Brandon Sanderson is best known for massive, 1000-page fantasy volumes. But in Steelheart Sanderson launches a Young Adult series about a post-holocaust society. In this case, it’s not a nuclear war or biological catastrophe that collapses civilization, it’s evil people with super-powers. Something called the Calamity causes normal people to acquire super-powers. However, each of these people (called Epics) tends to use their new powers for evil. Civilization soon collapses as people with super-strength or the power to teleport or to control water use their powers to crush all opposition.
A band of vigilantes called The Reckoners fights against the Epics. They’ve discovered each Epic has a weakness. And, if the weakness is revealed, The Reckoners can exploit it to kill the Epic. Steelheart sets up this dystopian world. Steelheart is invulnerable to all normal weapons. He rules what used to be Chicago by recruiting lesser Epics to keep the survivors in check. The only way The Reckoners can defeat Steelheart is to discover his secret weakness.
In Firefight The Reckoners travel from Chicago to the ruins of New York City which is ruled by a powerful Epic who controls water. More details of the Calamity are revealed. A third volume in The Reckoner series is scheduled for 2016. I enjoyed both volumes. If you’re looking for some action-paced adventure novels, here they are. GRADE: B (for both)