Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series is the first series I’ve read/listened to that consistently got better with every book. I gave Steelheart two stars because I saw potential in the world yet the story bored the stains outta my shorts. Book 1.5, the novella entitled Mitosis, had a battle derivative of far better stories (The Matrix Reloaded) and got two stars, too. I gave Firefight 3.5 stars because Sanderson upped the action but the narrative was overloaded with the most idiotic fake cussing known to the fantasy world. In Calamity, Sanderson returned to the formula of the first novel and I was scared I’d end up one starring this bad boy. Fortunately for me, there was a better story to be told this time around. While there was less action in this one than there was in the second book, the ending had enough in the way of twists and emotional payoff that I didn’t feel like hate-fucking it with my rage-boner. In my opinion, Calamity was a better book than both book one and two combined.
The faux foul language in place of actual curse words is asinine, and I will harp on this subject until religious persons get the message I’m trying to send. It’s goofy and pointless. I get that Sanderson is mormon, but cussing is still cussing even if you replace “fuck” with “sparks” and so forth. Words are only words, it’s the intention of those words that make them curses. For instance: If I say I frosted your wife’s face like a cake, you’d probably be upset because, even though I didn’t use any naughty words, the intention is there and the meaning is obvious. Your wife is unfaithful and uses semen as facial cleanser. Saying I fucking jizzed on Mrs. Sanderson’s goddamn gobbler is not any better or worse. It’s all about intent, Brandy. Get a clue. Somehow I think your invisible man will still give you a demerit if you replace “asshole” with “slontze”. And if he doesn’t it’s probably because
he doesn’t exist he’s not offended by words like “fuck” and “cock” and “cum bubble” and “twat biscuit”.
This has been a public service announcement brought to you in part by the letter E. Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame…
Overall, I give the Reckoners series a solid three stars for world building. This final book gets four stars because, even though the middle is heavy with dialogue and missing some much needed action, Sanderson managed to trick me at the end with Calamity’s true identity. I knew the red star was someone we’d heard tell of throughout the series, but I didn’t guess correctly. Well played, Sanderson.
Seeing that Sanderson didn’t completely shit the bed with this three-book outing, I think I’ll try one of his other series, you know, as long as he doesn’t use that lame-ass-Dr.-Seuss-bullshit-replacement language. I bought the first two Stormlight Archive books when they were on sale at Audible, so I’ll likely jump into those next.
By the way, for those of you who wonder why I stuck with this series, the answer is simple. I was given a gift of Audible codes under the strict orders that I use them on Sanderson books. Many thanks to Random House Audio for the chance to review these books. MacLeod Andrews did a fantastic job of keeping the voices unique to their characters.
In summation: The substitution cussing will likely not upset you as much as it upset me. I simply enjoy a well-used curse word because I’m an adult who understands the concept of intent. I dug the world building and the variety of Epics, but I did not appreciate the lengthy sections devoid of action. I believe that this series should have been battle after battle after battle, and not battle, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, battle, end. There are entire chapters I would have cut from the first and third books. That being said, I do not regret reading the series due to the payoff of this final book. Recommended for mormon comic book fans.
Final Judgment: Not bad for a bigot.