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Steelheart (Reckoners #1)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  98,596 Ratings  ·  9,873 Reviews
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 will.

Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend th
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Delacorte Press
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Nick What a terrible way to approach a book. Let's see -- maybe it's really well written? Or has compelling characters or a gripping plot or any of the…moreWhat a terrible way to approach a book. Let's see -- maybe it's really well written? Or has compelling characters or a gripping plot or any of the other elements that make books good?

Just because the subject matter and/or genre "seem" like they've been done before doesn't mean they can't be done well again. That's the challenge that all writers face, after all -- to take a love story or a man v. nature tale and tell it in a fresh and compelling way. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jenni Frencham It didn't go through the robber. Steelheart was standing in front, and Death Point was standing behind him and was just about to try to kill him. When…moreIt didn't go through the robber. Steelheart was standing in front, and Death Point was standing behind him and was just about to try to kill him. When David's father shot Death Point, the bullet grazed Steelheart's cheek on its way to Death Point. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 02, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got a chance to read an early version of this a little while ago. Needless to say, I jumped at it.

The reason for this is that so far, I haven't read a book by Brandon Sanderson that I haven't loved. That means it's quite likely that I'll get a chance to read another good book, which is always welcome.

OR I'll finally read something of Sanderson's I *don't* like. Which would thrill me, honestly.

Why? Well, because Brandon writes so much faster than me. It only seems fair that some of his stuff
Kat O'Keeffe
Dec 28, 2014 Kat O'Keeffe rated it it was amazing
Once again, I leave a Brandon Sanderson book completely impressed! This one had a fantastic story, great world building, and of course plenty of awesome action scenes! I enjoyed this book from the beginning, but it was really the last 100 pages or so that propelled this from the 4-star range to a solid 5-star book for me. Twists and revelations and enough questions that I'm just itching to pick up the next book immediately!
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

I'm probably going to make Sandersonite heads everywhere explode when I say this, but STEELHEART might be my new favorite Sanderson book. *does NOT duck* *does NOT run*


Is it the most beautifully complicated of his works?


Is it the plot-twistiest?


Is it the most direct and concise, sans anything that could be construed as meandering?


I love Sanderson. Unabashedly. But as someone who's spent a cumulative ten years with my husband, I can state with authorit
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
Brandon Sanderson! You do it every time!

This book is so freaking good! ❤

I cried in this book because of something sad and then it wasn't sad because of reasons but I'm not sure because of . . .

I cried because of the REVELATIONS, REVELATIONS, REVELATIONS! They were so freaking awesome that I can't evennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

I've seen Steelheart bleed.
And I will see him bleed again.

Yes, we all know that line. Those that have read the book. This is what David thinks when 10 year
Emily May
Well... that was disappointing.

I've heard such great things about all of Brandon Sanderson's books and he's an author I've been meaning to read for what seems like forever. So I decided to pick up his recent young adult work instead of committing to a series with several releases already... well, all I can say is that I hope this isn't representative of all his books because Steelheart really disappointed me. In my opinion, there is nothing you can get from this book that you can't get from bett
I've seen Steelheart bleed.

I always love when a book begins with a solid first sentence. And this novel was a good example of that.


This is my first book by Brandon Sanderson and now I realize why he is so popular and well rated by a lot of readers and reviewers. Certainly he has a great style and entertaining style that you aren't never bored of what is happening. I am aware that this novel is from a genre kinda new to him since this is a "super-hero" book
Jun 05, 2013 Giselle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, own
This book = insanity!

This will prove my living under a rock, but I had not heard of this author before I went to Book Expo and got told all about his awesome status, and let me tell you, the praise is not unwarranted! Steelheart does not hold back; it's an edge-of-your-seat read with an intensity that requires you to put the book down regularly just so you can take a breather!

There are book beginnings... then there are Sanderson beginnings; the prologue is all it took to make me fall in love wit
Robin (Bridge Four)
Oct 09, 2013 Robin (Bridge Four) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Puny Humans, punny people and lovers of Heroes
ON SALE $1.99 This is one of my favorite superhero books ever. on amazon 2/22/17

3rd Read with by favorite buddy reading group Buddies Books & Baubles

Why should you read this series in a nut shell:

- David is the most Adorkable yes it is a real word character I've ever read.

- There are EVIL superheroes. EVIL SUPERHEROES!!!

- Lots of different kinds of action happening. Motorcycle chases, car crashes, one on on fighting...etc

- A really good twist (actually about 3 but they were all awesome)
Aug 05, 2012 Felicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I got to read this early. No spoilers, but it's FANTASTIC.
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
May 26, 2017 Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~ is currently reading it
I'm legit nervous to read my first YA novel by Sanderson omg
James Lafayette  Tivendale
I have had a few days off work this week and I must admit that I have found this book very difficult to put down during that time.

I was sceptical about approaching this book and have had it on my bookshelf for a while. I have read some of the Mistborn books and A Stormlight Archive and loved it and thought this book would disappoint me and just be a bit .. geeky compared to the complex magic mechanics and exceptional world building of the above mentioned.

It was geeky - yet in a great way and I
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Jan 09, 2014 Shelby *trains flying monkeys* rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
The world kinda ends with an event called Calamity. Ordinary people get superpowers? Kinda sounds cool huh?
Well they don't use their powers for good. They use those suckers to rule the world!

The Reckoners are the group trying to fight against them. At times I got bored with them. They did spend too much time discussing plans. I didn't care. I just wanted shit blew up.

I did get entranced when the action started. That was intense and very well done.
This kinda reads similar to Xmen gone bad. I l
Khanh (the meanie)
Actual rating: 3.5

This book was a lot of fun to read. I'm not a fan of comic books, I enjoy superhero movies, but I've never been a fan of comics themselves because I'm not a visual person. I don't like pictures. I prefer words. For me, this book was the lengthy equivalent of a comic book, and that's just fine with me. That is not to say that I take this book and its themes lightly in any way; comic books can be quite complex, and this book certainly was. It addresses some complex moral and phil
Sep 15, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lets just get it out there: Steelheart is a superhero novel and a YA superhero novel at that. Now don’t just run away now assuming this isn’t for you because before reading this book I would have thought that too.

I don’t know why, but caped crusaders never floated my boat and I’ve had enough bad YA to recognise the standard drill. Dystopian near future world – check, Love interest – check, Near constant action – check.

However I should not have doubted. Seriously, I am never doubting Sanderson a
Aj the Ravenous Reader

Meet Steelheart.

(I don’t know why my mind conjures Loki’s image whenever Steelheart is described.^^)

He is an “Epic” (could be a superhuman, an alien, a result of a science experiment, I’m not really sure) with supernatural abilities and strength and is the ruler of a city called Newcago. Wait…did I just say Newcago? OMG, I just have to…let me just…

Okay, I’m calm. Newcago, jeez. That’s ridiculous. [*wipes off a tear while still laughing]. To continue, Steelheart is one of the most powerful Epic
Emily Fox
Feb 07, 2017 Emily Fox rated it really liked it
I was very excited to read this YA fantasy series - super powers? post apocalyptic-ish? Brandon Sanderson? Yes!!

I liked it but oh my, I cannot deal with the fake swear words (Calamity, Slontze, Sparks... like really?!)
I was about to lower my rating by 0.5 just because of this but the ending was good... Sanderson always writes good endings.

Will continue the series.
Beth Hudspeth
Review: Hello Beautiful Book Blog
Steelheart was awesome! Super fun and action packed with humor attached! Epic!

I loved David's awkwardness and stupid metaphors. The twist I did not see coming. It's hard to fool me!

David grew up in Newcago, a city in the future where the Epic, Steelheart rules. The book starts out with David trying to prove to the Reckoners that he will be an asset to them. He meets Prof, Megan, Tia, Cody and Abraham of the Newcago Reckoners. Once he is partly accepted he start
Yulitza Moncada
Aug 15, 2016 Yulitza Moncada rated it really liked it

Primero que todo les tengo que decir que Steelheart es el primer libro que leo de Brandon Sanderson, y me alegro mucho de haber elegido este para comenzar a adentrarme en las historias y escrituras de este grandioso autor.

Cuando leí la sinopsis de este libro quede flipando porque me gusto y mucho, siempre he leído libros donde las personas que tienen “habilidades” son buenos y siempre buscan proteger a las demás personas, y este libro fue la excepci
Feb 08, 2014 Regan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned-read
That was an awesome read! Full of action, super interesting story! I cannot wait until the next book! I love anti hero stories..
Bookdragon Sean
Jan 18, 2015 Bookdragon Sean rated it really liked it
Epics are humans with super-powers. These powers corrupt their souls, turning them into tyrannical murderers that think themselves divine. Steelheart is one of these and has the ability to turn anything he touches into steel, including his own skin, rendering him completely impervious to harm. He murdered David’s father, but not before he managed to shoot him in the face leaving a scar on the supposedly invincible Epic’s cheek. David is the only person to see him bleed, and has spent the rest of ...more
Dec 08, 2014 Evgeny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Buddy read with the following people: Athena, Armina, Gavin, Kat Stark, Desinka, Robin, Alexa, Shandra, Annette, Nicholas, Carole, Ashley, Eon, Kristen, Danae, and the latecomer Sarah

The easiest and shortest description would be, "X-Men gone bad"; I am sure somebody already mentioned this in a review. Anyway, in near future some people (called Epics) gained superpowers - all kinds of them. Have you ever hear the saying "Power corrupts"? What about superpower? In the dystopian society of North Am
Feb 08, 2016 Choko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** 4.25 ***

A buddy read with the Sanderson not-cult in BB&B

I can never write a review on anything Sanderson - never even attempted it. So, I will not do so now. I am just going to say that this was another fun, exciting and brain engaging story which in this case happened to be young adult. As much as some of us want to write off the genre as "young", authors like B. Sanderson and Pierce Brown create books which fit the genre, but transcend it with the quality of their wordsmithship and st
Apr 14, 2015 Mario rated it it was amazing
It's hard to form words at this moment, so I'm not sure if this review will make any sense.

Brandon fucking Sanderson, you've done it again! I can't believe that I actually had doubts about this one, thinking that after reading Mistborn, I will be disappointed. Well, I admit. I was an idiot. Sanderson, I promise, I will never doubt at your writing again.

The whole book was just EPIC (I know, I hate to use that word too). I was afraid of having too much similarities with Mistborn, and at the beginn
Hasham Rasool
When I find out this book is about superhero/supervillian I wasn't sure whether this book will be a good book to read and also I thought it is very strange because I have never seen any author writes a book about superheroes or supervillians. Normally we would have seen superheroes/supervillians storyline in the comics/graphic novels.

I do find David a bit annoyed because he is too obsessed about Megan.

I am looking forward to watching 'Steelheart' movie but same time I am unsure whether 'Steelhe
Victor Almeida

Eu amei como esse livro é dinâmico, rápido, divertido e com as melhores cenas de ação que eu já li. Eu gosto muito dessa temática de super-heróis e vilões, e acho que nesse livro foi abordado da melhor forma possível. A "mitologia" criada pelo autor, os nomes dos Épicos e a diversidade de poderes, o universo distópico, tudo é muito diferente e maravilhoso. A última vez que me diverti tanto e me senti preso ao mesmo tempo em um livro foi com Jogador Número 1.

A narrat
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
OMG. I think I just joined the Sanderson Cult for an unexpected BR. And this YA too. I am SO doomed.

Cult members: Robin, Shandra, Evgeny, Athena, Armina, Gavin, Kat, Desinka, Alexa, Nicholas, Danae, Carole, Shelly, Annette, Eon, Ashley, Liz...

SO. YA + my little self = A love-hate relationship. More of a DNF relationship actually. But, hey, can you see the rating up there? Three stars! Not bad, eh? It must be the Sanderson Effect!

When I started reading the book and realized superheroes were invol
Dec 09, 2013 Sanaa rated it really liked it
[4.5 Stars] I'm not normally a fan of books and graphic novels that have to do with superheroes, but this one was surprisingly fun and addicting! I loved the world Brandon Sanderson imagined with the epics and the fast-paced addicting plot. What really sold me on this book though was the unique take on a kind of rebel group about to take the big baddie down. Though this initially seems like it might have a similar plot to Mistborn, it doesn't It really sets itself apart from that, and I love how ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Alexa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
What if instead of Superheroes and Supervillans, everyone with superpowers was evil?

Steelheart follows the story of David, who I have to admit is a wonderful character. He's quirky, a bit awkward and completely adorkable. For me it was impossible not to like him! The guy is obsessed with Epics in a very Princess Bride way, except instead of being like this:

is more like this:

Poor David.

He's also obsessed with making metaphors, even when he's really really bad at them.

“It’s okay,” I said. “I f
Oct 02, 2012 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 stars.

This was another great book by the ever dependable Brandon Sanderson. I knew there was a reason this guy was such a favorite of mine. It had everything you would expect from one of his books. Good world building, an interesting plot, likable and interesting characters, action, humor, romance, and even some surprise twists and turns along the way.

This was the tale of superheroes gone bad!. Ten years ago a mysterious new star, called Calamity, appeared in the sky and people started to d
Mar 12, 2016 Alp rated it it was amazing
YA is not the type of book I normally read but I've heard many good things about this one, so why not! And I'm glad I picked it up. I was pleasantly surprised by how very good the story was. It was descriptive and insightful and I was fascinated by a well-designed world created by the author.

Although the story started out quite slow and it took me a while to get into it, I really did enjoy the setting, the plot, and the characters. The last 20% of the book was amazingly awesome that I couldn’t s
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine books? 4 13 May 20, 2017 09:37AM  
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All About Fantasy!: Steelheat 6 6 Mar 01, 2017 06:46PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Reckoners (3 books)
  • Firefight (Reckoners, #2)
  • Calamity (Reckoners, #3)

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“Never throw the first punch. If you have to throw the second, try to make sure they don't get up for a third.” 245 likes
“Sometimes, son," my father said, prying my fingers free, "you have to help the heroes along.” 135 likes
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