Calamity (Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson, Published by Random House, Purchased for my own Collection.
There are three major things you need to know: I love the Reckoners series with all my heart, Firefight was one of my top two favorite books last year, and I don’t know if I’ve ever anticipated a book as much as I anticipated Calamity.
Calamity was released on Tuesday, I picked up my copy on Tuesday, and it took me the rest of the week to read it as I went back and forth between “I want to finish this now!” and “Nooo I don’t want it to end!” I finished it Friday night and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. This series may be over, but I doubt this obsession will end anytime soon.
As this was a pretty momentous read I find that I really can’t relay my thoughts in any sort of coherent review manner. For this I’ve decided to just write out my thoughts in a (long) list of bullet points.
There is also really no way to talk about Calamity at all without spoiling either the book in question or the previous two books in the series. In the way of Brandon Sanderson, even the first page of book three would spoil book two almost entirely… and so, everything is going under the cut because spoilers everywhere.
Commentary About the Plot / Things I Liked:
- I loooove Megan. I waffled over whether I liked her at all during Steelheart, I feel in love with her in Firefight, and now I am just kind of obsessed with her as a character. Everything she does… Ugh, she’s just amazing.
- Megan and David are adorable. I already knew this but it was even better in this book. Or maybe there were just more opportunities for it in Calamity. Either way, YESSS.
- “My Megan is a sunrise” (pg 137) Practically tears of happiness in this scene.
- Also, every time she teased him about being a terrible boyfriend/bad kisser I was kind of cackling with laughter.
- The best part of this whole thing is while Megan teases him about it she doesn’t actually seem to care. Cuuuuuuute.
- Knighthawk was hilarious in general. I quite liked him.
- Larcener is probably the best Epic name ever. ‘Larceny’ … ‘Larcener.’ Because he steals powers. Pretty perfect. I also kind of liked Larcener. Him walking right into their base was one of those mini plot twists that really floored me. I love how Sanderson always manages to do that.
- Then we have the whole alternate dimension with Calamity gone and the alternate Reckoners and a Firefight who really acts differently considering he’s Megan’s double. I thought this was a cool and it did end up affecting the ending but when the idea was introduced I really thought even more would come of it.
- The infiltration of the Sharp Tower was kind of the best part of the book. Also the worst. Best because I really liked the action sequence, worst because ahhhh so many kind of painful things happening.
- For one, Megan goes a little overboard and then she’s telling David to stay back. 😭
- She then put her arm into a jet of flame to beat it. Wooooow girl.
- There’s also the whole “at least I die as myself” line… Ouch.
- David finally exhibits powers (as I’d been anticipating since Firefight) and they’re part of Steelheart’s power set! I kind of knew he would have some sort of metal-type powers. “Thematically appropriate,” “Steelslayer,” … Yeah it just made sense. Especially since his weakness looked to be drowning. Water powers made no sense.
- Tiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaaaa. I knew something bad was going to happen when she let herself be captured but I did not expect her death at all. That scene for me was a big case of “I didn’t realize how much I loved you until now!” and Prof’s reaction to it too… I think Tia might have been the bravest one of them all because she never did anything out of recklessness. She knew all the risks. She knew what might happen. But she did it anyways.
“The powers are mine,” she whispered. “I claim them. My burden, my task, my self. I don’t know why that mattered, but it did.” pg. 318
- This is the line that’s been cycling through my head since I read it. Might be another case of my Megan obsession (okay it totally is) but this was such a defining moment.
- And then… Everything went a little bit crazy.
- The final battle was INTENSE. I was shaking a bit while reading it because it was so good and the ending was so close.
- Prof’s weakness! Ughhh poor Prof. I got what David was doing by making him think of his failures but that poor man.
- That ending! They all got a happy ending and I’ll admit that there might have been some tears shed because I love all of the Reckoners so much.
A Few Criticisms / Things I Didn’t Like:
- The ending. (Yes I already said I liked it too shh I deserve to be conflicted sometimes) It just felt very rushed. I wanted it to slow down a little bit, because I really wanted more answers.
- Namely, I wanted more answers about: What the heck Calamity is, Firefight’s dimension, (what were they fighting? Is Tavi really Tia and Prof’s child there? What did Tia recognize about her?) How Epic powers work now, (Are weaknesses still a thing? What about nightmares?) What David’s weakness actually is, and probably more things I’m not thinking of right at this moment.
- Also, Mizzy turned into an Epic? What, how, whaaaat? You can’t just drop that in a single sentence at the end and then leave!
- Basically, it feels like that Epilogue was setting up for an immediate sequel series, even though Sanderson said that if he ever goes back to Reckoners it’ll be an “era 2” thing like he did with Mistborn and I don’t know how I feel about that.
All in all, it wasn’t a perfect conclusion, but… Yes okay I was overjoyed by it anyways. While I wanted more answers I do really feel like the ending was perfect. My favorites got a (mostly) happy ending that, while somewhat confusing, worked well enough. There are very rare moments where one of your favorite series receives a perfect ending, and there are times where the ending is just the best one you’re going to get. Calamity falls more toward the second camp, but I thought it was amazing anyways.