Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

I couldn’t finish it.  It was a fast read, and I got to page 129 (chapter 15), but I just had zero interest in reading more.  Which is a real shame, because I loved Sanderson’s Mistborn.  In that novel, he clearly showed that he could write women with complexity, but Steelheart was one big boy-book borefest.  And when I say it’s a boy book, I am flabbergasted that I didn’t like it, because I’m a huge fan of Fight Club, Percy Jackson, Star Wars…all the boy things.  

Granted, I could be wrong about this, because I only got a third of the way through.  But it’s all violence and hot girls, and not in an interesting way.  It’s all so cliche, and I am 99% sure that Megan will wind up revealing a hidden feminine side, she will abruptly love David, he will be a hero, Steelheart will fall, blah blah blah.  And why does David like Megan at all (besides the CONSTANT references to him trying to avoid staring at her chest)?  She is super rude to him.  His desperation to get (and keep) her attention just comes off as pathetic and uncreative.

And OH MY GOSH, the horrible metaphors.  I get that David admits he cannot think in metaphors, but it is necessary for his narrating voice to also suck at them?  They just draw the reader out of the story with ridiculous phrases like:

My mind flipped over and over like a pancake on a griddle, trying to figure out this man.”

What even is that?

But okay.  I whole-heartedly admit that the idea of superpowered humans being unequivocally evil is interesting.  I like that someone took the adage “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” and applied it across the board (although I have a sinking suspicion that one of the Reckoners will turn out to have superpowers, therefore debunking this interesting assertion).  And figuring out ways to kill the unkillable is also interesting.  But neither cool plot device was enough to keep me reading.

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Ten years ago, Calamity came.  It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary people extraordinary powers.  The awed public started calling them Epics.

Epics are no friends of man.  With incredible gifts came the desire to rule.  And to rule man, you must crush his will.

Now, in what was once Chicago, an astonishingly powerful Epic named Steelheart has installed himself as emperor.  Steelheart possesses the strength of ten men and can control the elements.  It is said that no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, and no fire can burn him.  He is invincible.  Nobody fights back…nobody but the Reckoners.

A shadowy group of ordinary humans, the Reckoners spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.  And David wants in.

When Steelheart came to Chicago, he killed David’s father.  For years, like the Reckoners, David has been studying, and planning, and he has something they need.  Not an object, but an experience.

He has seen Steelheart bleed.

And he wants revenge.

Release Date:  September 2013

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