Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Steelheart Series


Have you heard of the author Brandon Sanderson? Living in Utah, and he being a "Utah" author, his name is pretty well known here. But his books have national acclaim too, and it's well deserved. I've started his Mistborn series (finished book 2 in the double trilogy), and it is such a complex fantasy world, I was a little surprised Steelheart (book 1 in The Reckoners series) was by the same author. Still well written, but more of a modern-day (well, post-apocalyptic), American setting ... x-men type story. Completely different tone. This series is fast paced and pretty silly at times.

There is a little conversation in book two of this series: 
"you're not actually bad at metaphors..." 
"Thanks!" 
"...because most of the things you say are SIMILES."  

I totally said that in my review of Steelheart/book 1 (that they were similes, not metaphors). I was happy to have it justified here. *Ü* And just to prove HOW BAD David's similes are ...

  • The place was as black as the inside of a can of black paint that had also been painted black.
  •  It was like trying to balance a pot full of frogs on the tips of two half-cooked pieces of spaghetti.
  • I felt like a cupcake on a steak plate.
  • I'm intense like a lion is tannish.
  • It called to me like the ding on a microwave as it finished nuking a pizza pocket.
  • It was like I was a donut, and somebody had sucked all the jelly out of me.
  • I mixed with ordinary people about the same way that a bucket of paint mixed with a bag of gerbils.
  • ... it was like a calzone stuffed with dynamite
  • ... like discovering that Santa Claus was secretly a Nazi.
  • ... like I was a piece of snot on the windshield following a sneeze.
  • ... like a catapult that shoots enormous grapes.
  • ... like a punk guitarist in a mariachi band.
  • ... exhaling like an epileptic pilot who'd just landed a cargo plane full of dynamite.
  • ...looming over me like a roommate who just heard you open a bag of toffee-pulls.
  • The sun sank down like a giant golden pat of butter melting onto the corn of New Jersey 
Okay, that last one is a pretty nice one.
Beyond the bad similes ... there were just silly statements like "Easy as pie. Not that I actually knew how to make pie." or "This time when she'd pointed the gun at me, she'd flicked the safety on. If that wasn't true love, I don't know what was." or "But the machine had always been finicky, and it had chosen this moment to finick."

... but I loved it! It's fun to have a book make me laugh, while providing a story and action. Superheros ... well, super villains! It's an interesting thought brought up... as all those with powers are bad! Were only evil people given powers, or did the powers bring out the bad? They all have a weakness ... and David is really good at guessing Epic's weaknesses. I mean ... Kool-Aid? Seriously, how did they GUESS that? And compliments? He really makes some leaps (literally and figuratively).

The imagination of authors as they create these characters and worlds. All these villains, with their names and powers (and weaknesses) and so creative and crazy. In the third book, one creates a moving, constantly crumbling/rebuilding city of SALT. What? Where do authors come up with ideas like that?

Steelheart, the first book in the series, really sets things up. We are introduced to the characters and the world situation. It comes to a natural conclusion,while still leaving things open enough to continue with the series. I read "Mitosis" ... a short story set in-between Steelheart and Firestorm, and I do recommend reading it. Not absolutely necessary,  but my library even had this mini-book (digital). Firefight, the second in the series, was quite a bit of fun for me. I was already involved in the world and knew the characters and was excited to see what would happen next. The final book was good too, maybe not quite where the first two were for me, but I liked how everything wrapped up. Fun series. I might have to invest in physical copies for our home library and encourage my boys (reluctant readers, but sometimes the school STILL required reading!). 

... now I need to shift gears and get back to the Mistborn series!


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