About the Book

Title: Steelheart (Reckoners #1)
Published: 2013
Series: Reckoners
Swoonworthy Scale: 2

Cover Story: Overdoing It a Bit
BFF Charm: Heck Yes
Talk Wordy to Me: New Crush
Bonus Factors: Firearms, Superpowers, Chicago/Newcago, Metaphors
Relationship Status: Please Text Me Back, K?

Cover Story:  Overdoing It a Bit

Stuff blown up? Check. Loner dude? Check. Futuristic apocalypse setting? Check. Not only did the cover nail the story, but if you aren’t convinced by the huge LOOKIT BRANDON SANDERSON WROTE THIS font size, there’s a QUOTE to convince you that it’s worth your time.

Has a quote on the cover of a book ever sold you? Put it on the back, where I still won’t read it! But don’t worry audiobook, I’ll still listen to you, because Brandon Sanderson.

The Deal:

Life changed when the light appeared in the sky. Whatever it was, it showed up about the same time that ordinary people started getting powers. Like the superhero kind of powers, which sounds great… except everyone takes advantage of it. People with powers became Epics, and they all want to be the baddest of the bad and rule their corners of the world. (It seems they missed the Spiderman memo on great power and great responsibility.)

Under the crushing rule of the Epics, governments collapse while humans like David Charleston try to survive. But David isn’t just interested in saving himself, he’s also on a mission to bring down his father’s murderer, Steelheart, who happens to be the most powerful Epic ever. David searches out the Reckoners, the only humans who have stood up against the Epics, to help exact his revenge.

BFF Charm: Heck Yes

BFF Charm Heck Yes - sparklier and shinier than the original BFF Charm

David is seriously lacking in the social skills department. Dedicating his life to the study of Epics has made him clever but not really able to interact with people. Sure, he has his contacts throughout the city of Newcago to gather intel and research, but otherwise he is a loner. His emotions run to the extreme when it comes to vengeance and love, which explains his whole master of firearms thing. He’ll stop at nothing to kill every Epic who endangers lives. Which is all of them. I admire his tenacity at taking revenge, is that weird? Maybe a little weird. 

The most endearing part of David is his complete inability to use metaphors. He’s adorkable and I cracked up several times at his attempts. 

Swoonworthy Scale: 2

David has a mega crush on one of the Reckoners, Megan, which grows until he falls in love with her. The relationship between them is majorly awkward because Megan seems to go hot and cold and he can’t figure it out, though hearing him argue with himself about it is pretty adorbs. The majority of the time he’s just thinking about Megan so there isn’t much in the sexytimes department.

Talk Wordy to Me: New Crush

This is a high paced action kind of book and it was not slowed down one bit by the reading. I can’t believe how much I loved Macleod Andrews during this audiobook. Each character is given such a distinct voice and personality that there was no question who was speaking. (I swear Macleod was going for Solid Snake when he did Prof because it was dead on.) When I started the book I kept trying to place his voice – Macleod was one of the Will’s in Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Bonus Factor: Firearms

I give some serious props to Brandon Sanderson for the little details. There are a lot of firearms and explosives used throughout and this is probably the first time I’ve heard every description used correctly. I’m into shooting and the fastest way to earn goober points is to say “clip” instead of “magazine.” It happens all the times in movies and makes me cringe. David loves firearms and his description of each pistol, rifle, and explosive added a layer of realism for me. Well, as much realism as you can get in a dystopian novel.

Bonus Factor: Superpowers

There are thousands of Epics and not all of them are as badass as Steelheart. It would be cool to be an illusionist or control shadows, but I wouldn’t want to be the dude that ended up with the ability to recharge batteries. I mean sure, it’s handy, but I’d rather just fly through the air.

Bonus Factor: Chicago/Newcago

I love dystopian stories that change places I know. (I spent forever looking up Panem maps because I had to KNOW.) One of Steelheart’s powers is the ability to turn inorganic stuff into steel, so he transformed most of Chicago into one big metal sculpture and renamed it Newcago. I’ve never been to Chicago, but if you’re familiar with the city, there are some nice shout-outs.

Bonus Factor: Metaphors

I mean it. I loved David’s crazy metaphors. Take this one:

“They looked so dangerous, like alligators. Really fast alligators wearing black. Ninja alligators.”

(When I was trying to find a good pic for this I googled ninja alligator. Surprising results, worth it.)

Relationship Status: Please Text Me Back, K?

This book just about wrapped all the things I love into a new universe. And I’m not the only one who loved it – it won the Audible Listener’s Choice for the 2013 Audiobook of the Year.  I’m on the “done with series” train so while I’m bummed I have to wait for book two, it did feel like book one could stand on its own. The action! The superpowers! The drama! Those metaphors! I’m smitten and willing to wait for Steelheart to continue, but I’ll be checking my phone for texts constantly until I hear back.

FTC Disclosure: I paid for this audiobook myself, because it sounded good for my long distance drive. Steelheart is available now.

About the Contributor:

This post was written by Bianca Bickford.

This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.