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Storm of Locusts (2) (The Sixth World) Paperback – April 23, 2019
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "The Second Home" by Christina Clancy
"A sure-footed ode to the strength of family, the depth of loss, and the power of forgiveness." - J. Ryan Stradal Learn more
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"A must-read for anyone interested in own-voices or speculative fiction.", STARRED REVIEW, --Booklist
"There’s plenty of tension. Readers who enjoyed Roanhorse’s first book will eagerly blaze through her second.", STARRED REVIEW, --Publishers Weekly
"Sharp, exciting, dramatic." -- , Arkady Martine, -- NPR Books
"Storm of Locusts will delight and captivate.", --BookPage
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Trail of Lightning introduced readers to Maggie Hoskie, whose clan powers made her an unstoppable force. A monsterslayer, destined to be defined by bloodshed. Faced with an impossible decision, Maggie was forced to say goodbye to the one person who was able to get past her walls. Kai helped Maggie learn how to trust and rely on someone else. In Storm of Locusts our protagonist is pushed even further out of her comfort zone. New characters like the young Ben are thrust into her path. This young teen girl has her own traumas she’s working through and Maggie becomes the one person she can count on. For Maggie this is a completely terrifying and unprecedented situation. She’s not used to being someone’s rock. She’s still learning what it means to not be a killer and now she has this girl on her hands who very much believes her purpose is to kill. Ben is a reflection of Maggie’s past self and Maggie isn’t sure she is capable of not being a killer, let alone helping someone else see there’s another way.
As much as I missed Kai’s presence for the majority of this one, I loved seeing Maggie grow and forge new and significant relationships with other people. With Ben she gains someone she can protect and teach. With Rissa Goodacre she gains a peer and a friend. Their relationship is strained from the beginning as Rissa isn’t convinced of Kai’s innocence, but with each obstacle put in their path, they begin to rely on one another more and more. There are a lot earth-shattering action scenes in this one, but the tête-à-tête between Maggie and Rissa near the end might be the most satisfying scene in this series so far. I also love that each person the crew comes across on their journey feels significant in their own way and there’s a subtle humor in so many of these scenes that made me chuckle but never distracted from the tension-filled story.
Roanhouse is masterful in the execution of both build-up and payoff. Maggie’s separation from Kai is like a lump in the throat. His absence is palpable in every scene and Roanhouse kept me turning page after page, desperate for their reunion. I particularly loved the tension leading up to Maggie’s meeting with the White Locust. From the unnatural and unrelenting swarms chasing Maggie and her crew, to his trademark crucifixions, the antagonist is a terrifying villain even before we meet him. I do wish we had a chance to meet some of his followers because to me there is nothing scarier than a charismatic and manipulative leader able to persuade a group of people into feeling grateful to give up full control of themselves.
Storm of Locusts keeps readers on their toes with a new villain, new characters, and action scenes that are as harrowing and crisp as they were in the first.
But Maggie isn’t a damsel just waiting on Mr. Right to come along, so she is keeping busy and there seems to be a new crazy in The Sixth World, by the name of Gideon. He is the called the White Locust and is picking up followers to go with him to ‘The New Land’. The entire thing seems very cult-like and Kia might be with him. No one knows if it is voluntarily or not but it seems very suspicious. Kia even left Maggie a message that could also mean multiple things.
***Kai is smart. He would know what those six words would do to me, how they would make me want to destroy worlds to reach him, how they would send me reeling toward something as terrible as hope.***
Normally in a book when the main characters, who could be the love interests, are separated I’m totally distracted waiting for the reunion moment waiting for the other character to show up on page. Either I’m growing out of that phase of my life or Rebecca Roanhorse (RR) wrote a great enough story that while yes, I wanted to get to Kia, I was having enough fun in the Girl Gang that I didn’t really notice.
Maggie teams up with not one, but two other very special girls and a cat. The cat is like a demigod but still a cat in all the ways that matter. Clarissa’s brother has gone missing with Kia and is also believed to be with the White Locust and Ben, well Ben is just the cutest. Ben also has clan powers and a fantastic tracker. She also has a slight hero worship thing going on for Maggie and could totally have been her little sister. They all go off looking for Kia, Caleb and the White Locust and get into plenty of trouble along the way.
I loved the girl gang. Sure they have some issues but once they learn to trust each other a little Rissa and Maggie make an awesome team and Ben is a ton of fun and trouble as well.
***“I thought you were turning over a new leaf,” Rissa says to me. “Trying not to kill people.”
“I was, but that was yesterday. Today, with the whole captured and drugged thing? I’m feeling pretty aggro.”
Rissa gestures to Aaron like there’s nothing she can do. ***
In this new world you just never know what kind of trouble, or help you are going to run into. Between compounds offering human body parts to the highest bidder, casino’s housing forgotten gods, Coyote lurking around somewhere and the White Locust and his people there is trouble around every corner as the girl gang opens up even more of this world to the reader.
I definitely enjoyed this book even more than the first. RR’s writing has much improved and the pacing is on point. Trail of Lightning felt a little choppy in places but Storm of Locusts never did and I really loved how she is able to bring the Indian culture to live in this book. I’m very much looking forward to the next book of the series, especially after what the very last chapter revealed.
Cultural Diversity Note:
I’m not a huge reader of books with Indian culture in them and the few I have read have always seemed a little bashing of other cultures sometimes and some left a bad taste in mouth. But I really like how RR is able to bring the beauty and wonder of the culture and native American mythos to life in a very positive and way that doesn’t discount the past, but also doesn’t dwell on it.
This is a book I’m so glad I got on Audio. The Indian names are words I’d have no real hope of pronouncing even close to what they are, so I definitely appreciate the Tanis Parenteau’s ability to bring those characters and the culture of the book to life. I feel like she also captured the tone/feel of every character in her performance.
Top international reviews
As a slow reader, I still managed to get through this book within a week or so, and highly enjoyed it. The only dampener were the numerous typos, especially in the first half of the book, with almost no typos in the second half of the book. It's due to the typos that I knocked off a star from what could have been a five-star story.
The writing of the world makes it feel full and rich and filled with cultural aspects. It's got gods and magic and food and clothing specifically for the Najavo region and it fills the book with richness.
Love it! I can't wait for the next book so I can read more of Maggie's quick retorts lol
Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in Urban fantasy or dystopian novels, or interested in Native American lore.
Maggie reminds me a lot of Kate Daniels, mostly because you can see Maggie grow from half a person trained only to be a fight dog into an actual person with human feelings and relationships.
I hope this saga continues for many books more.
As expected there was again no shortage of natural and supernatural action and violence and some more gore-ish and graphic scenes and deaths. Add in a terrifying cult leader and a hunt all over the continent and some really heavy interpersonal tensions and you have one thrilling read. The writing felt even sharper and the pace even faster in this sequel, I was turning the pages even faster and harder than I did with the first book. It really did feel like Roanhoarse got sharper and sharper with every chapter, and so did her characterizations and plot twists. It was an amazing thing to read, and the emotional punches she packed into the most unexpected moments made all of it more delicious.
And the more I get to know her side characters, the more I adore them. I would have liked a little more time with them in the end, but I have no doubt we will see more of them in the sequels following this one. And kudos to Ben, who I adored. I hope we see more of her, too.
There were some loose ends I struggled with and I am hoping they will be addressed in the next book, but I couldn’t help but wish we had gotten just… a little *more* in the end. There were also a couple of very cis and binary gender focused comments in the book. Nothing that threw me off completely or made me want to end the book, but you know. The twitches were there and I couldn’t not mention them.
But in general this sequel was at least as good as the first book in the series, and I couldn’t stop devouring it from back to back. The tension, the action, the mystery, the emotions - it was all right there and it was amazing.
CW: violence, gun violence, death of side characters, gore, human trafficking, “harvesting” and selling of human organs, misogyny, religious fanaticism in a cult
Reading the prequel, „Trail of Lightning“, I was awed by the beautifully crafted post-apocalyptic world in the former southwest of what was once the USA. I loved how the Dinétah, the land of the Diné (the people mostly known as Navajo today), did fear a lot better during the great flood that destroyed most of the rest of the US. And how the gods of old were just as real as the monsters Maggie Hoskie is hunting and slaying. And I loved Maggie herself. She is so bada** and no-nonsense, I just had to admire her.
The great thing about „Storm of Locusts“: it’s even better than the first book.
The story starts with Maggie getting invited to a job with the Thirsty Boys and when it all goes down the drain, she ends up taking care for the teenage girl Ben, who has clan powers. And Ben is part of her motley crew, when the Goodacre twins appear at Maggie’s telling her that their little brother and Kai, the man Maggie loves and had to shoot to deceive a god and get him confined, buried deep into the earth, had both disappeared. The culprit seems to be the cult-leader calling himself the White Locust.
This is the start of an adventure full of action and glimpses of the world behind the wall around the Dinétah. During that rescue mission, it’s always a question, if Kai is colluding with the White Locust and overall things are not all they seem to be. And the gang meets gods and bad bad people, wow, I actually can say that people are obviously able to be the worst kind of monster. Maggie does find what she is looking for, even if she had to learn what that was. But she does grow here a lot and I loved how she started connecting to the people around her, yet accepting who and what she is.
There is really nothing about this book that I did not like, except maybe the fact that after the last chapter, it will be hard for me to wait for the next installment. But yes, this is such great dystopian fantasy, one of my all time favorites already.