“Calamity” by Brandon Sanderson (Reckoners #3)


The last book in a series is always hard for me to review because I’ve usually become so attached to the series by this point that I can’t be completely objective. I’m going to try my hardest with Calamity, but saying goodbye to one of the smartest YA spec fic series I have ever read is going to be hard.

David’s horrendous metaphors are a part of Reckoners that readers absolutely adore. I myself love his weird comparative imagery that somehow makes perfect sense. However, I think Sanderson let David use a few too many in this book. Yes, readers love them, but no one wants too much of what they love. Case and point, I just had two pieces of the going away cake my boss bought me for my last shift and I now feel slightly nauseated. If I had stopped at one piece, I’d be feeling fine right now. But, I had too much and now I feel bad. See the distinction here? I think Sanderson wanted to give us fans as many David metaphors as possible before saying goodbye to the series. But I think he may have overdone it a little.

Speaking of “the end of the series” I somehow do not think that Calamity was the last book. I know that the back cover says “final instalment”, but you know what? Mistborn was supposed to only be a trilogy and so far there are three more books in that series, plus one more to come. So, I don’t really take the word “final” at its, well, word.


A few reasons why I think we will be seeing more of the Reckoners:
Number 1: So, Calamity tells David that he was sent to Earth by someone. He also exhibits some pretty clear signs that he is not merely the Epic of all Epics, but a completely different race. But neither of these things are explored. Like, at all. Calamity glows red and gave everyone their Epic powers. Why and how? You don’t usually come away from the final book in a series with a question this big.
Number 2: I really don’t buy the whole Tia-being-dead thing. My golden rule is that I don’t think of a person being dead unless we see the body. I mean, look what happened with Megan. So, I know we saw evil Prof (well, I guess I should call him Limelight) clutching Tia’s corpse, but he also pretty much engulfed her in his superlative healing powers. Prof definitely thinks Tia is dead, but he was an Epic at the time. I feel like he may have left her corpse alone after grieving for a time, his Epic craziness turning his grief into terrible anger, meaning he went on some kind of rampage rather than wait for signs of life from Tia. She was too important a character to die like that. Tia’s not dead.
Number 3: Abraham’s past. Both David and Cody touch on it, but we get no answers from Abraham about what happened in his past to make him want to fight with the Reckoners. Abraham is still a mystery. And I like to think that his past will help explain my next point.
Number 4: So David’s dad and David both have Steelheart’s power set. David’s dad offers to teach David how to use his powers. THERE IS NO WAY THAT THIS IS UNRELATED TO THE WHOLE WHAT-THE-FUCK-IS-CALAMITY THING. David and his dad both being Steelheart is relevant. I feel like both of them will be needed to do battle with the rest of Calamity’s race/species. This is vital information that was revealed way too last minute. This will be relevant. And I think that something in Abraham’s past will be a link to it.
Number 5: Mizzy is an Epic now? Why? How? And what are her powers? This was literally a throwaway question with no real answer. This HAS to be explained. Particularly after Mizzy’s hatred of Megan. There’s too much here to let it be left unexplored.

I’m not saying that Reckoners will be Reckoners when it comes back. The Mistborn trilogy has changed hands a few times even though it is still under the Mistborn moniker. So I think it’s safe to assume that we are in for more Reckoners, but maybe with a few changes. A change in POV perhaps? There were just a few too many knots left untied for the last book in a series.


I also felt a little like we didn’t see enough of Limelight as a character. He was more of a threat than a person. I mean, we saw more of Regalia in Firefight than we did of Limelight and Limelight was a key character for the past two books. I just feel like we should have gotten some more Limelight on the page, and not just the threat of him and his powers. I honestly felt a bit cheated. Seeing Prof as Limelight would have been terrifying, but also awesome. It didn’t seem like we got to know Prof as an Epic. And that feels wrong, somehow

ALL of that being said, I loved this book. It had action, romance, intrigue, and humour; the combination that made me love this series in the first place. And although there may have been a little too much fan service, and not enough Limelight, Calamity was still extraordinary. There were twists, turns, and the kind of heartbreak that you only find in the final books of great series.

★★★★ 1/2

About Bec Graham

Bec Graham, 24, was born on the wrong continent. Everything from her burns-like-paper skin tone to her inability to cope with the slightest hint of a hot day suggests she should have been born under the gloomy skies and mild sun of the UK. She hopes writing will get her to her rightful home one day. Failing that, she scans the skies for a spinning blue police box, hoping to catch a lift back to the motherland.
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