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386 pages, Hardcover
First published September 24, 2013
I stopped as I noticed something different. Motorcycles.
There were three of them in a row near the far side of the hallway. I hadn’t seen them at first, as I’d been focused on the guns. They were sleek, their bodies a deep green with black patterns running up their sides. They made me want to hunch over and crouch down to make myself have less wind resistance. I could imagine shooting through the streets on one of these. They looked so dangerous, like alligators. Really fast alligators wearing black. Ninja alligators.
“Don’t you ever pay attention?” Tia asked. “We’ve talked about this.”
“He was cleaning his guns,” Abraham said.
“I’m an artist,” Cody said.
Abraham nodded. “He’s an artist.”
“And cleanliness is next to deadliness,” Cody added.
I've seen Steelheart bleed.
And I will see him bleed again.
I know, better than anyone else, that there are no heroes coming to save us. There are no good Epics. None of them protect us. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
“It’s good for you to think of this, son. Ponder. Worry. Stay up nights, frightened for the casualties of your ideology. It will do you good to realize the price of fighting”
Epics had a distinct, even incredible, lack of morals or conscience. That bothered some people, on a philosophical level. Theorists, scholars. They wondered at the sheer inhumanity many Epics manifested. Did the Epics kill because Calamity chose—for whatever reason—only terrible people to gain powers? Or did they kill because such amazing power twisted a person, made them irresponsible?They steal. They murder. They take over the world.
Something about the bank, the situation, the gun, or my father himself was able to counteract Steelheart’s invulnerability. Many of you probably know about that scar on Steelheart’s cheek. Well, as far as I can determine, I’m the only living person who knows how he got it.And that makes David dangerous.
I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.
And I will see him bleed again.
“The work we do,” Prof said, “is not about living. Our job is killing. We’ll leave the regular people to live their lives, to find joy in them, to enjoy the sunrises and the snowfalls. Our job is to get them there.”The Setting: Excellent. Newcago is Chicago, gone to pieces. It is dark, it is bleak, people die on a daily basis, they get murdered haphazardly whenever an Epic feel particularly trigger-happy on that particular day, but it is still better off under Steelheart's rule than in most other cities, because at least its citizens have sufficient food, due to Steelheart's odd brand of benevolence. The city and the setting itself is brilliantly depicted. I can feel the darkness, the despair, the hopelessness. Steelheart has transmuted the entire city into solid steel, the soil, the buildings, everything from above to deep underground. It is literally a city shrouded in darkness.
It’s always dark in Newcago. Because of Nightwielder there are no sunrises, and no moon to speak of, just pure darkness in the sky. All the time, every day.The setting and the world were impeccably described, and I love the descriptions of the various Epics and their powers. The world building is one of my favorite features about this book.
“It’s okay,” I said. “I feel like a brick made of porridge.”Trust me, we are subjected to a fair number of terrible metaphors within this book, but they are completely intentional. It's not the writing at all. I find them very amusing.
“No, no,” I said. “It makes sense! Listen. A brick is supposed to be strong, right? But if one were secretly made of porridge, and all of the other bricks didn’t know, he’d sit around worrying that he’d be weak when the rest of them were strong. He’d get smooshed when he was placed in the wall, you see, maybe get some of his porridge mixed with that stuff they stick between bricks.”
The clock ticked down. We didn’t speak. I mentally sounded out a few ways to start conversation, but each one died on my lips as I opened my mouth. Each time I was confronted by Megan’s glassy stare. She didn’t want to chat. She wanted to do the job.The book had a very fast pace initially, but the middle half was very slow for me. There was a lot of planning, a lot of discussion, and while it was necessary to have that in the book leading up to the final confrontation, I find myself just plain bored. There was a lot of action, but I wished there were more characterization in its place.
Steelheart was awesome! Super fun and action packed with humor attached! Epic!Review: Hello Beautiful Book Blog
“Yeah, well, you know, I’ve been practicing a lot. Hitting the old wall-vaporizing gym.”
“The what?” She frowned as she pulled over the ladder we’d brought with us.
“Never mind,” I said.
“It’s okay,” I said.
“I feel like a brick made of porridge.” She looked at me, brow scrunching up. The van’s cab fell silent. Then Megan started to laugh.
“No, no,” I said. “It makes sense!" Listen.
But since then you’ve acted like I was a gorilla at your buffet.” “A … what?”