One of my favorite people in the world gave me a reading list a few weeks ago, and I’ve been doing my best to chew through it. Along with The Black Prism by Brent Weeks and The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett, he suggested I read Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. I’ve been wanting to read Sanderson for awhile, so I leapt at the excuse to buy a new book and dove in.
Okay, guys, I know I usually just pull the description from the back of the book, but Steelheart’s blurb is super long and weirdly written for some reason, so we’re going to wing it this time.
Steelheart is a super villain dystopia where the world is ruled by Epics, super powered monstrosities who hold no value in human life. Chicago is run by Steelheart, an anti-Superman who can do just about everything Superman can do, but can also turn any nonliving matter into steel. (I am killing this blurb!)
Every Epic has a weakness, their most guarded secrets, and Steelheart’s weakness is buried somewhere in David’s memory of the day his father was killed. Fueled by hatred and revenge, David spends ten years studying the Epics, theorizing their weaknesses, and planning to take Steelheart down. All he needs is an in with the Reckoners, the only rebel organization making any headway against the Epics.
If it sounds awesome, I can verify that it isn’t just my supernatural blurbing abilities! Sanderson did an incredible job of creating a cast of Epics with well thought out powers with fascinating caveats. I spent the entire book trying to make predictions about certain characters and Steelheart’s weakness, and there was so much well placed misdirection in this book that anything I was actually right about, I was pretty heavily second guessing by the time it was revealed. I’m still pretty proud of the plot points I got right though.
Beyond all of the adventure and mischief, what really drew me into the story was the main character, David. Ten years of isolation and total dedication to studying and analyzing Epics really took a toll on his social skills, but in the best possible way.
“Megan’s eyes could have drilled holes through… well, anything, I guess. I mean, eyes can’t normally drill holes through things, so the metaphor works regardless, right?
Megan’s eyes could have drilled holes through butter.”
“Giving up now because we didn’t know his weakness… it would be like finding out that you’d drawn lots for dessert at the Factory and been only one number off. Only it doesn’t matter, because Pete already snuck in to steal the dessert, so nobody was going to get any anyway – not even Pete, because it turns out that there had never been any dessert in the first place. Well, something like that. That metaphor’s a work in progress.”
“‘I feel like a brick made of porridge.’
‘No, no,’ I said. ‘It makes sense! Listen. A brick is supposed to be strong, right? But if one were secretly made of porridge, and all the other bricks didn’t know, he’d sit around worrying that he’d be weak when the rest of them were strong. He’d get smooshed when he was placed in the wall, you see, maybe get some of his porridge mixed with that stuff they stick between bricks.'”
How could you not want to spend a chunk of your day hunting Epics with David? Because let me tell you, those were just the best metaphors I wrote down after I realized that I wanted to quote them. There are so many more, and he is so very self aware of them! David’s metaphors made me the happiest little reader. Even if you don’t like dystopians, pick this one up just for the narration. You won’t be sorry.
As always, BookWyrms, leave me a comment. Have you read Steelheart? What was your favorite David quote? What are you currently reading? Drop me a comment and sign up for my email list to never miss a post. Happy reading, BookWyrms!
Update to add: Hey BookWyrms, after I wrote this post, I signed on for Amazon’s affiliate program. If you use my link to order your own copy, you’ll be supporting my efforts to be a full time writer. Thanks, guys!