This was an interesting novel. I finished the book, closed it, sat back, and thought whoa. That was like a really long allegory. I wonder if other reaThis was an interesting novel. I finished the book, closed it, sat back, and thought whoa. That was like a really long allegory. I wonder if other readers leave it seeing the same parallels drawn that I did. The author never overtly draws them herself.
This book was more violent than its predecessors, which I don't love. But the story continued to be fascinating and very well written. A bit more sexyThis book was more violent than its predecessors, which I don't love. But the story continued to be fascinating and very well written. A bit more sexy as well, but no explicit scenes....more
Uh-maze-ing. Amazing. Brandon Sanderson is amazing.
That said, whoa. This book is really long. I was reading an ebook version, so I really didn't knowUh-maze-ing. Amazing. Brandon Sanderson is amazing.
That said, whoa. This book is really long. I was reading an ebook version, so I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. But it's over 1,000 pages long, and apparently this is going to be a 10 (TEN!) book series. So, that's a commitment.
But the book is epic.
Sanderson plops you right into the story, and you gradually gain backstory and history and understanding of the world, but even at the end of the first book, there is still LOTS to learn. I'm looking forward to continuing this journey in the remaining books.
Here are some excerpts I enjoyed.
"Ignorance is hardly unusual. . . . The longer I live, the more I come to realize that it is the natural state of the human mind. There are many who still strive to defend its sanctity and then expect you to be impressed with their efforts."
"Sometimes we find it hardest to accept in others that which we cling to in ourselves."
"'She didn't take you? What's wrong with her?' 'Chronic competence, I should guess. She's been so successful in life that she has unrealistic expectations of others.'"
"The body needs many different foods to remain healthy. And the mind needs many different ideas to remain sharp."
"Need. That word had strange effects on men. Some ran when you used it. Others grew nervous. Some seemed to long for it."
"I feel each of the things you mention. . . . But I don't always let them out. A man's emotions are what define him, and control is the landmark of true strength. To lack feeling is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child."
"The book spoke of a king carrying the burdens of his people. It said that those who led were the lowest of men, for they were required to serve everyone."
"Was it possible to do something horrible in the name of accomplishing something wonderful?"
"Am I a monster or am I a hero? Did I just slaughter four men, or did I stop four murderers from walking the streets? Does one deserve to have evil done to her by consequence of putting herself where evil can reach her? Did I have a right to defend myself? Or was I just looking for an excuse to end lives?"
"Somebody has to start. Somebody has to step forward and do what is right, because it is right. If nobody starts, then others cannot follow."
"'Just because I honor the Almighty doesn't mean I'm going to accept any explanation. It might be religion, but it still has to make sense.' 'Didn't you once tell me that you didn't understand your own self?' 'Well, yes.' "And yet you expect to be able to understand the exact workings of the Almighty?'"
"Those who truly seek wisdom are those who will acknowledge the virtue in their adversaries and who will learn from those who disabuse them of error."...more
As the end neared, I kept thinking "How can this be called 'Calamity'? We haven't even made it to Calamity! This should be called 'LimelightFantastic!
As the end neared, I kept thinking "How can this be called 'Calamity'? We haven't even made it to Calamity! This should be called 'Limelight' or something." But then it all worked.
It was interesting to read this right after finishing Sanderson's 1,000+ page book The Way of Kings. I read how completely in-depth and immersive his writing could be, and then this book, Calamity, is just a very different kind of book. Written in a very different style, and I wish there had been a little bit more to the ending. Not 800 pages more, but just a little.
But on the other hand, I do like how the Reckoners series is different from the epic fantasy Sanderson can write. Sanderson kept true to the comic book feel even though he fleshed it out into a trilogy.
Well done. Very interesting.
I do still have a few questions about the other dimensions/worlds, but I guess when the viewpoint of the book is from the characters, and they themselves don't know, there is no way for the reader to find out!
Here are some excerpts I enjoyed.
"The sun peeked over the horizon like the head of a giant radioactive manatee."
"The robots, on the other hand, acted like a bunch of youthful dreams and got thoroughly crushed."
"I released her. And then I left, as she had said. I felt cowardly, but part of being in a team was about recognizing when someone else could do a job better than you. And part of being a man was learning to let your immortal girlfriend take a turn being the heroic one."
". . . attacking his bowl of food like a man whose house had once been burned down by a particularly violent ear of corn."
"'But...,' I wrote back. 'You've been texting me all day.' 'Totally different,' he wrote 'Didgeridooing invasion of privacy, calling a person without their permission.' 'Didgeridooing?' Megan asked from over my shoulder. 'Profanity filter on my mobile,' I said. 'You use a profanity filter? What is this, kindergarten?' 'Nah,' I said. 'It's hilarious. Makes people sound really stupid.'"
"I had been young when this had all started, only eight, an orphan on the streets. I'd lived a year on my own before I'd been taken in. I remembered hushed conversations among adults about the breakdown of society projecting horrible things like cannibalism and gangs burning whatever they could find, families breaking apart—every man living for himself. That hadn't transpired. People are people. Whatever happens, they make communities, struggle for normalcy. Even with the Epics, most of us simply wanted to live our lives."
"That said, there is a look about an Epic who is in the throes of their power. The way they stand so tall, the way they smile with such confidence. They stand out, like a burp during a prayer."
"Keeping him here is like snuggling up to a bomb, content that it's not going to explode simply because you can still hear it ticking."
"Heck, a rabid Chihuahua having a seizure would stop and listen when Abraham spoke."
"I tried not to gawk. Or, well, I tried to gawk covertly. Megan's sleek red gown was all sparkly and gorgeous and . . . well, it really accented her curves. Like how a nice cheekpiece with shadow lines accents a perfect rifle stock. Unfortunately, she wasn't wearing her own face. That ruined the effect. But still, that neckline . . . I caught her looking at me and blushed. Only then did I realize she didn't seem to have noticed my ogling, but was instead nodding to herself, a faint smile on her lips. 'Are you . . staring at my chest?' I asked. 'What?' she said. 'Stay focused, Knees.' Awesome, I thought, tossing on my jacket."
"My dad, he liked people who were straightforward. Said he'd rather get cussed out by someone who meant it than smiled at by someone who didn't."
"I skidded to a halt, then shot him in the face anyway. I mean, it had to be distracting, right? Even if the bullets bounced off? Maybe I could get one stuck in his nose or something."
"'So,' she said, 'you going to get super buff?' 'Dunno,' I said, flexing. 'Steel heart was, and my father is. Might come with the portfolio.' 'Should make up for the terrible kissing.' 'Hey, all you have to do to fix that is let me practice.' 'Noted.'"...more