audiobook genre to be found, one of my favorites is the superhero genre. Of course, it's nothing new - The greeks were all over this eons ago, and the story of Hercules is the penultimate hero, perhaps the culmination, of the genre' in its earliest era.

In this first of his "Reckoners" series, Brandon Sanderson has, as usual, moved into a fantastic departure from the typical. In this universe he's penned, the villains reign supreme, and the old adage "Ultimate power corrupts ultimately" is the norm. There are no superheroes, per se, as the various powers these unique individuals, or "epics," have acquired acquired so suddenly and completely have removed all moral boundaries and ethical limitations. The moral compass has been totally removed from the equation, and brutality rules supreme.

The epic in question, Steelheart, is a juggernaut that has little or no limits to his reign of terror. To him, the futile attempts of the government, rebels and even other epics to destroy him are not even a consideration. He is Hercules without conscience, and to him, we are afterthoughts, mere distractions compared his all-encompasing power and plans.

So, then, you ask, where is the story in all this?

This is a story of revenge, of desperation, of anger. It seems that this Hercules has an Achille's heel, a weakness that one ordinary man has quietly discovered, and is driven to both expose and deliver an end to this epic's reign of terror. This audiobook delivers plans within plans, a rich world with characters with varying motivations, and all at a strong pace, told by Sanderson in his always engaging and very entertaining writing. It's action from the very prologue through the ending of this first Reckoners novel. The narrator, Mr. Andrews, is strong, and worthy of the work.

Single words to describe this audiobook? How about: Engaging, Powerful, Entertaining to name a few?

For those of you who follow my reviews, look at my rating for this audiobook. It's HIGH, and it's EARNED it. It's quite rare for a novel to get this high of a rating from me - I'm BRUTAL in this regard, so when it DOES happen, you can be sure the work is well worth the listen.

And this audiobook is EXACTLY that.

If you enjoy Sanderson's body of writing, you're as excited as I am to see him dive head-first into this genre, and look forward with keen anticipation to the very next novel in the series.

Don't hesitate on this one - This is a "must buy" recommendation for your hard-earned Audible credit.



140 of 176 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel porter
  • 2016-08-30

Mediocre

I'm not sure if it was the writing or the way it was read but this seemed to read like a children's book. Other Sanderson series that I have read have been engaging. I found this one wanting. The constant metaphors were just annoying. When comparing this to the other two series I have listened to it was a disappointment

20 of 25 people found this review helpful