Will Brandon Sanderson “steel” a great review from Bryan and Robert? Yes, yes he will. Check out B&R’s review of Steelheart today!
Bryan’s quick summary:
The Epics changed humanity for good. Imbued with incredible powers, they stole, and killed, and they conquered. David Charleston was there the day Steelheart took over. He was the only survivor in an attack that left his father dead. He was also the only one who saw the supposedly immortal epic bleed. When David hunts down the Reckoners, a shadowy group of humans bent on leveling the playing field, he’ll find that the true heroes don’t come from the sky.
They just need a little push.
Steelheart is by Brandon Sanderson
So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)
1. (Bryan) Gosh darn it. Another series I have to read. So good. Such a great take on superheroes. Incredibly well-written.
2. (Robert) This is a tightly plotted, fast-paced action thriller, part scifi, part paranormal, set in a gritty dystopia. I liked the page-turning aspect; the descriptions of the scenes, the powers of the various Epics – there’s not much to find fault with! This is a story that knows its place, in the same way that a Bond story or a Reacher story does.
There are plenty of twists and turns, and almost nothing David plans goes exactly how he wants, so he’s forced to rely on his wits, which makes for great scenes. “How will he get out of THIS?” is what you’ll often be thinking!
And of course he does, and not usually in ways you expect.
3. (Bryan) Magical interesting bad guys. Creative uses of good guy tools. Twist endings galore. I’m hooked.
What did we think from a writer’s perspective?
1. (Bryan) The stakes are so incredibly high and they keep elevating. I blazed through this story.
2. (Robert) Nice writing craft, the prose never tries too hard, and Sanderson is a master of action and suspense. We jump timelines a lot (in a good way), Sanderson knows to leave out the mundane (there’s no, “they jumped in the car and drove across town, watching the black spires fly past as they took the fastway.” Nope, Sanderson always cuts right to the chase!).
3. (Robert) There’s a lot to learn about the pacing and the amount of action that “explains” what had occurred in the interval while we, the reader, were away. I like that in a story, that we are forced to comprehend along the way. It adds another dimension, especially to an action novel when a lot of the pace and thrills come from the pure action – this stops it being too “mechanical.”
Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:
1. Give your characters one interesting quirk to set them apart.
2. The love interest is cute, too, suitably confusing and a bit snarky, as well as highly ninja … and with a key role.
3. Take a conventional genre and turn it on its head.
Prompt of the Week:
What would you do if you had an incredible superpower that made you evil the more you used it? Would you try to control it or do you think it would consume you and why?