Steelheart (#1)

Next: Mitosis

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.


“Snappy dialogue, bizarre plot twists, high intensity action, and a touch of mystery and romance; it’s a formula that sucks readers into the prologue, slings them through one tension-filled encounter after the other, and then, at the strange and marginally hopeful conclusion, leaves them panting for the sequel, FIREFIGHT, due in 2014.”

Booklist, Starred Review

“A non-stop thrill ride […] there’s violence and gore in profusion, cool gear, hot wheels, awesome feats, inner conflicts on both sides.”


“The near-constant action, Sanderson’s whiz-bang imaginings, and a fully realized sense of danger (the brutal opening scene alone will hook many) make this an absolute page-turner.”

Publishers Weekly

“The veteran fantasy author’s world-building expertise is on full display here, making his horrifying vision of Chicago all the more chilling and exciting for readers of all ages to explore. “

A.V. Club

“Sanderson hit this one out of the park, right up until the final pay off […] Sanderson is a master worldbuilder and his worlds always come with unique forms of magic.”

Bibliosanctum, 5/5 stars

“This enjoyable read […] is perfect for genre fans who love exciting adventure stories with surprising plot twists.”

School Library Journal

Awards & Accolades


Winner Whitney Award: 2013 “Best Youth Novel” and “Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction”


2014 Scholastic Book Fair pick


Audible: “Best Audiobook of 2013”


Georgia Peach Book Award Honor Pick: “Teen Readers”


Florida Teens Read Award Nominee


Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award Nominee


2015-2016 Missouri Association of School Librarians Readers Award Nominee


A.V.: “Favorite Books of the Year”


Autumn 2013 Kids Indie Next Pick


Hudson Booksellers: “Best of 2013 YA”


Indie Next: “Top Pick – December 2014”


2013 GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist: “Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction”


2014 Tayshas Reading List pick