What Do You Do When Your Hero is the Villain?: Calamity | Review

Calamity: The Reckoners, Book 3 - Brandon Sanderson, MacLeod Andrews, Audible Studios

A very satisfying finale to a favorite YA Superhero/villain Fantasy.


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 Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners' leader, 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.


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Source: I purchased this book myself from Audible. It is available only from them or on mp3 CD from Amazon.



Calamity by Brandon Sanderson, read by MacLeod Andrews, published by Audible Studios (2016) / Length: 11 hrs 51 min



This is the third & final book in "The Reckoners" trilogy. A spin-off series called "Apocalypse Guard," taking place in a parallel world, has been announced but won't begin until 2018.


**This review contains spoilers for the previous books.**



I know that quite a few people were disappointed with the resolution/revelations in this book, feeling that they were anti-climactic. I can definitely understand where they are coming from. However, since I have been reading this series for the characters, I was completely satisfied with the way things progressed and how they turned out. Note: there were some deaths, which made me sad.



David: He is a much different person in this book than he was at the beginning of Steelheart. And yet he retains what made him lovable. He has grown into a potentially great leader and is learning to curb his recklessness, without giving up his willingness to take necessary chances. One of the things I love about him is his openness to growth & change.


Megan: She too is a very different person. And although she still struggles with her Epic nature, and is afraid that killing her will be the only reasonable end, she really wants to be the person David believes she can be. Yet, she doesn't let that make her weak either, she is still the more practical one and able to do what needs to be done.


David & Megan: This is one of my favorite fictional relationships. I love the way they accept each other's quirks, provide support when needed, and let the other be strong.


Abraham & Cody are back. Although the latter still isn't a fav, I didn't find him as jarring in this one. / Mizzy is back as well. She is having to deal with a lot of changes, including the death of her entire team & having to work with Megan (who killed one of her friends). / Prof - I really feel for him; he tried so hard to avoid becoming evil. He makes for a very wily antagonist though, both because he's just good & because he knows David. (As an aside, I think it is interesting that he continues to use the name Limelight, which is something David made up)



In Steelheart we got Newcago (Chicago), in Firefight it was Babilar (New York), here we get Ildithia (Atlanta). But just to make it a bit more crazy, Atlanta isn't in Georgia anymore. And just as Newcago had been turned to steel, Atlanta has been turned to salt. It is now migrating slowly across the country leaving a trail of destruction behind (and is currently in Kansas). The migration occurs as the "back" of the city slow dissolves and is reborn in "front." This, of course, means that everyone has to move constantly.



The book actually begins with an assault on the Knighthawk Foundry. They have to have equipment & weapons if they are going to stop the Prof, but Knighthawk is unwilling to deal with them. There is lots of action and plenty of character moments & emotion.


This book seemed faster paced to me than the previous two, with the quiet moments taking up less time. I personally would have liked more character moments, but was satisfied with the ones we got.


As stated above, the revelations about Calamity and what ends up happening in that regard may seem a bit of a fizzle to some. I however, really loved what came after. I finished the book with a great big lump in my throat and a sigh of satisfaction.



There are so many good things, but they are almost all spoilers. So here's a summary.

  • The relationships (all of them, not just the romance) - I could add a dozen quotes, but here's a good one from David.

"I felt cowardly, but part of being in a team was about recognizing when someone else could do a job better than you. And part of being a man was learning to let your immortal girlfriend take a turn being the heroic one."

  • The ending. David gains some new skills & gets to spend time with someone surprising.


I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: Megan being a man (Firefight) in the parallel dimension. I'm all about David & Megan the way they are.



Character voices differentiated = Yes / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Good / Emoting = Good / Speed = listened on 1.25, my usual


MacLeod Andrews is a favorite narrator, and he did his usually excellent job. Coincidentally, he did two of my favorite recent series (this & "The Pillars of Reality") yet I never felt like voices from one were appearing in the other as can sometimes happen.



Calamity (The Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson, read by MacLeod Andrews, published by Audible Studios (2016) / Length: 11 hrs 51 min Buy Now | +Goodreads

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