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 wills.
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. Quoted from Goodreads
One of Sanderson's talents is taking the normal, rather common idea and twisting it on it's head. Instead of Superman coming to save the world, he's here to destroy it. Captain America wants to set himself up as dictator, and Loki, well, he's converted Thor to his side of things. That basically is the universe Sanderson gives us, where the ordinary have to rise up to become heroes because anyone with abilities is too busy taking whatever they want.
I love this idea. With the popularity of superheroes on the rise, this is the just the twist we needed. I loved David. He's the sort of person we kind of hope we'd all be: an ordinary boy with nothing but his determination to avenge his father and help the real heroes along. Sure, he's kind of a nerd, absolutely dedicated to the cause, and horrible with girls, but that's really what makes him so relatable.
Then we get the twist/mystery. A big part of this is figuring out Steelheart's weakness, the best way to bring him down, etc, and it sort of plays out like a mystery. Of course I had my own theories. Some ideas I knew were wrong, but it's fun trying to figure it out with the characters. Plus, we get other twists, again, some I expected and other's I didn't, or I only got half of the equation. Still, they make the book fun. Plus, Sanderson's so good about giving us little details that end up laying a big part later on in the story, so the book feels tight. He knew where he was going from the beginning, so everything is perfectly plotted.
Besides twists, this book is crammed full of action. Honestly, of all the book's I've read this year, this one would probably make the best movie, if someone's smart enough to grab it. Something is always happening, but it isn't just dumb action. It's thrilling, edge of your seat, I can't possibly put this book down, there is a purpose to every explosion kind of action.
The prologue itself will suck you in. It's delightful to see the difference ten years will make. It's kind of like the reboot of Star Trek, where you can't help but cry. It introduces you to the world with a bang, and I was completely hooked.
The rest of the characters (Reckoners) were also fun. Most of them have a bit of mystery about them, secrets in their past, etc., that keeps you guessing along with David and forming your own theories about what's going to happen next. And then there's Steelheart. He's such a marvelous villain. He's one of those that you constantly feel throughout the book, even when he's not present. Plus, he doesn't come across as blustering or petty in his cruelty. He is, simply put, pure, organized evil, and I loved him.
So should you read this book? Yes. Absolutely. You must pick this up. It's a great adventure. You know there's going to be a sequel, but it's also the sort of thing that could stand on it's own. Basically it's a white knuckles, up till midnight sort of read, that you later ask where all the time went. I'm giving it a strong 4.5 stars with the high probability of an upgrade soon. So if you're looking for what next to read, pick this up.