Steelheart (B&N Exclusive Edition)

Steelheart (B&N Exclusive Edition)

4.6 208
by Brandon Sanderson

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The #1 New York Times bestseller that James Dashner called “fantastic,” with “relentless” suspense and an “explosive” climax from Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Words of Radiance, coauthor of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, and creator of the internationally


The #1 New York Times bestseller that James Dashner called “fantastic,” with “relentless” suspense and an “explosive” climax from Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Words of Radiance, coauthor of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn trilogy. And don’t miss the rest of the Reckoners series: Firefight and Calamity!
   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.

Praise for the Reckoners Series:

#1 New York Times Bestselling Series

“The suspense is relentless and the climax explosive.” —James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series

Another win for Sanderson . . . he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period.” —Patrick Rothfuss, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The Name of the Wind
Action-packed.” —
Compelling. . . . Sanderson uses plot twists that he teases enough for readers to pick up on to distract from the more dramatic reveals he has in store.” —The A.V. Club

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On the heels of his YA debut, The Rithmatist, Sanderson opens another series for teens with an ultraviolent yet playful entry into the superhero genre. More than a decade ago, a mysterious event known as Calamity created Epics—powerful beings straight out of the comics, complete with both incredible abilities (invulnerability, illusion, transmutation) and silly weaknesses (smoke, UV light, being attacked by someone exactly 37 years old). Thus far, the Epics appear to be wholly corrupt, with villains rising up to subjugate humans and take over the world. David’s father was killed by a ruthless Epic named Steelheart, and David, now 18, has waited 10 years for revenge, certain that he holds the key to Steelheart’s weakness. Hooking up with a ragtag group of rebel Epic-killers, David and crew knock off Steelheart’s subordinates and lure him out. Although readers may not be surprised at the twists that arise, the near-constant action, Sanderson’s whiz-bang imaginings, and a fully realized sense of danger (the brutal opening scene alone will hook many) make this an absolute page-turner. Ages 12–up. Agent: Eddie Schneider, JABberwocky Literary Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
Praise for the Reckoners series:

#1 New York Times Bestselling Series

“The suspense is relentless and the climax explosive.” —James Dashner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Maze Runner series

Another win for Sanderson . . . he’s simply a brilliant writer. Period.” —Patrick Rothfuss, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The Name of the Wind
Action-packed.” —
Compelling. . . . Sanderson uses plot twists that he teases enough for readers to pick up on to distract from the more dramatic reveals he has in store.” —The A.V. Club

[STAR] “Snappy dialogue, bizarre plot twists, high-intensity action, and a touch of mystery and romance . . . leaves [readers] panting for the sequel.” —Booklist, Starred

An absolute page-turner."”—Publishers Weekly

"A straight-up Marvel Comics-style action drama."—Kirkus Reviews

VOYA - Jonathan Ryder
Ten years ago, a mysterious event called the Calamity gave ordinary people extraordinary powers, turning them into Epics. Unfortunately, the great powers did not come with a sense of great responsibility, so the world is now ruled by a small number of obscenely powerful Epics fighting for control while the ordinary people cower fearfully in the streets below. One of the strongest is Steelheart, a near-invincible Epic who rules Newcago (the former Chicago) with an iron fist, alongside his lieutenants, Nightwielder and Fireflight. From the understreets of Newcago comes David Charleston, a teenager whose father was killed by Steelheart shortly after the Calamity started, and who has spent the past ten years watching and learning, trying to spot Steelheart's weakness and exploit it in order to kill the Epic. In this quest, David will attempt to become one of a mysterious group called the Reckoners, ordinary humans who are targeting Epics in order to bring them to justice. Can these Reckoners actually win in a battle against Epics? The story is told entirely from David's perspective, and allows the reader to follow his journey from a frightened eight-year-old to a junior member of the Reckoners. The story examines what might happen if ordinary people were to attempt to throw off the yoke of superpowered individuals. The plot is generally well paced, leading to an exciting climax in one of Chicago's landmarks. Astute readers will pick up several references to superhero stories, from Steelheart being a thinly disguised version of Superman, to Nightwielder's take on Batman's Dark Knight nickname, to a pendant whose shape will be recognizable to any comic book fan. The book deals with the themes of the nature of heroism, the importance of teamwork, and the question of whether power corrupts. The ending makes it clear that this is meant to be the first in a series. This book should appeal to teens looking for a more developed take on the "superhero" mythos. Reviewer: Jonathan Ryder
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This fun, fast-paced, futuristic science-fiction superhero story is the first in a projected series. When David was six, an unexplained explosion in the sky caused perpetual darkness and ordinary people to gain supernatural powers. These people became known as Epics. Two years later, in a bank in what was once Chicago, now called Newcago, David witnessed Steelheart, one of the most powerful Epics of all, murder his father. In the 10 years since his father's death, David has made it his mission to learn all he can about Epics. Everyone thinks they are invincible, but he knows otherwise. He knows that each one has a weakness, and he's seen Steelheart's. Steelheart can bleed. David intends to get his revenge. A cowed populace accepts the fact that Epics control their lives and the strongest among them are in a constant battle for dominance. Only one shadowy group of ordinary humans called the Reckoners dare fight to eliminate them. David persuades the Reckoners to let him join their ranks after proving he has unique knowledge about Epics. This enjoyable read focuses more on action than character development and is perfect for genre fans who love exciting adventure stories with surprising plot twists. Readers will be rooting for David, a super geek with a love of weapons, who can hold his own against Epics with names like Nightwielder, Conflux, or Firefight.—Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library,Trenton
Kirkus Reviews
A straight-up Marvel Comics–style action drama featuring a small band of human assassins taking on costumed, superpowered supervillains with melodramatic monikers. It's certainly a tried-and-true formula. Twelve years ago, a mysterious Calamity began turning random ordinary humans into evil Epics gifted with various combinations of superpowers (and also, always, some Achilles heel). Now, 18-year-old David Charleston manages at last to make contact with a cell of Epic-killing Reckoners led by legendary mastermind Jon Phaedrus. Then it's on to a nonstop thrill ride that begins with the killing of David's father 10 years before and roars through car and motorcycle chases, secret missions, huge explosions and hails of gunfire with high-tech weaponry to a climactic battle with Epic Steelheart. He's bulletproof, shoots energy balls, has transformed the entire Chicago area into solid steel with a wave of his hand and wears a stylish silver cape. Shockingly, the book closes with the stunning revelation than not all Epics are evil through and through. As further sign that Sanderson (Rithmatist, 2013, etc.) isn't taking any of this too seriously, the cast of Epics includes not only the likes of Steelheart, Faultline and Deathpoint, but Pink Pinkness and El Brass Bullish Dude, and some of their powers are equally silly. Stay tuned for sequels. There's violence and gore in profusion, cool gear, hot wheels, awesome feats, inner conflicts on both sides--all that's missing are the pictures. (Fantasy. 11-14)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Reckoners Series, #1
Edition description:
B&N Exclusive Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)
HL680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years


Meet the Author

Brandon Sanderson is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Reckoners series: Steelheart, Firefight, and Calamity, as well as the internationally bestselling books in the Stormlight Archive and the Mistborn trilogy. He was also chosen to complete Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. He lives and writes in Utah. To learn more about Brandon and his books, visit him at and follow @BrandSanderson on Twitter.

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Steelheart 4.6 out of 5 based on 5 ratings. 208 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Literary genius Brandon Sanderson is easily the best author of his time, comparable only to Patrick Rothfuss and a few other select modern writers. Steelheart, like all his books; is original, intelligent, and perfectly written. Sanderson doesn't jusy copy Tolkien or stick to the same recipe as other writers are content to do. Some may complain about the size of his novels but he has shown he can produce excellent work regardless of the number of pages in the book. Steelheart was an excellent read and i'd recommend it and all of Sanderson's works to anyone that can read. My only complaint is having to wait for book 2 of The Stormlight Archive series. Keep up the excellent work Brandon!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I finished this in 15 hours and need more of it to read. What a grear idea turned to a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For a "young adult" novel this book never felt like one. No punches were pulled and no character felt safe at any point. The prologue set the theme and the rest just followed expertly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sanderson is a great storyteller. I was sucked into the plot, and the suspense was so intense! Great action, a dash of romance, and an interesting twist on superheroes. Loved every page of it! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author Brandon Sanderson creates an awe inspiring journey in Steelheart. He has left me hanging on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book. Brandon Sanderson is an amazing writer who leaves many speechless. The Prologue is very powerful, with David’s childhood coming into the story early. The Reckoners taking down fortuity was very impressive. I believe that how they killed the illusionist trying to get back David’s notes on Epics was very important to the story. David figuring out Nightweilders weakness and using his ability to improvise was amazing.  The way they figure out how to take down Steelheart and going in blindly takes guts. My favorite parts were the Prologue and the fight between the Reckoners and Steelheart. The Prologue led David to spend his whole life planning to kill Steelheart. The fight between the Reckoners and Steelheart was full of action and surprise. I do not think there was one part of the book I did not enjoy to the fullest. Pure action and adventure are four words to describe Steelheart. Brandon Sanderson yet again impresses me with his work.
smeather30 More than 1 year ago
An action packed, quick read. Very enjoyable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JdgdvdhebdydvdyshdvdhxgsuskxjzkajnshdhdhssnjsbdhdjwJdbdjsjdh-no idea how to express how good this book is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Evil Laughter)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sanderson throws a new paint job on Mistborn: The Final Empire. Okay, it's not exactly the same. If it was, I'd probably be giving it a much lower score. But it does seem to hit a larger number of the same beats. Dystopian society. Powerful individual that some believe could have been a hero is an evil ruler of his people. Kid from the streets falls in with group of rebels. Together they do their best to bring down the dictator. So why does this get a much better rating from me? Well, the "new paint job" is a setting involving people with super powers, which I'll acknowledge is a weakness of mine. But he also fixes a lot of the problems I had with his previous work. Everything is streamlined. There's no cast bloat, so not only can I remember character names, but I can remember who they are and what they can do. Plans are short and sweet. Granted, most of those plans don't seem to work out as intended. But none of them are so complex that you start to wonder why they're doing what they're doing. Even the world building is reigned in a little. There are hints here and there about things outside the city the story is set in, but we don't go off on tangents to explore those details at the expense of keeping the story going. It's not perfect. If I was running a supers game and one of my players came to me and said they'd want to use one of the "weaknesses" of a few of the characters in this book as a drawback for their character, I'd probably smack them upside the head with the rule book we were using and tell them to try again. I'd probably do the same if someone wanted their super power to be "unlimited ammo". But over all, I was entertained.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once I realized this was out I picked it up. Five hours later I put it down. I couldn't stop before the end. Now I have to wait I ntil the sequel comes out. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never been disappointed by any of Brandon Sanderson's books and SteelHeart is no exception. The story is awesome and kept me guessing till the very end. If you've read any of Sanderson's books before you don't want to miss this one, and if your new to his stories go ahead and start here you won't be disappointed.
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
I can sum up this book in one word and that's phenomenal! I flew through this and loved every single word. This book right here is why I love reading, it grabs you and takes you on a journey. It's rare that you find a book that will blow your mind and make you love reading all over again. This is such a book, its not just a book, it's a masterpiece!!  Life for David changed when he was a child. His father was murdered by an Epic and David has made it his lifes work to kill that Epic. The only thing is, the Epic who killed him is Steelheart, the epic of all epics, the seemingly untouchable and invincible Epic, but David has a secret, he is the only one left alive who has seen Steelheart bleed. He thinks he knows Steelhearts weakness and is hell bent on revenge. He wants to join the only group that will stand up for humanity, the Reckoners, and get their help. Can David hurt someone that is impervious to everything? How is he going to kill the unkillable?  I loved David. He is smart, kind, funny and brave. He has been studying Epics since his father was killed, he has documented all he knows about them and has made it his lifes work to get revenge. David is determined to try to rid the world of as many Epics as he can but his ultimate goal is Steelheart. I loved his character and wanted him to succeed! He was funny as well as brave! His interactions with the Reckoners was hilarious sometimes, especially with Megan, the newest Reckoners recruit. He bumbles a lot when around her and often puts his foot in his mouth. It's adorable!!  Megan was kickass. She is the newest Reckoner and gets stuck right into fights. She is aloof and mysterious but opens up a little for David. I loved reading their interactions!! Then we have Prof, the leader and founder of the Reckoners. He has invented some technology to help fight the Epics and is the heart of the gang. He has the final say on targets and if David can join or not. He is brave and a smart leader. I loved the world building in the book. Its such a unique and cool concept. The idea that the ALL the people who got the superpowers are evil was awesome. Usually you have a superhero who has the same, if not better powers come to the rescue, not so here. Everyone who got the power turned evil. It's up to the humans to fight back!  I also loved the powers that the Epics had. So many different ones and all used for nefarious purposes!!  Anyway, Steelheart was such an action packed, edge of your seat, breathless rollercoaster. So much happens but you cant see where it's going. There are so many twists and turns that it's impossible not to gasp at most of them. This book has it all, epic fights, heroes, super super villains, a touch of humour and plenty of breathless action. The pacing and flow were perfect and it never let up. I flew through the book and didn't want it to end. From it's amazing characters to its superb writing, Steelheart is a must read. It's a riveting, fun and enjoyable story. Brandon Sanderson is a master story teller and I highly highly recommend this book!!  I listened to the audio and I loved it. MacLeod Andrews is very talented and he really knows how to tell the story. He did an amazing David and Prof and I loved how we knew the different characters with his tone. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it and can not wait for book 2.  I could keep gushing about this but better wrap it up, it's such an amazing book and everyone should read it!! My favourite book by far in a long long time and if I had an Epic rating for an Epic book I'd give it that!! Brilliant. 
Drewano More than 1 year ago
I wavered between 4 and 5 stars.  While I was in the middle of it I enjoyed the book.  It had interesting characters, a good story and a nice mix of development and action, but it never really grabbed me and I had it all figured out.  Then the last 10% turned everything on its head.  Everything I thought I had figured out I was wrong and the story came to a great crescendo forcing my hand into 5.  “Steelheart” is well written and engaging fun for all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Calamity - what happens to society when those suddenly endowed with superhero powers begin to use those powers to destroy governments, kill innocents, and set themselves up as lords and rulers of their own new kingdoms? From the gripping prologue with its bankrobbery gone bad, as viewed from the eyes of the eight year old witness, the story shifts to a decade later, showcasing the few resistance fighters, known as Reckoners, who dare to kill Epics, and packs its pages with action that takes twists and turnes while building to the final confrontation. There is a gritty reality to Newcago. We're immersed in its alternative world, and bound to its characters. There's wry humor in the bad metaphors espoused by David, but also in how each Reckoner character struggles to adjust in a changed world, amidst the stress of guerrila warfare. Amidst this young adult sci fi adventure there are multitudes of hidden gems for thought-provoking conversations. What's right and wrong? When does the result justify the means? When is it better to walk away from a fight? What are the consequences of each choice made? What does it take to really cause a change in society? Do religion or philosophical beliefs help? Ultimately, what is love and who are the real heros? These are complex characters, and good storytelling at its best. This one earns five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Brandon Sanderson has been one of my favorite authors for a while now, and I feel that Steelheart is one of his best! The plot of this story is an original, the superheroes are all bad! I feel that this show a good example of how power corrupts, and what happens when someone feels that they are "above" the law. In the book, there is only one group of people still fighting against the Epics, and that is the Reckoners. This is the group that David will stop at nothing to join, in order for him to find revenge against an Epic named Steelheart, who killed his father 10 years ago. This story is told masterfully, with a lot of action, and some incredible details. I couldn't stop reading this book until I had finished it, and I have since read it again! For anyone who is looking for an exciting read, then this is the book for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sanderson tells a story with characters that draw you in with them. He does it right. This is a story that I will keep on hand for another day to reread. Yes, now that I read it, I know how it ends, the twists and turns of the plot, but I know I will enjoy it again a few years down the road when I want to refresh my memory. I can't say that of many of the books I have read lately, which will either go into my archives or in the trash. This one stays in my library. Thank you Brandon Sanderson!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't even describe how I feel about this book! All I can is that it was fantastic and you should read it. Like now.
Anonymous 5 days ago
Exciting and fresh
Anonymous 6 days ago
Funny and nice. Could've used more description with the tragedies
KateUnger 6 months ago
I enjoyed this book, but I didn't NEED to be reading it, ya know? David witnessed his father's murder when he was 8 years old. He was killed by Steelheart, one of the world's Epics, humans who gained super powers when Calamity, a comet like-burst, occurred in the sky. David has dedicated the last 10 years to studying Epics. He's determined to join the Reckoners, the only group fighting these evil, controlling monsters. He wants revenge on Steelheart. Pretty heavy stuff, right? Surprisingly, I felt little emotion while reading this book. Maybe it was just me. I'm not really sure. I liked David's character well enough, and once he joins the Reckoners, I enjoyed several of those characters as well, but I just didn't feel overly attached to anyone. I wanted more emotional displays by the characters or emotional connection between them at least. I think I wanted more of a "girl" story. I've mentioned before that male main characters don't work as well for me, and I think it is this lack of emotion that causes that. The world building is awesome, and because it's based on the real world, it was pretty easy to follow. Not the high fantasy I was fearing going into a Brandon Sanderson book. And the plot was pretty steady. It reminded me of a super hero movie - which I should have loved because I love Marvel movies. But the action was a little hard to follow in print sometimes. Maybe audio would have been better? I'm not sure. Sorry this review isn't very decisive. It's probably more of a "it's not you, it's me" kind of thing with this book, but I just didn't love. I'm undecided about the sequels. The ending was pretty amazing!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Brandon Sanderson is a great author, capable of creating worlds and stories that are easy to fall in love with, and be enthralled by. I highly recommend this, and all of his other series.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I've bought and read a majority of Mr. Sanderson's work, and they're all good. By rule of thumb anything by Sanderson is worth the read and the money.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Well written half fantasy half sifi. Good story line and excellent characters. Do not care much for the "fantastic four" type action or overly magical world of "epics" but one of the few fantasy-style books i have enjoyed reading. JC
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. It kept me hooked from the first page. When a mysterious red object rises in the sky, ordinary people develop super powers. 8yr old David watches as one Epic begins killing people indiscriminately in a bank, but the Epic who came to stop him turns out to be just as ruthless. The sole survivor of that day, David is determined to get revenge. He spends the next 10 years learning everything he can to someday kill Steelheart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago