What if Superman and people like him really did exist? Would the world be better?
Steelheart examines the idea that superheroes would use their power for their own selfish reasons instead of constantly saving the world. The protagonist, David, lives in Chicago after something happened which changed the atmosphere so that the sun doesn’t shine and certain people have strange powers, like the ability to fly or the power to create illusions. People with these powers are called Epics, and the most powerful rule different major cities. Regular people live in constant fear that an Epic will kill them or the people they love. The only people who dare to challenge Epics is a group known as the Reckoners—normal people who study Epics and discover their weaknesses in order to kill them.
Steelheart is the most powerful known Epic, and he rules Chicago with an iron fist while also maintaining it as the most powerful and stable community in the world. David, the protagonist, is a young man who watched Steelheart murder his father and then grew up in Chicago under Steelheart’s reign. David wants revenge against Steelheart, so David joins the Reckoners in order to study Steelheart, learn his weakness, and kill him.
I did not realize how much I would enjoy this book. I knew Brandon Sanderson was a great author, but I am not always a fan of science fiction or blow-em-up action-packed books. Yet, this story grabbed my attention and kept it long past the last page. I found myself on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next and how the Reckoners will get out of each scrape. I also loved cheering for regular people working as a team to fight for their freedom against all odds. There is a lot of action, and this action is supported with distinctive characters, strong plot, and a unique premise.
I highly recommend this book for people who like superhero stories, especially since normal people are the heroes in this version. It is also a great book for those who like a lot of action, strong characters, and good surprises with unseen twists and turns. I am excited to read the second book in this series, Firefight, which is already in print.