“Calamity” by Brandon Sanderson (Tor, 2016)


In the final volume of the Reckoners trilogy things come to a close in an acceptable way. The group has been pushed to the brink and while they’re licking their wounds, they must face their former leader, Prof, who has now gone to the dark side of being an epic.

The Reckoners travels will take them across the country to the interesting city of Babilar (once Atlanta) that moves along and rebuilds itself constantly. There they will have a showdown with their former member and will somehow have to beat him. David believes he knows Prof’s weakness. He also has another card: Firefight aka Megan aka David’s girlfriend is proof that when an epic is pushed to the brink they don’t always turn evil; it is possible to come back.

She also has this incredible ability to open portals into a parallel world where there is no Calamity in the sky that causes all the problems. Things in this parallel world are different and the epics appear to be mostly good in nature. So David knows a world without Calamity, the ultimate epic, is a good thing. So in addition to bringing down Prof, he also needs to take care of Calamity and save the world. Just another ordinary day for him and the Reckoners.

Calamity has the same feel at times as the first two books, but is certainly a lot darker, bleaker and more intense, but then this is the final showdown and who knows who’s going to make it out alive. There is a lot of traveling around again, which can get a little boring at times for the reader. But the final payoff with the Calamity showdown is well worth it, as a surprising end is reached that leaves the reader fully satisfied.

Originally written on March 25th, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Calamity from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“Hostage” by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith (Book View Cafe, 2015)


The second book in The Change quartet, after Stranger, does a lot of things the second book in the series should: opening the world further, adding some new and interesting characters, and raising the stakes to a whole new level that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

The sheltered town of Las Anclas is still licking its many wounds from the attack by King Voske of Gold Point. They expect another possible attack but have no idea when, but as Ross Juarez is out on a routine mission with some friends, a team has been sent out by Voske and captures him. He is brought back to Gold Point and shown a world where the changed are respected and at times revered. But this is also a harsh place run by the iron first of Voske; for those who do not follow these ways, they are crushed and ended without question. Las Anclas returns the favor by kidnapping the Voske’s daughter, Kerry, who learns of the very different world and place that is Las Anclas.

Will either side be willing to make an even exchange for the two? Not likely. So the hostage situation will have to be resolved in some other way, that will likely involve bloodshed. But each side has their own people with their own special powers that can be put to use. The final decision will ultimately rest on Kerry’s shoulders: after seeing the good and bad in both Las Anclas and Gold Point, she will have to make her choice and choose a side.

Originally written on March 25th, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Hostage from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.