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Calamity: The Reckoners    by Brandon Sanderson order for
by Brandon Sanderson
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Calamity follows Steelheart and Firefight as the third in Brandon Sanderson's engrossing, fast-paced YA series, The Reckoners. In a dystopian future, after Calamity (a burning red star) lit up the sky, individuals (Epics) suddenly gained - and abused - extraordinary powers. After the dust settled, ordinary humans were forced to do their will.

Epic Steelheart slaughtered hero David's beloved father in Newcago, leading to his obsessive research on all known Epics. He joined a resistance group, the Reckoners, fell in love with lithe, golden-haired Megan, and brought down Steelheart. David learned that the Reckoners' beloved leader, 'Prof', was himself an Epic, and so was Megan. He looked for a way to undo the corruption their powers eventually create in Epics, in order to save them both.

In Firefight, the Reckoners took the struggle to flooded Babylon Restored. Originally Manhattan, it was ruled by High Epic Regalia, with power over water. While David reunited with Megan (who always had his back, despite mixed loyalties) and learned much about Epics' powers and vulnerabilities, Regalia succeeded in making Prof succumb to Epics' overwhelming need to dominate. Now Limelight is a dangerous enemy of his own Reckoners.

As Calamity opens, David, Megan (whom he has helped learn to control the corruption of her power) and surviving Reckoners attack the Knighthawk Foundry (the main source of Epic-derived technology), where they make an unlikely (and rather unreliable) alliance. New weapons in hand, they plan to save (or, if there is no other option, kill) Prof/Limelight in Ildithia, a mobile city of salt that used to be Atlanta.

Prof seeks to control Ildithia and arrogant Epic Larcener, who demands that the Reckoners hide him. As expected, there's heart stopping action, amazing special effects, and constant surprises. And the good guys have unusual allies, though their involvement is hit-and-miss. Megan can reach out to other dimensions, which have developed differently, though it risks her giving in to her powers' corruption. In one of those worlds, some Epics are the good guys.

Calamity is as good as or better than its predecessors. It ends with a hard choice for David, and a surprising and stunning conclusion. Don't miss this fantastic series.

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