A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Calamity is the final volume of the Reckoners trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, begun with Steelheart. It is a fast-moving, action-packed, clever take on superheroics, set at a time after supervillains have taken over the world. The body count runs fairly high as David and the Reckoners use everything from handguns to explosives against their enemies. "Damn" and "hell" appear a few times each, but the characters mostly use made-up curses: "calamity" or "sparks," for example. David and his girlfriend Megan flirt and kiss, but their relationship does not progress far physically.
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What's the story?
At the start of CALAMITY, David Charleston's friend and mentor, Prof, has just been turned into his most dangerous enemy. David knows that, if humanity has any hope of survival, Prof must be defeated and rehabilitated. But how can someone reason with an Epic driven mad by his superpowers? David and the other Reckoners try every tactic imaginable to take the upper hand, but their strategies are foiled at every turn. Meanwhile, David's girlfriend Megan worries that she'll be seduced by the darkness, as well.
Is it any good?
Superhero action usually works best with a combination of words and pictures, but this near-future thriller succeeds with vivid prose alone. Having raised the narrative stakes across three volumes, author Brandon Sanderson delivers on his promises in Calamity. The suspense rarely flags, with David and his crew facing complications, reversals, and setbacks as they attempt to save the world and redeem themselves and their former mentor.
There's plenty of amusing banter and deftly handled character work, not to mention surprises galore. Sanderson nails the ending, providing satisfying psychological closure amid the superhero mayhem.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why superheroes have been popular for so long. What is it about them that captures the imagination of readers, moviegoers, and gamers?
There's a lot of violence and mayhem in Calamity, but it's not graphic and it involves characters with superpowers. Does that minimize the impact?
How do you define heroism? What are the characteristics of a hero?
- Author: Brandon Sanderson
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Publication date: February 16, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 421
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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