Fantasy author Brandon Sanderson’s first venture into the YA market (The Alcatraz series is middle grade, from what I hear) tackles this issue of absolute power corrupts absolutely into a revenge story that is both surprising and inevitable.

Readers of any age will find the David’s bad metaphors a riot. It blends non-sensical humor found in younger children’s books with the literary styles of a high school English teacher doing a lesson on poetry and focusing on the differences between metaphors and similes. Set in our world, the government considers super powered beings natural disasters. These Epics (humans with super powers) have taken over the United States and unleashed an era of dystopia upon the country. The main plot the book presents is defeating a villain known as Steelheart, who is the most powerful Epic in the former Chicago area. Much like Mistborn: The Final Empire, the story revolves around a group of rebels known as the Reckoners as they try to kill Epics across the nation. Steelheart is going to be their toughest challenge. Luckily Dave has spent most of his life thinking about revenge and how to defeat the Epic who killed his father.

When the third act comes, it hits you. Hard. The battle between the reckoners and Steelheart is both epic and at the same time “down to earth.” With all the revelations happening by the end of the second and third acts, a sequel was inevitable. Sanderson achieves complexity with both his characters and his resolutions, making Steelheart a hybrid of YA and adult, and excellent read or listen all around.

5/5 Stars

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