The short: 4/5 ✦. A fast-paced, action-filled, super-powered novel that subverts (almost all) expectations.
Things I liked about Steelheart:
- That David was a Nerd with capital N.
- That David was terrible with metaphors.
- The Professor.
- Superpowered people who are violent, arrogant, and straight-up evil. Superheroes? No such thing.
- The various villains and their myriad powers. (Nightwielder was freakin’ legit.)
- That David was eighteen, but wasn’t ridiculously buff or coolly aloof or sarcastically snarky or even particularly skilled. He felt real and realistic, which was helped by the first person POV (which I’m not always a fan of).
Things I disliked about Steelheart:
- David’s crush on Megan.
- Megan being skilled and adept in a crisis, but still mostly referred to by her appearance.
To be fair, some of my issues with Megan were resolved by the end of the book (spoilers: there’s a plot twist/surprise that explained a few things), and David did actually reflect on the ridiculousness of him being infatuated with someone he barely knows, which I appreciated. I’m just very, very tired of seeing Super Hot Bad-ass Girl in . . . everything. It’s nice that Tia was there, being sassy and awesome, but it’s a pretty male-dominated book. In fact, in the very beginning, during the world-building exposition, Sanderson’s use of “men” and “man” regarding those who became Epics made me think that only males had transformed, but nope, there are female Epics, too. I dunno, it was confusing and kinda set a testosterone tone for the whole novel EVEN THOUGH David is almost the opposite of hyper-masculine and the other characters, both main and tertiary, are diversely mixed. So . . . I don’t know what happened with Megan.
In any case, this was a pretty gosh darn good book (loved the action-packed pacing), and I’m pretty excited to read the rest of the series!
Header image: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, published September 24th 2013 by Delacorte Press.