I haven’t read Steelheart so the characters and the problems in this short story didn’t mean as much to me as they would to someone who has read it. And it turns out that the story is actually half of this cute little number’s pages; the other half is a teaser for the second book in the series.
Still, I read it, and I think it does actually work as a stand-alone. There’s obviously a lot that’s gone on in the past, but that’s often true of a good short story. The one thing that could have been cleared up by a single additional sentence is the nature of the ‘Epics’, who are clearly the villains (usually) and clearly some sort of humans but… that’s all a bit obscure.
Anyway, it’s got a good pace and the setting – Newcago – is nicely set out. The narrator, David, is a bit of a nothing character to be honest; this is more about action than it is about character, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The villain was quite fun and I enjoyed Sanderson’s take on his particular ability.
This book was provided to me by the publisher.