- Audiobook Review
- Author: Brandon Sanderson
- Performed by MacLeod Andrews
- Published: Orion Publishing Group, released February 2016 on Audible
- Category: Sci-fi, Young Adult Fantasy, Alternate Reality
They told David it was impossible – that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart – invincible, immortal, unconquerable – is dead. And he died by David’s hand.
Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life more simple. Instead it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And there’s no one in Newcago who can give him the answers he needs. He found some of those answers in Firefight. Now he has to decide what to do with them….
Calamity is about what you do to fill your heart once you have vengeance.
Calamity is the conclusion to the Reckoners trilogy, following on from Steelheart and Firefight. A short summary of the story so far: Calamity burst into the sky as a bright red star several years ago and gave ordinary people super human powers. They became known as Epics. After witnessing his father’s death at the hands of Steelheart, a High Epic, David Charleston vows revenge and learns everything he can about Epics. Joining the Reckoners, an elite undercover team working to destroy the Epics, David hopes to find a way to get to Steelheart. The team is successful and David destroys Steelheart. Left with complications he didn’t expect David faces more challenges.
David is the new group leader, and the original team of Reckoners are back together, making plans to track down Jonathan Phaedrus, hoping to force him to face his fears and so bring him back to the Prof they know and love. Caught up in an Epic plot, Prof, now known as Limelight, is corrupted and dominated by his considerable powers. David refuses to believe Prof is beyond recall and the team set out for Ildithia, where Limelight is in the process of assuming control of the city and hunting Larcener, a power stealing Epic.
I’ve witnessed the fearsome depths.
I was in Babilar, Babylon Restored. Formerly New York City. I stared into the burning red star known as Calamity, and knew – with no uncertainty – that something inside me had changed.
The depths claimed me as one of their own. And though I’ve pushed them back, I still bear their hidden scar.
They insist that they will have me again.
From someone who was purely out for revenge David’s character has developed considerably, he’s grown up and he and the team realise that saving the world by killing the Epics isn’t a long-term solution. They need to find another way. And even if they do manage to get through to Prof there is still Calamity to deal with.
David and Megan’s relationship has deepened and Megan really comes into her own with her extraordinary powers. David hasn’t lost his capacity for terrible, sometimes funny and occasionally lovely, metaphors.
I’m glad you’re not the same Megan. I don’t want you to be the same. My Megan is a sunrise, always changing, but beautiful the entire time.
Brandon Sanderson’s terrific imagination is again apparent. After Newcago, a city built of steel there was Babilar, a vividly colourful underwater city and now Ildithia, built of shifting salt that replaces itself every week. Plenty of vivid action scenes add tension and short chapters keep up the pace.
There are unexpected questions raised and left unanswered leaving so many possible outcomes. The final confrontation seemed a little too easy. Perhaps there are plans to revisit at a later date. I hope so. But that said, I’ve really enjoyed listening to this trilogy, the emotional twist in the last chapters was a complete surprise and very moving, especially hearing it narrated by MacLeod Andrews. Still, I have mixed feelings about the ending. It’s lovely for David and in one way it brings things full circle yet shouldn’t it have been more about Prof as well? But… the writing is excellent, the plot and world building so very creative and the main characters engaging. And MacLeod Andrews’ performance is flawless, adeptly moving between each character’s distinct voice with authentic emotions incorporated perfectly into the narrative. He really brought the story to life for me.
About Brandon Sanderson
He also released his longest novella yet, Mistborn: Secret History , which explores behind the scenes of the original Mistborn Trilogy and thus is filled with spoilers for those three books; it also has some spoilers for The Bands of Mourning.
Brandon Sanderson was born in 1975 in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a child Brandon enjoyed reading, but he lost interest in the types of titles often suggested to him, and by junior high he never cracked a book if he could help it. This changed when an eighth grade teacher gave him Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly.
Brandon was working on his thirteenth novel when Moshe Feder at Tor Books bought the sixth he had written. Tor has published Elantris , the Mistborn trilogy and its followup The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker , and The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance , the first two in the planned ten-volume series The Stormlight Archive. He was chosen to complete Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series; 2009’s The Gathering Storm and 2010’s Towers of Midnight were followed by the final book in the series, A Memory of Light , in January 2013. Four books in his middle-grade Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians series were released by Scholastic, and his novella Infinity Blade Awakening was an ebook bestseller for Epic Games accompanying their acclaimed Infinity Blade iOS video game series. Two more novellas, Legion and The Emperor s Soul , were released by Subterranean Press and Tachyon Publications in 2012, and 2013 brought two young adult novels, The Rithmatist from Tor and Steelheart from Delacorte.
The only author to make the short list for the David Gemmell Legend Award six times in four years, Brandon won that award in 2011 for The Way of Kings. The Emperor’s Soul won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novella. He has appeared on the New York Times Best-Seller List multiple times, with five novels hitting the #1 spot.
Currently living in Utah with his wife and children, Brandon teaches creative writing at Brigham Young University.