Brandon Sanderson
Calamity Cover




Steelheart was the fun revenge story, Firefight was a great cat-and-mouse mystery. Now we have Calamity which is a... a, uh... Well, it's an ending. Unfortunately, it's not a fitting one. More on that in a moment.

The book starts off well, with an assault by the team, minus Prof and Tia, on the Knighthawk Foundry. They almost die, but instead become best buds with Knighthawk, who, as it turns out, is one of Profs old friends. This was the group who, years ago, found out how to come up with the motivators, machines that mimic Epic powers once imbued with a bit of Epic DNA. Knighthawk provides the team with a couple fun new toys, and they head off to Ildithia, the moving city made entirely of salt. It's an interesting new location, but it lacks the cinematic appeal of both Newcago and Babylar.

The team, now led by our hero David, embarks on its most dangerous quest yet: to stop Evil Prof's plan to usurp Calamity's position as the One Epic to Rule Them All. They stop Prof by discovering his weakness, which in my opinion was a great one: fear of failure. Once he realizes that he's failed, Prof's powers are neutralized, then they're removed from him by a power-stealing epic named Larcener.

So far so good. But at this point the book takes a bizarre turn into a too-quick ending that gives the reader no emotional payoff for the three books' worth of investment. Don't get me wrong, these are great books, and I still recommend them heartily over the likes of other YA fare like Hunger Games or Maze Runner or Allegiant or Divergent or Detergent, or whatever. Even the ending is better than what we get from those others. But in a classic, dug-his-own-grave sort of way, Sanderson has made us expect more from his endings. In my humble yet incredibly important opinion, he didn't deliver.