Storm of Locusts is action packed, fast paced, and full of heart. If you’re a fan of witty banter and found families, this sequel is definitely for you!
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I received an eARC copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
While this review is spoiler-free, if you haven’t read Trail of Lightning yet, I’d recommend not reading this review or book synopsis as both have spoilers for book 1.
“You know much of what you want, Battle Child. Careful it is not your undoing.”
Friends, when I say that I had high expectations for the second installment in Roanhorse’s Sixth World series, I mean it. I was so pleasantly swept away into this world during the first book that I was confident that my expectations for book would be too high. I have never been so happy to be wrong before: Storm of Locusts is action packed, fast paced, and full of heart. If you’re a fan of witty banter and found families, this sequel is definitely for you!
“Your paths are far from decided. There will be many trials. Most of you will fail because failure is your nature. But others…”
It’s four months after the events at the end of the first book, and it begins with four armed men in Maggie’s yard. It’s her day off, but there’s a job she is needed for and a bounty to collect. Things go a bit south and she reluctantly takes in a new charge, but when an angry Clive and Rissa Goodacre appear to ask for her help in tracking down their brother and Kai from a mysterious doomsday cult, their quest takes them beyond the walls of Dinétah.
There is a lot of character development in this book, particularly with Maggie herself. She’s struggling with her feelings of guilt and betrayal, and letting people get close to her. She wants to be a better person and make it up to Kai, and it is her personal path to redemption that I find particularly compelling. We’ve all experienced pain and loss, but she’s used her pain to fight back for so long that she’s become hard.
“Life is short, Maggie. Even shorter since the Big Water. Sometimes you just have to take people as they are, not worry about whether they’re good for you in the long run.”
Maggie is learning to not be an island, slowly trying to overcome her feelings of mistrust and abandonment. There is a levity in the banter of those that she has around her. There is definitely a Scooby Gang feeling developing, along with overall character development, in this book. We learn a lot of the backstories of Clive and Rissa, as well as Maggie’s new charge Ben (who is my literal favorite).
“From the back seat, Ben shouts, ‘Get in, losers! We’re going to Amangiri!'”
I definitely missed Kai’s presence in the majority of this book, but really appreciated the strong girl gang power that the book exudes. But just because these female characters are strong doesn’t mean that they cannot find usefulness in frilly pink dresses. And Kai’s absence and own path to healing in this book feels so incredibly valid for everything that he went through, it makes sense in a heartbreaking way.
“Chaos trails him like death trails you.”
The writing in Storm of Locusts was tighter than in Roanhorse’s debut novel. In addition to my much desired character development, this installment expands on what we have learned about Dinétah, Big Water, and the world beyond the Wall. The style is effortless and all-consuming: I
read devoured this book in one sitting. I liked that we weren’t left hanging for long on whether or not Kai resurrected, but I do wish that we had learned just how Tah survived the fire earlier (although how it is relayed makes perfect sense, I just thought it was going to go unexplained). There are a couple of convenient things that happen to make the plot move along; however, I think think that the character motivations in both Cat and Aaron’s cases were well justified. Everything builds nicely to the climax of the book, which has me screaming about needing to wait to see what happens next!
Overall, this was an explosive ride from start to finish for me! Trail of Lightning was a big surprise for me in 2018, and this sequel did not disappoint! It is just as action packed and fast-paced, but also is more tightly plotted and full of believable character development. The addition of Ben, as well as some reappearing characters from the first book, were a breath of levity that cuts the tension. The ending is simply an amazing cliffhanger that has me so excited for what comes next!
REPRESENTATION: bisexual rep, gay side character, Native American rep (Navajo)
CONTENT WARNINGS: attempted rape (challenged), death, loss of loved ones
Many thanks to Saga Press for sending me an eARC via Edelweiss for my honest review! Quotes are taken from an unfinished ARC and may not match final publication.
It’s been four weeks since the bloody showdown at Black Mesa, and Maggie Hoskie, Diné monster hunter, is trying to make the best of things. Only her latest bounty hunt has gone sideways, she’s lost her only friend, Kai Arviso, and she’s somehow found herself responsible for a girl with a strange clan power.
Then the Goodacre twins show up at Maggie’s door with the news that Kai and the youngest Goodacre, Caleb, have fallen in with a mysterious cult, led by a figure out of Navajo legend called the White Locust. The Goodacres are convinced that Kai’s a true believer, but Maggie suspects there’s more to Kai’s new faith than meets the eye. She vows to track down the White Locust, then rescue Kai and make things right between them.
Her search leads her beyond the Walls of Dinétah and straight into the horrors of the Big Water world outside. With the aid of a motley collection of allies, Maggie must battle body harvesters, newborn casino gods and, ultimately, the White Locust himself. But the cult leader is nothing like she suspected, and Kai might not need rescuing after all. When the full scope of the White Locust’s plans are revealed, Maggie’s burgeoning trust in her friends, and herself, will be pushed to the breaking point, and not everyone will survive.