Monday 25 April 2016

The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson *SPOILERS* AHEAD

This review is of the entire trilogy, separated by title, and will focus more on my reactions than the story itself, though spoilers may slip though, and context will be necessary, so GO READ THEM! I don't feel like explaining everything here. This isn't Wikipedia!

I Steelheart:

I went into this story with high hopes and expectations, as you do with Brandon Sanderson, and though they weren't met immediately, they were exceeded later. At first I was all, "Cool, cool, cool, that's interesting, that's exciting, THAT IS AWESOME!" (You know what I'm talking about) and those feelings were followed by a sense of sadness and loss, but also hope.

The next truly notable feeling I got was "EEEEEEEWwwwwwww!" Because, you know, I did not 'ship the romantic lead with some minor villain. Anyway, the "EEEEWWWWW" quickly became "Ha! She said 'knees'! :D" followed by a resounding "Finally! Pop his ass!" which was most satisfactory!

The following emotions were ones of trying to keep up, trying to stay in touch, and trying to understand, I don't really have particular words for them. I was finding myself slowly but surely falling in love with the lead, David Charleston, and his habit of killing Epics and making bad similes.

Next there was some serious planning, plotting, and general heistiness. It was great! There was kind of a showdown almost sort of, and someone precious (romantic lead, Megan Tarash) did a number 3 (died), with no practical gains for the Reckoner team.

Some angst and sadness followed.

Then came there was the real showdown and it was all awesomesauce and swank-mastery... until everything went to high heaven in a hand-basket. I was so like "No way, no way, no way, no way. Way!" and "You can do it team Reckoners!" but also "On no, oh no, oh no, oh no!" Which eventually turned into a deafening "YEHAAAAA!"

The last feeling I had in Steelheart, "BOOOOOM!"

II Firefight:

Everything had been going jolly-well swell after the end of the previous book (kinda), until.... the Reckoner team in Newcago got word from another city in the "Fractured States" that one of their friends was up to no good, a friend who had died recently (pssst, I'm talking about Megan). There was some other stuff too, but it mostly boils down to "Road-trip! Road-trip! Road-trip!" and there were some interesting interpersonal scenes along the way with David and Prof and Tia, though the big kahuna happened only when they arrived in NEW New York, aka, Babylon Restored.

I won't spoil the frankly wonderful cityscape of this story, but I will say, "MOAR GRAFFITI!"

David and his friends make contact with another cell of Reckoners and begin the Siege of Babilar.... Just kidding!!!!! Reckoners don't siege, they assassinate :D Here's how I felt "That is neat!" And "Ooooh, pretty!" but also, "I kinda miss a character I never met..." all while simultaneously trying to figure out what our favourite author's game is here.

I can't say anything more about this story without spoiling stuff, so from here on out, FEELZ! There was a lot of "I like her, keep her, she's cool!" And also, "I don't like HER, get rid of her, she ain't cool!" There was some "Partay all up in here, e'ryboday! Partay!" But also "Wow, this is actually making me socially uncomfortable...." and there was a great chase scene - SEVERAL great chase scenes! There was some badassery, some hardheadedness, some crazed, unlikely betrayals and the reunion of my favourite power-couple! (not necessarily in that order)

There was a "Dude, that's super brave!" followed by a "Dude, that's super stupid!" and then a "Dude, not cool!" with a "Cool story, bro," thrown in the mix there somewhere. Then there was more badassery, more fear-facing awesomesauce, and some seriously cool powers! There was also a hint at something larger... (Dun, dun, DUUUUUUN!)

"I want some fruit???" Was said by me several times throughout the book.

Next, everything got really real, really fast. More betrayal, poor excuses, scary stuff, sweet superpowers, tactical genius, backup plans, surprises! Then there was just sadness, combined with a whole lot of not-good things and some murder. I felt remorse, I felt emotional-fatigue, I felt... like listening to the next book!

III Calamity: 

Fair warning regarding the conclusion to a wonderful series, I almost had a heart attack listening to this book. I'm not kidding, I'm not making light, my heart beat so fast it HURT! That being said, this was a wonderful story, a beautiful tale, a magnificent ending, and a brilliant adjective that is not coming to mind at the moment, but was certainly there, don't doubt for a second that it wasn't, because it was!

The last Reckoner cell is desperate, they are on their last legs, there is little left for them to do, to attempt, and so much for them to win, if only they try. "Didn't see that coming," was repeated many a time. As was, "So, super, duper, uber, poohbear COOL!" and "I love superpowers!" and "Represent!"

On top of the awesome superpowers, there was awesome super-technology as well!

Our heroes found themselves chasing their betrayer to a travelling city of salt (not to be confused with Salt Lake City, because this place was actually made of salt...) where they find an oodle of superpowered baddies and also a lot of people just trying to get by. Some stuff happened, some emotions were had, but nothing as shocking as the old "I thought you were dead!?" - "I thought YOU were dead!?" scene that warmed my heart right up until it was chilled to the left ventricle (I don't actually know what that is??).

The betrayer, the one, the only, the unnamed for the sake of y'all who ain't read this yet, is looking for our heroes, but specifically David 'Steelslayer' Charleston. The only thing that kept me from freaking out was the time left in the book at this point, and even then, it was scary! I was all like, "Whoa, dude, not cool!" and "There's some serious lessons here could be learned from Hitler..." Because, you know, dictators and secrets all that.

Next came the twisties, the shockers, and the uh-ohs! Then, there was planning! I love me some planning, especially Brandon Sanderson style! But after a good plan is made, there's only one thing to do, execute it!

"This is neato!" and "Ooh, cupcakes!" and also "Super stealth masters team hip unite!" Then everything went poop, and all sorts of bad stuff happened and there were a lot of dead people. Hopelessness followed, and dejectedness, and melancholy, and then *Admiral Akbar voice* A TRAP!

What follows is the ending, which I cannot begin to describe, so I won't. You have three great books you's gotsta read now, dear reader, they're all out and available, GO GET 'EM!

Brandon Sanderson's links:

Twitter @BrandSanderson
Main website
Super helpful, awesome podcast


  1. I skimmed because I haven't read this and didn't want any spoilers. I'm a huge Brandon Sanderson fan, but reading this post, if these books weren't already on my list, they are now!

    Have you read the Mistborn trilogy? Also great!

    1. My job is done then! :D

      I have indeed read (listened) to Mistborn, though I'm not as caught up as I should be on Wax and Wayne. I love me some BS (Brandon Sanderson) tho!!! Have you imbibed the joy that is The Stormlight Archive?

  2. I have not, though I have bought them, and they are on my list! I've only read the first Wax/Wayne book, though I also got the other two, so I have to read those still also.