11:30 am EST, February 19, 2016

‘Calamity’ book review: An explosive ending to the Reckoners Series

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson provides the final chapter in the trilogy that all began with Steelheart.

It all comes down to this. Calamity rose in the sky and the Epics were born. After the events of the previous two books, in which David killed Steelheart, fell in love with Firefight, and found out his closest friend was actually a High Epic, David’s on a mission to finally end the war.

But where David once thought killing Epics was the answer, now Megan has proven there’s a way through the darkness. David must find Prof’s weakness and exploit it, effectively stopping one of the most powerful and dangerous epics to ever exist. And if he can manage that? Then he’ll set his sights on Calamity.

calamity brandon sanderson cover

‘Calamity’ book review

Brandon Sanderson’s final book in the Reckoners Series was one of my most-anticipated for the year 2016. I fell in love with David’s terrible metaphors and the incredible world where Epics exist when I first found myself in possession of an advanced copy of Steelheart. At that time, I had no idea who Brandon Sanderson was and what to expect, but the novel sounded intriguing. I was more than willing to take a chance on it, and I’m so glad I did.

Calamity was meant to bring us answers, and it fulfilled its mission. The great thing about this story is that the answers never came easy, and even when David thought he had it all figured out, there was another layer to peel back and analyze. The answers are complicated, but nuanced. If David hadn’t needed to dig so deep for each new piece of information, the entire series wouldn’t have been nearly as enticing.

That said, I do still have a hundred more questions I would love answered. This book certainly has a definitive end, but I can’t help wanting more. We learn who Firefight really is, and in knowing that, I can just about taste a spinoff series (or a novella at the very least). David’s story is far from over; he still has work to do, and I would love seeing him complete it alongside new and old friends alike.

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I was fortunate enough to get my hands on the Audible version of this book, read by MacLeod Andrews, who does an incredible job voicing all the different characters. They truly come alive when he reads them, and each one sounds different, their personality bleeding through their dialogue more so than if you were just reading what they were saying. At nearly 12 hours in length, this is a (metaphorically) hefty one to pick up, but well worth the read. He’s also narrated the first two books, so if you’re one for consistency, you’ve got it here.

In the end, Calamity is everything I was hoping it would be. It was full of ridiculous humor thanks to David’s peculiar personality, but that was balanced by incredible fight sequences which had me holding my breath while they played out in my mind. (The one downside to listening to an audiobook is that you can’t skip ahead faster to see what happens, but perhaps this is for the best.) This book is about strength of character, love, friendship, humanity, finding beauty in the smallest details, and faith, and each one of those aspects meld together to form a larger picture and a larger solution.

I truly am sad to see this series go. My love for Steelheart manifested quickly, and the two sequels did nothing but enhance that feeling. I can only hope we’ll be getting more stories in this world eventually. But if we don’t, at least I have these three books (and the Mitosis novella!) to revisit any time I want.

Calamity by Brandon Sanderson is available now. Add it to your Goodreads list, or purchase it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound.

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