Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Genre: YA Fantasy
"There are no heroes. Every single person who manifested powers-we call them Epics-turned out to be evil.
Here, in the city once known as Chicago, an extraordinarily powerful Epic declared himself Emperor. Steelheart has the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, no explosion can burn him. He is invincible.
It has been ten years. We live our lives as best we can. Nobody fights back...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans who spend their lives studying powerful Epics, finding their weaknesses, then assassinating them.
My name is David Charleston. I'm not one of the Reckoners, but I intend to join them. I have something they need. Something precious, something incredible. Not an object, but an experience. I know his secret.
I've seen Steelheart bleed."
I haven't read many, actually any, superhero novels, so I can't say what this one is like compared to them. But it is far more unique than the Marvel or other superhero-based movies I've watched. For one thing, in this novel, the humans are fighting the superheros. Also, the whole idea that there are no 'good' epics is interesting and somewhat baffling. I'm sure Sanderson explains this more in the second novel (yes, there's a sequel, and where there's a sequel, there's bound to be a trequel, or whatever you call a third novel...). I found it slightly hard to believe that a group of so few humans could stand against the epics, but they have some supernatural help that makes it slightly more possible.
I often laughed out loud in this novel, mainly due to David's character. His horrible use of metaphors is hilarious, and he acts just like a determined, reckless teenager would. Although there is plenty of action in this novel, the characters are very lifelike and I feel like they became my good friends at the end.
Several times the plot takes sharp turns, causing the reader to start in surprise and re-read to make sure that just happened. This story will grab you with both hands right away and not let go!
This novel is a lot of fun due to the plot, David, and the world Sanderson has created, but it also explores deep issues as well, such as: what does it mean to truly be a hero? What are the moral boundaries in overthrowing tyranny, if there are any? I'm still contemplating some of the themes Sanderson unearthed in his book.
For the above reasons, I give this novel a 3.5 out of 5 and recommend it for 13 year olds and above.
What I learned: Pride is dangerous and often deadly. Vengeance is not as powerful as love.
*If you would like more information on Brandon Sanderson or his other books, visit his site here: http://brandonsanderson.com/