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.
In the prologue of Steelheart (you can read it HERE), a small hope is voiced and immediately silenced, setting a tone of crushing hopelessness that continues throughout the book. Steelheart, a nigh-invincible Epic (read: supervillain), has proclaimed himself Emperor of Newcago (it's like Chicago... but new) along with a few trusted lieutenants, transforming the city completely into steel and casting it into permanent darkness.
Enter the Reckoners, a ragtag group of criminal specialists set on hunting down and murdering the Epics, and a young orphan with a horrible past. After a tenuous meeting, David (orphan and self-made Epic scholar) and the Reckoners decide to work together to topple the regime of the Emperor.
Sound familiar? That's probably because you read Mistborn. Now that we have that similarity out of the way, I will tell you that never before have we seen anything even remotely resembling Steelheart. This book offers a hugely surprising magic system that offers some crazy twists in the story and potential for bigger, badder evils than anything we've yet seen. In addition to all that, Steelheart offers something that every Sanderson fan has come to love and look forward to: great characters and an amazing ending.
One thing that sets Sanderson apart as one of the great writers of today is his ability to craft characters that are just so damned lovable. At some point, in reading every one of his books, I've stopped and thought to myself, "God, I wanna buy that guy or gal a beer," and Steelheart doesn't disappoint in that regard. Trust me, it's worth reading through part 1 to get to know them a little better.
If I'm to be completely honest, I wasn't convinced I loooved Steelheart until a little past halfway through the book. Then something happened, the same something that happens in a new and unique way in every Sanderson book: strings started to pull. Things started to go wrong, or right, but in the wrong ways, and even though I had no idea how, I knew things were building toward something, well, epic.
And it did.
In Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson does the same thing he's done in every one of his books so far. He's brought us into a unique world, introduced us to characters both lovable and complex, broken our hearts, and left us wanting more. My recommendation? Buy this book. Buy a copy for that friend that borrows your stuff and never gives it back. Then... enjoy it.
Steelheart comes out September 24, and if you're in the Salt Lake City area, the man, himself, is going to be doing a signing at The King's English at 7:00 PM.