Lux: A Texas Reckoned novel | Brandon Sanderson, Steven Michael Bohls

Lux (The Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson & Steven Michael Bohls published 22 July 2021

A new team of Reckoners must infiltrate the flying city of Lux to take down the Epic Lifeforce in this audio-exclusive novel from Brandon Sanderson.

When the great red star Calamity appeared in the sky, some believed the end had come. They were right.

Calamity created the Epics: humans with incredible powers they didn’t deserve.

They could have saved mankind. They could have lifted us into harmony and prosperity. Instead they burned. They slaughtered. They conquered. And then they ruled.

Jax has learned all of this the hard way. Orphaned at an early age, he’s spent most of his childhood training to be a Reckoner – determined to find the Epics’ weaknesses, unlock their secrets, and protect those of us who are still left.

But now, the mysterious High Epic Lifeforce has arrived with his flying city, Lux, to plunder what’s left of Texas. So Jax and his ragtag team – the few who remain of the once-mighty Texas Reckoners – must take their battle to this floating fortress of riches – and defeat the invincible.

To avenge what has been lost. And rise anew.

Buy links:

How was it?

I read The Reckoners novels some time ago; although I was wasn’t very impressed by Calamity I jumped at the opportunity to read this one, not even trying to figure out what it was about. So going in blind, I spent too much time trying to figure out when this story was taking place in the series. I was connecting more events and characters than was necessary instead of just enjoying what turned out to be a somewhat stand alone story, connected to the previous books.

From the start this book feels like a return to form, it’s more in line with Steelheart, Mitosis and Firefight, without the weird shift from Calamity. It’s the reckoners against the Epics, amazing motivator tech and face paced action. Jax, the main character, did get on my nerves because I could see him make mistakes as they were happening and it was driving me nuts. So as much as his reckless behavior annoyed me, it makes him humain and fallible and I liked that in the end. The Texas team feels like the original team in some ways but they’re kind of unique. There’s a romantic connection in this story that I didn’t think was necessary at all but it doesn’t impede the story.

This Texas reckoners novel is well structured and it shows, there are a few things that are set up throughout that come to fruition later on, my only problem with that is that I could see them coming and anticipated quite a few things. It sucked some of the excitement out of a chunk of the novel because there were little to no surprises for me. However I’m still proud of myself for figuring out the Epics’ weaknesses well in advance because of that heavy ended foreshadowing. Even the Steelheart cameo wasn’t a total surprise, because I expected one from a high epic we already knew and the big deal that was made about the thing the character that’s connected to Steelheart has clued me in. The cameo was a bit of a retcon for me but I liked it. In fact, I first suspected the Californian to be Obliteration but that might be because MacLeod Andrews used the a similar voice for both.

Lux is fun to listen to, it stitches itself to the whole reckoners series well with this story ending at the same time as Calamity while suggesting there might be more to come. If there’s a sequel I suspect Obliteration will feature as well since I think he’s still alive.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Are you planning on listening to this book? if you’re a fan of the series and/or the author how do you like this book?

Lux is an Audible exclusive and is for now only available on Audible.

Try Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks

Calamity | Brandon Sanderson

Calamity (The Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson published 16th February 2016

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.
David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners’ leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back. . . .
But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

Buy links:

How was it?

Firefight was a turning point in The Reckoners’ series, it felt more and more like a transition but it didn’t really explored what that transition, that transformation would be, Calamity does.

The series took a serious turn in this book, it’s familiar but feels and sounds different, and that wouldn’t be such a bad thing if it didn’t seem so abstract. The fact that the main characters are just as clueless as where are for a good chunk of the story gives the impression that Sanderson didn’t fully think through the trilogy. Calamity seemed so haphazardly stitch together at times that Megan became a convenient solution for every corner the author painted himself in. She became some sort of MacGuffin, the solution for every or any problems.

David is another “problem” unlike his weird expressions and metaphors David being reckless is not cute and yet it keeps being rewarded for it. In this book more than the others, his reckless behavior has no consequences. In the previous stories it at least seemed like he got lucky, there’s a sense of danger, impeding doom but with “don’t worry I got everything you need” Megan that just vanished.

As bad as it may sound, Calamity has its moments. Parts of the story, scenes that are engaging and really entertaining to read with a fair share of plot twists. However the book still left me with a weird aftertaste. Something or some things are missing. It’s unclear. Sanderson didn’t just leave a door open to eventually come back to the series, he delivered a “I need to get this done” book instead of a “I did it 😀.” but it’s impressive to see that even when it doesn’t look like he tried hard enough, it’s still good.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Calamity is available on The Book Depository, Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

About the series:
I appreciated that the Epics, in all the levels strength and powers they possess, are still subject to time, decay, and sickness. In the series we see the ordinary humans fear and/or revere them as deities. But they are riddled with issues that you wouldn’t expect in such powerful beings to have.

More in the series:

The Reckoners 1
Review | Book | Audiobook
The Reckoners 1.5
Review | Book | Audiobook
The Reckoners 2
Review | Book | Audiobook

Firefight | Brandon Sanderson

Firefight (The Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson published by 6 Janvier 2015

Babylon Restored, formerly Manhattan, may give David answers. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers. 

Buy links:

How was it?

Babylon restored might be the weirdest place to imagine but Sanderson does a good job to take you there. The more time you spend there the clearer the picture gets. The fact that Regalia, the High Epic, the Reckoners are hunting is said to be the cause of Babylon restored present state makes her enigmatic and scary in a way.

With “Firefight” I started to like David’s quirks, he still annoys the hell out of me at times but I kind of like him. The story in this second the Reckonners book is quite captivating and thought provoking but I find I’m mostly interested and amazed by the structure and writing of the book.

The world building again is spectacular, Babylar or Babylon Restaured, former New York City, is a bit weird but easy, maybe easier, to picture than Newcago in Steelheart. The new characters are just as colorful and fascinating as the mostly submerged City with glowing fruit and graffiti described here is. The characters are distinct, not one voice seems like the other, it doesn’t mean that they’re all memorable but they don’t have a sameness that could make them interchangeable in one’s memories. It’s the singularity of each characters, old and new, that bring up such strong feelings when it comes to their behaviors.
I enjoyed how some key concepts are subtly introduced in the story thus expanding this dystopian world. However it is a rather big shift from what was previously introduced. It wasn’t as smooth as it could have been, Calamity and Firefight’s powers seem to have been conveniently redefined rather than better explained.

The story remains an exciting dangerous maze of carefully laid plans, mysterious desires and motives. The main antagonist Regalia, ruler of Babylar, is much like her power, a force to be reckon with. The people and the Reckoners cell from Babylar are nothing like Newcago. David is still brimming with good intentions but still reckless and irritating. Prof and Tia’s layers are slowly getting peeled.

Firefight seems to be redefining the series, a turning point in the Reckoners’ story that isn’t very smooth but still a thrilling emotional roller-coaster.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Firefight is available on The Book Depository, Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

Previous books:

The Reckoners 1
Review | Book | Audiobook
The Reckoners 1.5
Review | Book | Audiobook

August readings | Magical Fantasies with a Dash of Paranormal and Crime

Title: The Prince and his Bedeviled Bodyguard
Series: Paranormal Princes
Author: Charlie Cochet
Genre(s): Paranormal, Romance (M/M), Fantasy
Page count: 134 (ebook)
Published: 19 Sept 2019

My review | Get it here

Title: Where There’s Fire
Series: Panopolis 2
Author: Cari Z
Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance (M/M), Sci-fi
Page count: 113 (ebook)
Published: 13 July 2015

My review | Get it here

Title: Midnight Sun
Series: Twilight Saga
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Genre(s): Paranormal, Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Page count: 675 (ebook)
Published: 04 Aug 2020

My review | Get it here

Title: A Discovery of Witches
Series: All Souls Trilogy
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre(s): Paranormal, Fiction, Romance, Magic
Page count: 579 (eBook)
Published: Feb 2011

My review | Get it here

Title: Zero Divergence
Series: Zero Hour #3
Author: Aimee Nicole Walker
Genre(s): Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Romance (M/M), Contemporary
Page count: 295 ebook
Published: 17 March 2020

My review | Get it here

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Series: Legacy of Orïsha 1
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Magic, Fiction, Adventure
Page count: 537 eBook
Published: 6 March 2018

My review | Get it here

Title: Love Bleeds
Series: Thicker Than Water #2
Author: Ann-Katrin Byrde
Genre(s): Paranormal, Romance (M/M), Supernatural, Vampires
Page count: 342 (eBook)
Published: 19 March 2020

My review | Get it here

Title: Shadow of Night
Series: All Souls Trilogy 2
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre(s): Paranormal, Fiction, Romance, Magic
Page count: 584 (eBook)
Published: 10 July 2012

My review | Get it here

Title: The King’s Dragon
Series: Fire and Valor #1
Author: W.M. Fawkes, Sam Burns
Genre(s): Fantasy, Magic, Dragons, Romance, Historial
Page count: 295 eBook
Published: 26 Sept 2019

My review | Get it here

Title: The Book of Life
Series: All Souls Trilogy 3
Author: Deborah Harkness
Genre(s): Paranormal, Fiction, Romance, Magic
Page count: 564 (eBook)
Published: 15 July 2014

My review | Get it here

Title: The Marked Prince
Series: The Darkest Court #2
Author: M.A. Grant
Genre(s): Paranormal, Fiction, Romance (M/M), Magic
Page count: 305 (eBook)
Published: 5 August 2019

My review | Get it here

TV Review: Stargirl (S1) | Shades of Greatness and Annoyance

Stargirl is not a comic that I read – I read very few of them – nor was it a character I was familiar with. I was aware of the real world inspiration for the character but beside that my vague knowledge of the character is her quick cameos in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow I believe. The show stars Brec Bassinger as the titular character, Amy Smart (The Burtterfly Effect, Run for Your Life), Luke Wilson (All the Bright Places) as respectively her mom and step-father, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Trae Romano, Christopher James Baker (Shades of Blue, Ozark), Cameron Gellman, Jake Austin Walker (Five Points, Rectify), Neil Jackson (Welcome to Marwen), and Meg DeLacy.

This new superheroes television series is based on the character, Courtney Whitmore A.K.A. Stargirl, created by writer Geoff Johns and artist Lee Moder for DC Comics’ Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.S.

Premise: Ten years after most the superhero team the Justice Society of America (JSA) died in a battle against the Injustice Society of America, – eye roll – high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore discovers Starman’s Cosmic Staff and gear in her stepfather Pat Dugan’s belongings. She finds out that he used to be a sidekick to Starman and becomes the inspiration for a new generation of superheroes.

Review: Right off the bat, Stargirl is impressive. The opening sequence alone can put some movies to shame. But when you start to think that it’s going to be as serious and high brow as the opening scene suggest, they hit you with a bit of comedy to let you “we’re not taking ourselves too seriously.”

The show has amazing visuals, and an action scenes throughout. The colors pop and there’s a timeless feel to the show that becomes evident the more you watch it. It’s a mix of old 1950s aesthetic beautifully meshed with new technology. The series is very Americana, very patriotic, not just because of the titular character’s costume but the whole show leans into it.

Whether it’s the heroes or the villains, each of the characters are smartly introduced. They pretty much all have layers and depth, they’re more complex – but not necessarily likable. It helps to make the more fart-fetched ideas in the show grounded and real. The show explores the vilains as much as the heroes, and those vilains are more nuanced, not straight up evil. Their plan is in fact good but the way they’re going about doing it is wrong. Speaking of that “evil plan” I can understand why Icicles cares about some of these issues but the rest of the ISA?
Here the vilains are organized, charismatic, and skilled. So they become a threat real quick, even making the heroes the laughable underdogs in comparison.

As good as the show is, there were moments that gave me pause. Sometimes it was because I was too emotionally invested to watch. At other times it was just bad, a real dip in quality, that I also wanted to skip.

After a while it became apparent to me that Courtney is a problem. Titular character or not, she was at times the most annoying thing out there. There were instances, where Hourmam was competing for the title but Courtney locked it down early on. She got so annoying that I legit stop rushing to watch the episodes. If she keeps going like this not matter how good the show is I’ll stop watching. I know she’s supposed to be young and naive but come on! Although I loved the staff, which is a mix of Aladdin’s Carpet and Mjölnir, it also seems like a temperamental tween.
In Fact, Wildcat ended being my favorite, it’s the only one we’ve seen constantly train, the one with the most interesting arc, and the one I’m more excited to see in the second season.

Stargirl has shades of greatness, with its exciting action scene, tense drama, great revelations, twits, and consequences. But goodness me, why is Courtney so annoying throughout?

Rating: 8 out of 10.

You can find the book here

Mitosis | Brandon Sanderson

Mitosis (The Reckoners #1.5) by Brandon Sanderson published 3rd December 2013

Steelheart may be dead, but Epics still plague Newcago and David and the Reckoners have vowed to fight back.

Buy links:

How was it?

It’s a short, tight story that comes in as both a dessert from the excellent Steelheart, allowing us to stand more time with the Reckoners, and an appetizer to the intriguing Firefight. I felt I redeemed myself on this one because I figured out the twist, I was on it lol, but like its novel counterpart Mitosis is riveting chock-full metaphors and hints about the next book, making this novella a necessary and well worth your time read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mitosis is available on The Book Depository, Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

Previous book in the series:

The Reckoners I
Review | Book | Audiobook