"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.
"Now, in what was once Chicago, an astonishingly powerful Epic named Steelheart has installed himself as emperor. Steelheart possesses the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said that no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, and no fire can burn him. He is invincible. Nobody fights back...nobody but the Reckoners.
"A shadowy group of ordinary humans, the Reckoners spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in.
"When Steelheart came to Chicago, he killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David has been studying, and planning, and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
"He has seen Steelheart bleed...
"And he wants revenge."
I loved Steelheart. It's action-packed, it's interesting, and it takes everything I know about superheroes/supervillains and completely turns it on its head. Part science-fiction, part fantasy, Steelheart is a wonderfully crafted dystopian world full of detail, depth, and intrigue.
It was so much fun to read.
I was particularly fascinated by the main characters, specifically the Reckoners. David, as the narrator, is incredibly resourceful. He sometimes feels like a caricature; however, he's surprisingly astute in his observations and he's wildly intelligent. I'm always surprised by what he does and what he remembers. He's daring, he's unexpected, which I found made Steelheart that much more interesting.
Not to mention, I found the ending to be spectacular.
After learning that Steelheart does have a weakness, I puzzled over what it might be. Reading the prologue again, I couldn't imagine what it might be, but when David discover it, when that moment of recognition and discovery blossomed in his mind and mine, I was thrilled and astonished and excited. I loved the conclusion. It startled me, yes, but I found the irony of the situation to be so very satisfying.
I will definitely read the rest of the series. Firefight is up next, followed by Calamity--and I can't wait to dive back in.
Steelheart is graphic, bloody, and riddled with gore. Bad things happen in Newcago, and you get the impression that, no matter what happens, things aren't really going to get better.