Brandon Sanderson never ceases to amaze me. His writing and prose are spectacular and lyrical. He doesn't use big words, doesn't beat around the bush, but his words, however simple they may be, still pack a lot of punch. I remember reading his other work, The Emperor's Soul, and remember being very touched by its ending. I've pondered about it for days on end, thinking about the characters and their impact on me. I think it's very safe to say that this man is one of the best fantasy authors I've ever had the pleasure to read. Not only does his writing stick to you like glue, his characters are memorable and the world-building in each and every one of his series and novels is unique. I've never seen such a big and vast and complex imagination such as his. If I were a scientist, I'd be interested in dissecting his brain and figuring out how he does it! This man's a genius, I tell you!
Steelheart? Man. It is a stunning book deserving of many accolades. Like many of his other novels, Brandon Sanderson created a whole new world so imaginative, deep and different; a world that completely immerses you in it effortlessly. I mean, the prologue was enough to suck me in! It captures you in its first try and does it so beautifully. The first time I got introduced to the Epics (a.k.a. Supervillains), it was definitely love at first sight. I kept thinking, "Holy shit, only Sanderson can pull this one awesomely!" and I was right. The first few pages was enough to give you a sense of what was to come - a dark world that suddenly found itself at the mercy of new beings, and is helpless to go against it. Who can agains such superpowers? When I was done with the Prologue, I had to stop for a while, breathe, and gush about it to a friend of mine. That's how good it was.
We all know how awesome Sanderson is, and how his writing is absolutely spectacular, so I won't repeat myself. Instead, I'll focus on certain aspects that made this book special to me.
1.) FUN FACTOR. This book is very fun. I am in awe of how Sanderson can make us feel depressed over the bleakness and hopelessness of his world, but still make it a fun ride at the same time. I liked how he shaped the world in a way that made it... endless, you know what I mean? Because every Epic is different, as sometimes they have more than one superpower, and they usually have a secret, hidden power, to be their trump card. I loved how it kept my imagination going, trying to guess what kind of superpower the next Epic we encounter will have. It reminded me so much of my childhood years playing "pretend games" with my brothers, as we tried to come up with various powers to destroy each other. The world-building wasn't just unique to me, it was also very enjoyable in its entirety.
2.) THEME, PACE and CHARACTERS. In a nutshell, Steelheart is Brandon Sanderson's love letter to comics, shounen manga, games, and action movies. I totally felt Batman vibes from it, and even felt like I was in Gothic city. Its atmosphere reminded me so much of the comic books I loved to read then. I also loved the Underdog (Humans with no powers) vs. Something Powerful (Epics). This is a common theme in shounen manga (boy comics in Japan) and loved how Sanderson killed it while also taking it to the next level, making me not just cheer for the protagonist but for everyone else, despite the lack of screentime. It's fast-paced, with ample visually-enticing descriptions of fight scenes and environments, but even with that, it barely comprised character-building. And David! God, David was cool. I loved his geekiness. I loved how he used his smartie wits and knowledge to get his way around. I loved how he was such a nerd and be so adorable at it, too. He was extremely likeable, and I revere the dedication he gave towards his goal.
3.) ENDING. That. Ending. Damn son, that ending. I wish I can tell you more about it, but alas, spoilers have no place here. Still, though. That ending.
There were some things I didn't like, but that's just my being nitpicky. For example, while I liked Megan, I didn't really like the twist that concerned her near the ending. I felt it was awfully cliché and wasn't something I expected from Sanderson. I felt that David was better without Megan and vice versa. But anyway, like I said, I can be very nitpicky and it's not a big deal.
Overall, though, this is an excellent book and an excellent start to an excellent series. I am very excited and am eagerly anticipating the next instalment. It has all the necessary elements to a perfect read, and I guarantee you'll enjoy the ride every step of the way. Especially recommended to comic, superhero, shounen manga, action fans.