STEELHEART has many of the same themes as MISTBORN: a superpowered tyrant who may be unkillable, a lone rebel who joins with an underground network of freedom fighters, a desperate plan with little chance of success.
But Sanderson differentiates this work with a far different voice and a lot more humor, making this perhaps my favorite Sanderson novel to date, though I must admit I haven’t read much of his beyond the MISTBORN trilogy and the conclusion of THE WHEEL OF TIME.
Sanderson may be the best author today when it comes to creating logical magic systems, but in this book he’s more free with his rules, admitting that Epics (basically comic-book style superheroes) don’t follow the rules of physics, and their powers are often difficult to explain. Sanderson does keep the Epics in check, however, ascribing each one a weakness that can be exploited and limiting each to one primary power and possible a complementary ability.
Our main character David provides a compelling entry into this world, and I found all the Reckoners to be clearly drawn, easily likeable characters. During the climactic confrontation, I found that there was really only one character (sorry, Tia) whose presence I wouldn’t miss in future books.
This was a fun read, an enjoyable take on the superhero / comic book genre, and I’m looking forward to reading the next book. I’ve already downloaded MITOSIS to my Kindle, an opportunity to revisit this world one more time before FIREFIGHT comes out in the fall.