Calamity, the final book (or is it?) in the Reckoners trilogy was like an EKG graph – some extreme highs and extreme lows with a lot of nifty squiggly lines in between. Yeah, there’s less action in this book than in the previous ones, the ending is ultra-anti-climactic, (along with the reveal of who Calamity is), and there are still plenty of the poorly developed David Charlston metaphors (though not quite as annoying as in earlier books).
But there’s plenty to be praised here as well.
Of all three of the books, this one dived deepest into the mythology of the “Epics,” and this is where this series really excels. Exploring the why, the how, the limits and darkness inherent in using these powers. The idea that man, when granted supernatural abilities, will always use them to gain dominion over others, is fascinating. So is the counter idea, that man is inherently good and can curtail the darkness with effort. There’s a lot here for a “YA” novel that could really be explored and this, to me at least, was more fascinating than trumped up action scenes that wouldn’t be necessary.
Of yeah, and then there’s all that inter-dimensional stuff as well. This novel’s a lot deeper than it would appear at its surface.
As a fantasy writer, I love that Sanderson is stretching his muscles and branching outside of his normal genre with this series. My favorite work of his, by far, if also a modern day series about a Sherlock Holmes type protagonist who has multiple personalities that he sees projected as real people. LEGION, (and it’s sequel), has one of the best and most fascinating characters I’ve ever read, and for the life of me I don’t know why someone hasn’t gobbled up the rights and turned it into a TV series. Check it out, if you haven’t; you won’t regret it.
As for the Reckoners series? I have to admit, it’s fun. Expect a few lows with the highs, but sparks, like any roller coaster, the slow ratcheting ramp up is worth the hand-raising, passenger screaming ride back down.