Wednesday, March 2, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Calamity By Brandon Sanderson (Reckoners #3)

Calamity is a 2016 Young Adult novel by Brandon Sanderson. It is the third and final book of the Reckoners Trilogy. Calamity was published by Gollancz on 18 February 2016 you can look it up by its ISBN - 057510466X. The previous books were Steelheart (Reckoners #1 and Firefight (Reckoners #2).

SPOILER CHECK: THIS IS A DEEP DIVE REVIEW OF CALAMITY AND AS SUCH WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. OK so if you have not read the first two books STOP and go read them first or this will ruin many of the things that make the story great.


Well obviously because it is the third part of a story I would really like to know the end. The Reckoners trilogy so far has been one of the most novel (puns) takes on the superhero genre in books. The only series on a par would be Wearing The Cape series by Marion Harmon which if you like this series you'll probably enjoy that too though it is a different look at a world full of superheroes.


The beginning of Calamity is almost the exact opposite of the start of Firefight back then the team wasn’t exactly celebrating but it was building something. Calamity sees the team in despair once part of a national if not global Reckoner network and now literally the only people left standing.

The overarching message pounded into us from the first two books is that Epic = Evil a message reinforced by both the Prof and Megan that is what the Reckoners believe even if we as the readers know more because we see more.

Seeing David as the head of the team is actually an interesting plot twist as he is clearly the risk taker. He now has to sit back and run things and take care of his team I think his status as operations might be part of the reason that he spends a lot of the novel putting so much pressure on Megan to keep testing her powers despite the strain it puts on her sanity. I could talk about why this is BS when he is ignoring his Epic nature but there is another section for that.

Megan is awesome as always completely kickass and so strong within herself she is a full rounded character in many ways that David is not when you throw in her crazy, crazy powers she becomes even more interesting.

The other characters really were not much more than window dressing this time in my opinion which is a shame because usually Sanderson likes to have an ensemble cast in his stories with real personalities, quirks and history.


I went into this wanting to know a few basic things and I felt like I was teased with these things every two or three chapters. It took so long for things to get where they were meant to go it got boring in places, boring is not a word I would ever associate with the writing of Brandon Sanderson.

David lying to the team about his Epic status. I get part of it being down to all that has happened but he didn't even tell Megan the woman he loves. I can't buy his “it doesn't mean anything” in the early book he knew full well what it meant for him being pretty much the foremost expert on Epics around.

David riding Megan about using her powers more added with the lying is something that really I find annoying and actively made me angry while reading through the book.
It is never really explained why Megan is less violent than most other Epics which we see while she is with the Reckoners, then when she goes to work for Regalia and also when she rather briefly talks about when she first became an Epic. Plus Conflux was selfish not particularly evil.

On the book itself I just felt like I wanted to try my hand at editing because parts of this book felt like filler, or my precisely a filler arc for those of you who like me watch anime. There was a lot of repeating the same old thing time after time, like “if only I could control X power, or master that technique”. David’s nightmares, him going back to Megan or speculating endlessly how she could Deus Ex Machina her way to save the whole damn world. It just felt like the characters were placed in stasis with no real room to grow for nearly the entire book which is so different to the first two.


I don’t want to sound like I am pounding on the book because I am not but there are things I am disappointed by probably down to the fact that I am comparing it to the previous two and other books by Sanderson that I have read.

1 comment:

Alex Ang said...

Well said. I've noticed that in all of Sanderson's books, he doesn't portray women as weak and frail. He makes them out to be heroes even if they aren't the "hero" or main protagonist of the story. It's something that always had me hooked on Sanderson's stories. I highly appreciate it. I understand where you're coming from though about how some parts were filler. I can't even explain how long it took the book to get to that epic fight in the end with Prof and David. Honestly, I was a little confused about that part too! There was so much going on and one minute Prof was trying to kill David and then the next, they were already holding hands and singing Kumbaya!! It all happened too fast and with little explanation, which is new for Sanderson. His stories and plots are always so well laid out and there's always a clear explanation to why this and that happens. TO say that I didn't enjoy this book would be a lie beacuse I did. It was action-packed and had the ending I was waiting for all along with this series. However, I was still a little disappointed and I prefer Calamity to be my least favorite from the three books that have been published. Awesome review, my fellow Brandon Sanderson-obsessed fan!