Book Review: ‘Calamity’ (2016)

The short: 4/5 ✦. A somewhat lackluster finale to this otherwise fantastically epic trilogy.

The long:

Maybe I just had my expectations too high this time? I mean, here’s the thing:

It’s a really, really good book.

Hence the four stars.


It’s just not as good as the other two.

To be fair, it’s incredibly hard to pull off a good final book. I adore Harry Potter, but the seventh book has numerous issues, I admit that. There’s no way writers can please everybody, and even accomplished authors like Sanderson can’t always hit home runs.

As I said, though, it’s still pretty awesome. But it felt rushed. It felt incomplete. It felt . . . well, frankly, it felt like it was meeting a deadline. Sanderson is stunningly prolific, so I’m not sure if that’s a valid criticism. But I don’t know, Calamity seemed that either it ought to have been longer or — bizarrely — shorter. There are few stretches where not much happens, plot-wise, but then, you kind of don’t mind because these characters are so rich and developed, and as a reader, I was perfectly fine just listening to them talk and plan and debate and try to figure out this whole mess. But it did make for a slightly disjointed novel with a subpar ending that should’ve had more development along the lines of the previous two novels, where the seemingly separate plot threads all come together. There was still some of that and it worked beautifully for different resolutions, but not for the big one, the one of who/what Calamity was. Again, there was no way to make every reader satisfied, but I still wanted more from that. More exposition, more preamble, more foreshadowing. So Calamity (and Calamity) did disappoint on that front.

However! There were plenty of good, awesome bits, so let’s finish off this series by focusing on those:

  • Prof (duh, even when evil)
  • David and his similes
  • Cody (because reasons)
  • Abraham
  • Megan (she got better!!)
  • Tia
  • Mizzy (groovy)
  • The idea of Epics in general
  • Alternate dimensions (is an alternate me writing about this too??)
  • Realistic relationships that extend beyond the initial crush stages
  • No brooding dark teen angst (Nerdy, Problem-Solving David FTW)

All right, I fluffed that last one, but it basically sums up everything.

If you’ve not read this series, don’t this review discourage you; it’s a tremendous trilogy, and I highly highly recommend all three books.

Header image: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson, published February 16th 2016 by Delacorte Press

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