Thursday, August 6, 2015

Steelheart [Book Review]

I know, a mid week update. Those have been rare. However I could not wait to actually write my review for this book. Could not wait. No Friday review for this book, but perhaps Friday will involve more super heroes.

I think this is either the UK cover or the
international cover. I'm not sure which. Maybe
it is the trade paper back cover. No idea.
I prefer the US hard cover image I used above.

I devoured this book.
From cover to cover I must have read it in four sittings, maybe five at tops. I did not want to put it down once I started. I only paused due to prior obligations.

5 out of 5 stars
This is the story of a world filled with super heroes. Or it would be if the very premise of what makes a super hero was not flipped on its head.

Instead of trying to explain the plot in a vague enough way to not give away the story (because you must go an read this for yourself) I'm just going to quote a small portion of the dust cover.

"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."

Yes, this is a super hero story where the super heroes are the tyrannical evil dictators who rule over mankind with iron fists and terrifying powers. It turns the entire idea of the super hero genre on its head. Remember in that Spiderman movie when old uncle Ben told Peter over and over again that "With great power comes great responsibility?" This is not the theme of Steelheart. It draws it's theme from an old 1887 letter written by Lord Acton to Mandell Creighton, a scholar and ecclesiastic. In this letter Lord Acton proclaimed, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

And I just ate this up. Yes, it is a YA novel. But it is good. Well written, strong characters, solid plot. Admittedly the foreshadowing is a touch obvious, but again this was written as a YA novel. I do not hold this against it. Everything was so engaging that a tiny fault such as that did not bother me.  

After I read the first seventy pages, maybe the first one hundred, I began to wonder 'why is this not a movie?' Well for one thing at the time I did not know there was a sequel. Nor did I know that there was a 3rd volume to come as well. Seriously, if the Divergent series became movies, this had better be adapted by Hollywood.

I am beyond lucky. My friend was able to get me a signed copy, so yes, I have Brandon Sanderson's (author of Words of Radiance) signature in my copy. You can envy me if you want.

So in conclusion, you need to do two things.

Buy this book. Read this book.

This is the next book I'm going to be reading. Just as soon as my order arrives.

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