Book Review: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Amazon rating: 4.6 stars
When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.
David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners’ leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back…
But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.
Reviewed by David Wiley
I wanted to read this book like a kid wants to eat a giant lollipop. I was excited to read the book just like the kid gets excited about lollipops, but I didn’t want it to end too soon just like the kid who gets the giant lollipop so they can savor the experience a little longer. Yes, this series will be full of intentionally bad metaphors, and Calamity certainly had some memorable ones in there. The humor that Sanderson laced into this book, as well as the previous books, makes this a fun read while the action and intrigue makes it an entertaining romp through a world where superpowers don’t go to the good guys. Or, rather, it seems that everyone who gets superpowers turns bad, and they are known as Epics.
It is difficult to write a spoiler-free review of the final book in a trilogy like this, but I want this to be a comprehensive review for more than just this one book. I want someone to read this and go pick up the entire trilogy (Steelheart, Firefight, Calamity) plus the short between the first two (Mitosis). The Reckoners are back in action in this finale that certainly lives up to every expectation that it promised. The showdown that has been coming is epic. And Epic.
But that isn’t even the main target for the book. The one complaint that could be voiced is that once this big showdown is over, there isn’t enough time to properly build up for the other final showdown. But the plans of the Reckoners, especially those made by the main character, David, never work out like they should anyway so extra time to plan and scheme would have been prolonging a story longer than it needed to.
More information is learned about the powers that the Epics possess and how they came to get those, and some of those Epics seen in previous books take their powers to the next level in this one. Seriously, it is amazing what Sanderson had them doing with these powers.
One sign of a great trilogy is being able to reflect back, at the end, and see how things not only progressed from Book One to the ending but also to see how things in the early chapters allude to later events or become significant later on down the line. In that respect, Calamity delivers. I will always look back upon the Reckoners trilogy as a fantastic series. Steelheart was the first Sanderson book I ever picked up and I’ve been waiting anxiously ever since Firefight was announced shortly after I finished that book. I could herald this series for being about superpowers, which it certainly has plenty of that, but this series is so much more than a mere superhero series. It is action and excitement, mystery and intrigue, bad kissing and bad metaphors, exaggerated stories and mysterious backgrounds, and just plain fun.
I cannot recommend this book, and this trilogy, enough. Put it on your TBR list right now and you won’t regret it. Allow Steelheart to rope you in and you’ll thank me when you finish Calamity.