Steelheart: The Reckoners, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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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|Listening Length||12 hours and 42 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 24, 2013|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #1,890 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#2 in Action & Adventure Sci-Fi for Teens
#9 in Teen & Young Adult Fiction on Boys' & Men's Issues (Books)
#12 in Dystopian Fiction for Teens
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Top reviews from the United States
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The narration, because I did immersion reading, was one of the best narrators I have listened to!! He did embody the main character, and it was so real, so human, you could have told the narrator was having fun! I sure did! Putting this on track top reads of the year!!
Brandon Sanderson has spent a lot - perhaps TOO much? Nerd! - time thinking things through, and it shows. This isn't some "Whee! Super fight!" story; It's blood, guts, and broken hearts. Just like a real superpowered fight would leave behind.
Aside from the plausible aftermath(s) of such fights, the story is tight, active, and fast. There are no dummies in these fights - everyone is bringing their 'A' game, and it shows.
I bought Steelheart because of the author. The synopsis itself did not bring me any conviction that it was a good story. Still, I was surprised.
At first I was apprehensive. The early story develops at a fast pace but kind of silly, predictable. As if it were really something out of a story in old comics. It felt a bit ominous, and I was thinking I had bought a bomb and was reading an experimental novel by the author, in a different style of which he was used to.
Eventually I was charmed by the main character. He is very funny . That kind of loser that's hard not to admire somehow, even falling to the loser's cliché to be among the big winners and showing his value. The metaphors are so moronic that one cannot help but laugh.
The pace is good, the characters well developed, and although some things are predictable, the author manages to catch us with some unexpected secrets and plot twists that have no sense of treachery (nothing like LOST). Five stars, no doubt.
Comprei Steelheart apenas por causa do autor. A sinopse em si não me trouxe nenhuma convicção de que seria uma boa história. Ainda assim, me surpreendi.
No início fiquei meio apreensivo. O início da história desenvolve em um passo rápido mas meio bobo, previsível. Como se fosse realmente algo saído de uma história em quadrinhos antiga. Fiquei apreensivo, achando que tinha comprado uma bomba e estava lendo um romance experimental do autor, em um gênero diferente dos que eu estava acostumado a ler dele.
Eventualmente me encantei pelo personagem principal. É muito engraçado mesmo. Aquele tipo de perdedor que é difícil de não criar certa empatia, mesmo caindo no clichê do perdedor se encontrando entre os grandes vencedores. As metáforas são tão debilóides que não tem como não achar graça.
O ritmo é bom, os personagens também, e apesar de algumas coisas serem previsíveis, o autor consegue nos pegar com alguns segredos e plot twists inesperados que não tem sensação de trapaça (nada como LOST). Cinco estrelas, sem dúvida.
The premise of the book is that some humans mysteriously begin developing superpowers after a comet... asteroid... something... called Calamity appears in the sky. But all the Epics, as the superpowered folk are called, go completely evil. There are no superheroes, just megalomaniacs and murderers struggling with each other for power and domination of the normal people, with regular humans trying to stay our of the way. Each Epic has a particular weakness, though, that can negate their powers, and a group of humans called the Reckoners are trying to fight back.
One of the most powerful of these Epics is Steelheart, who has ruled Newcago for eight years after conquering the city of Chicago and killing the father of our protagonist, David, in the process. David saw his father injure Steelheart, though, and he has grown up trying to piece together what Steelheart's weakness is and how to kill him. At the beginning of the book, he hears the Reckoners are in town, and he sees the perfect opportunity to hook up with them to take out Steelheart.
One of Sanderson's strongest points as a writer is his world-building. That talent is on full display here as he crafts the dark new fictional world of Newcago and of the Epics and Reckoners. Just as Sanderson has done with with the magic systems of his various fantasty novels such as the Mistborn series or Elantris , the way the Epics work is fascinating, full of quirks and interesting mysteries, and yet always self-consistent. Newcago, the former Chicago dominated by Steelheart, is appropriately dark, oppressive, futuristic, and dangerous.
Sanderson also writes great action sequences (the Mistborn series has some of the best fantasy action scenes I've ever read), and he knocks it out of the park on that front in Steelheart as well. With the Epics, high-tech Reckoners, and Steelheart's personal army called Enforcement, there's no shortage of great action sequences that are both exciting and do a great job of illustrating the unique aspects of this setting.
Steelheart is the first in a planned trilogy, and Sanderson does a great job of providing a satisfying conclusion to this book while leaving many threads open to pursue in future installments. I can't wait to read the sequel, due in Fall 2014. There's also supposedly talk of a film version, which I really hope comes to fruition.
If you're a fan of Sanderson, superheroes, or dytopian fiction, I highly recommend Steelheart . Sanderson has really done it again with this novel. It's amazing how prolific he can be in so many different series while still keeping each so original and of such high quality.
Top reviews from other countries
It’s been a while since a Fantasy novel has truly engrossed me, but Brandon Sanderson is a magician amongst mere mortals. It’s usually within pages that I will be able to determine whether a novel is going to submerge me within its world, whether I mould between its pages…I was a goner by page two. Brandon Sanderson had my heart beating at a staccato rhythm and my imagination on red alert. He is the master of foreshadowing, a breaker of wills and the puppet master of emotion. This book was all kinds of awesome. Why on earth has it taken me so long to read Brandon Sanderson’s work?
Calamity has visited the earth and brought with its cataclysmic effects. It has in its wake created Epics, an evolved human if you will. They have superpowers, there is no rhyme or reason to the who or the why, but these epics are not the heroes the world is expecting. They use their powers for bad…they use it to control and manipulate. Their rule is absolute, and it’s done with an iron fist. Life is drastically altered for the average human being. They no longer have the luxuries and things they took for granted is no long gone. Things will never be the same again. The rule and policing from the United States Government has collapsed like a deck of cards. In its wake we have super epics making the rules and controlling the fractured states, some doing a better job of it than others. One such fractured state is the destroyed city of Chicago, now known as Newcago, ruled by an extremely powerful Epic, called Steelheart. This Epic has a mysterious past with non-epic human, David who will spend years plotting his revenge…
I have seen Steelheart bleed.
David has witnessed Steelheart at his most destructive and soul-less. The death of his father was at his monstrous hands. Killing him was nothing, no guilt, no remorse. It was necessary. After all, his father was the only one to make Steelheart bleed. David has dedicated ten years of his life researching the Epics powers and what can kill them. His research is the only thing that he cares about. He dreams that one day he will be the one responsible for ending Steelhearts vicious rule. He acquaints himself with a vigilante group, known simply as the reckoners – they have one job – to kill every Epic they can get their hands on, to provide hope, and faith to humankind that this rule can end. The group is made up of five members – Prof, Tia, Cody, Abraham and Megan. An intriguing group made up of the very existence of the human condition. They are fuelled by emotion, strength, an iron will and a badass attitude.
Just how do you kill an all-powerful being seem to defy physics and time. Epics than can create illusions to confuse their enemies. Epics that can power entire cities with the raw power they can harness. Epics that can harness the darkness to kill its prey. One thing that David continues to prove time and time again though, is that they all have a weakness. That one thing that can be used to kill them. But, how do they discover what that is?
David’s dogged determination is what gets him taken into The Reckoners fold. He has lived for nothing else but to take down Steelheart. The fact that he has seen him bleed has their immediate attention, no one has known why Steelheart got that scar, not even his right-hand men. Not everyone is enamoured with the new member but what is the reasoning behind it?
“Sometimes, son,” my father said, prying my fingers free, “you have to help the heroes along.”
A True David vs. Goliath story. The story encapsulates pedal to the metal. This is exactly how Young Adult should be written. The ending ensured I was in this for the long haul.
I liked this book, it was written well, in the sand that it was written in a very engaging and easy to read style. It's written in first person, which I'm always a bit way of, but it was OK. A few things David said grated on me a bit, the metaphors and such. But generally it was OK. The story was good, it moved on at quite a good pace and we got to know all the characters quite well. The world building was also great, I felt as though I knew a lot about the world while reading, but didn't feel overwhelmed by all the information we were getting.
There were however a few things I didn't like about this book. The plot, while interesting was quite predictable. The pace also grated me, there so much build up! But the big fight that the characters were talking for most of the novel, only took place in the last 10% of the book! Which made it a little underwhelming I feel.
But I did enjoy this book, I'm not 100% sure that I will carry on with this series, I have heard so many wonderful things about Sanderson, that I feel a little cheated that I didn't love it! But perhaps this book is solely a YA read and if you are a bit older as I am, it doesn't enthrall you as much as it should do. So I think I may read another of Sanderson's books from another series, before I return to this trilogy.
The whole book turns the superhero genre on its head. Everyone with superpowers is a villain and the world is crying out for heroes to fight them.
Without giving anything away, Sanderson even provides plot twists for his own premise and this turns the whole book into a rollercoaster ride.
The main character is believable given his circumstances and I look forward to meeting him again T the next book.
I hope the rest of the series is as good.
Sanderson has a good imagination and constructs workable mythologies - everything makes sense and fits together, which is actually uncommon I find in sci-fi novels. (Spoilers) This is, however, basically the Matrix in structure and characters. The Matrix itself was compiled from other sources I know so can't complain, but the lack of originality - amongst the great originality - is quite noticeable. You have a small team of revolutionaries in a sci-fi setting trying to take down some super powerful bad guys. There is a muscley black dude who carries machine guns, a wise mysterious leader in a long black coat, a nerdy one who orchestrates the operation, a hot girl, and our hero the outsider who becomes crucial to the team and learns superpowered skills. They all run around underground tunnels, speed around on motorcycles, etc etc.
There is too much dialogue throughout, and seeing as each team member has one main character trait we keep hearing about, it begins to get a little tiring, but you do root for them and it's a page turning read. I downloaded the next novel straight away and am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next installment.
- The beautiful girl who initially hates the hero but is initially won round to become his doting lapdog - looked like it would happen but didn't!
- The legendary mentor who for no reason has to take a back seat to the young inexperienced protagonist (Gandalf anyone?) - looked like it would happen but didn't!
Only real criticisms would be that the dialogue is a little clunky and the Reckoners are a little too quick to start listening to their new rookie's suggestions and theories.
I am eager to continue by reading Firefight, and it's not often the first book of a trilogy/series inspires me to keep going with it.