A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Steelheart is a fast-moving, action-packed, clever take on superheroics, set at a time after supervillains have taken over the world. The body count runs fairly high as David and the "Reckoners" use everything from handguns to explosives against their enemies. "Damn" and "hell" appear a few times each, but the characters mostly employ made-up curses: "Calamity" or "Sparks," for example. David is attracted to and flirts awkwardly with buxom and beautiful Megan, but their relationship doesn't become physical.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
When 8-year-old David Charleston witnesses his father's death at the hands of the supreme supervillain known as Steelheart, the boy vows to get his revenge. A decade later, he sees his chance to join the \"Reckoners,\" fellow humans working to depose Steelheart and the other superpowered \"Epics\" who rule over Newcago. At first, the Reckoners aren't inclined to take him seriously, but David soon wins them over with his eye for strategy and his encyclopedic knowledge of the Epics' habits and vulnerabilities. But will that be enough to bring about the downfall of Steelheart and his minions?
Is it any good?
STEELHEART upends the usual superpowers setup, presenting a world in which the bad guys have already won and there seem to be no heroes willing to stand up to them. David and his fellow Reckoners devise elaborate plans to depose Steelheart and his minions; the action scenes are vivid and full of tantalizing twists. Author Brandon Sanderson's fantasy scenario has great potential: Although this book reaches a satisfying resolution, it's clear readers will have plenty more wrinkles to explore in forthcoming volumes. Fans of X-Men and Batman will rejoice.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why superheroes have been popular for so long. What is it about them that captures the imagination of readers, moviegoers, and gamers?
How do you define heroism? What are the characteristics of a hero?
What are the differences between justice and revenge? Does Steelheart make you think differently about this?
- Author: Brandon Sanderson
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Publication date: September 24, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: February 07, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.