Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is a fast-paced adventure in an alternate Chicago where humans with superpowers rule the world.
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
ten years ago, Calamity appeared in the sky and certain ordinary humans
gained superpowers. Now, the most powerful of these Epics, as they are
called, control cities and territories, and the less powerful form
alliances with the great. Normal humans are little more than serfs,
trying to live out their lives without getting in the way of the Epics.
In the city of Chicago, now called Newcago, an Epic named Steelheart
rules. With the power to turn any nonliving substance into steel, the
ability to fly, superhuman strength, and invulnerability to bullets and
all other weapons, Steelheart seems almost godlike in his powers . . .
but eighteen-year-old David has seen him bleed. When Steelheart first
arrived on the scene, he had a showdown at a bank with a lesser Epic.
David, just eight years old at the time, was at the bank with his
father. In the ensuing battle, David's father was a casualty, and David
was the only survivor -- the only person who can remember what happened
at the bank, when a bullet grazed Steelheart's cheek and left a trail of
blood. David has spent all of his spare time since the bank incident in
single-minded pursuit of revenge, studying the Epics and learning their
weaknesses. He has a plan to get to Steelheart, but he'll need the help
of a resistance movement known as the Reckoners, and they don't accept
strangers into their group. Can David prove to the Reckoners that he
belongs with them -- and even if he does, can he convince them to go
This was a gripping, exciting read. Plenty of
plot twists meant that I was able to predict some things, while others
came as a complete surprise. I listened to the audiobook, and I thought
narrator MacLeod Andrews was an excellent match for the story, and the
production values were high. This is the first book in a projected
trilogy; I look forward to reading the next two.
(Reviewed from an audiobook borrowed through my library system.)