Steelheart takes a realistic look into a world of superpowers. Unlike most traditional stories of superheroes who are role-models that use their powers for good, these superheroes are corrupt, evil dictators who have transformed Earth into an authoritarian wasteland. Called Epics, they were created by a comet which flew over the Earth a few years prior to the story. Steelheart follows David, a boy whose father was killed by Steelheart, the most powerful Epic, and ruler of Newcago, an apocalyptic version of Chicago transformed entirely to steel by Steelheart. Steelheart is an invincible, 7 foot tall flying man who can turn everything around him to steel. At least that is what everyone else thinks. When David’s father was murdered, he actually made Steelheart bleed, causing David to believe that Steelheart can be beaten. He finds a group of fighters called the Reckoners, who kill Epics, and joins with them to try and take down Steelheart and his evil group of Epics.
Brandon Sanderson is a fantastic writer, and so this book is written very well. It draws you in and maintains tension throughout, keeping you invested in the story. There are a few well timed twists, some were predictable, but some were very unexpected. The action scenes are the highlight, they are dynamic and very well written, and you cannot stop turning the pages to figure out what will happen next. The world-building is also incredible, creating a post apocalyptic version of Earth, with fleshed out areas, and superpower rules that make sense and are never broken. The Epics have interesting powers and it is fun to see what all they can do and how they can challenge the main characters. The only part of the book that did not quite match the quality of the rest was the romance, it felt artificial and did not provide much emotional impact, and could have been left out of the story without much difference.
All in all, Steelheart is very well-written, with a fantastically created world of twisted superheroes, gripping action, and a great climax. The cover art is also fantastic. Steelheart is actually the first book in a series about the Reckoners, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Overall, Steelheart is a 4 out of 5, and I can thoroughly recommend it.