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Storm of Locusts

Narrated by: Tanis Parenteau
Series: The Sixth World, Book 2
Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (254 ratings)

Regular price: $24.95

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Publisher's Summary

Kai and Caleb Goodacre have been kidnapped just as rumors of a cult sweeping across the reservation leads Maggie and Hastiin to investigate an outpost, and what they find there will challenge everything they’ve come to know in this action-packed sequel to Trail of Lightning.

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.

©2019 Rebecca Roanhorse (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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Thoroughly Original, Compelling, & Heart-wrenching

I am usually not a fan of series. In this case, I not only couldn't wait for _Storm of Locusts_, I pre-ordered it...and felt that everything I read in the interim lacked the vivid imagination and memorable characters that hooked me, instantly, in _Trail of Lightning_.

You don't have to love near-future science fiction, catastrophic dystopias, or First Nations literature to find these books fully absorbing and haunting in the best sense of the word. The traumatized survivors of "the energy wars," rising sea levels, devastating climate change and governmental disintegration work to create new bonds of love and family. At the same time their clan ancestries may now burden them with shocking supernatural gifts triggered by crisis and loss.

The plot is a deceptively simple quest which flowers into a complex examination of greed, the will to power, broken taboos and social mores in a shifting society of traditional Navajo values, water barons, Mormon kingdoms, Spanish land grant "royalty," and fractured militia-like units trying to profit on every crime from slavery and harvested human organs to the sale of weapons and stolen goods.

Maggie, our protagonist, has witnessed multiple murders, cannibalism and worse while still a teenager, which triggered the onset of her own clan gifts. She is still struggling to make sense of her terrifying abilities (for example, being extremely skilled at killing people), and find her place among human beings after serving a supernatural god as violent apprentice and young lover, surviving his abandonment, and learning a new way of being from the medicine man's grandson in book one. She is strong, determined, but still filled with self-loathing and anxiety in this novel--although there is perceptible growth in her social skills. Her search for the grandson she now alternately loves and doubts brings her closer to former acquaintances and other human beings, and it is touching to witness her tentative attempts at social bonding and experience her moments of well-being after the unbelievable tragedies of her adolescence.

All of Roanhorse's women characters are strong and fascinating survivors. They out-shoot, out-fight, out-track, and out-think the male characters more often than not. Yet everyone is depicted so compassionately you can't help but wish that all but the raging psychopaths will find meaning and happiness in their lives, regardless of their savage environment.

I stayed up all night to listen to _Storm of Locusts_, and from the hints at the end I am very eager for the next book in this incredibly unique and wild series. I sincerely hope you give it a try!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Part of a curious magical buddy adventure quest,

Storm of Locusts, being the second book in a new series, ends rather abruptly without much satisfying epilogue, which was not surprising since the first book ended much the same way. Presumably enough minor quest will be completed in another book later and it’ll all come together, but this installment was a good adventure in itself and a satisfying tale.

In the apocalyptic remnants of North America after the Big Water kicked off the end of big government, the Dine reservation is doing better than many other surviving clusters. But this time, Maggie needs to leave her familiar lands and go out into the unknown. It’s not smooth sailing.

The big quest starts with the object of said quest saying “don’t follow me. Fat chance buddy. Reminded me of watching expert videogamers ignore all the directional arrows showing the way to the end of the level. When I asked why, they said to never follow the arrows if you want the best rewards. This felt like that.

One thing I like in series is when characters create a new community or enlarge their existing community and this does both. It makes it less of a “chosen one on a quest” and more of a series of survivors who emerged from traumas stronger, finding each other. Sadly for a some characters here, a few are too traumatized and go irretrievably off the deep end. But some characters make it through, and it will be interesting to see how things ultimately turn out for them, but for now, most have regrouped.

There are some funny moments and all the characters throw attitude.
[Redacted] guy: “Where are you going?”
Maggie: “Off to fight a god”
[R] guy: “Drunk?!?”
Maggie: Not doing it sober!”

There are many imperfect characters, and many times where uncertain allies have to decide to trust or not trust each other. It’s an ongoing process repeatedly resolved either from a sense of believing in a person or trusting a situation, not just from blind faith or weird omens, although there’s some of that too. Which is to say choices felt character driven and real.

I’m still trying to figure out the roles & motivations of the various gods & minor deity types who keep popping in to offer advice, but skip out before seeing action or cleanup.

If you’re looking for a young adult (more adult than young) adventure/coming of age with new powers/ building the superhero league type story, this is a pretty good one. I only hope more of the open story arcs get more fully completed in future installments. The main quest gets done but I want more overview of secondary characters & subplots to come together or get rounded out. Stil, it’s a good tale for what it is.

The narrator is pretty good, altering voices enough you mostly know who is talking without it being said. Her voice for Kai’s grandfather seems to flatten any lyricism in his voice & phrasing, but otherwise does well with a diverse cast. The sound quality/inherent volume level is even and the diction clear.
Recommended. Even though it hints obviously toward a sequel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian
  • Northmead, Australia
  • 05-05-19

Brilliant. A Game Changer.

Storm of Locusts (and Book 1, Trail of Lightning) are brilliant. They are those rare books that make you look at a genre you've been reading for a while in a completely new way.
I honestly don't know anything about Navajo mythology but after reading these books I want to know desperately. Not many books can do that to you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirk
  • Irving, TX United States
  • 04-30-19

another excellent story

another great following novel. I recommend as a wonderful new world of science fiction different from.the usual. female hero motif with southwestern Indian. Buffy mixed with Tony hillerman my best explaination but weak comparison at best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Better than the first

While I am sure the print is fabulous. This is a book that is meant to be an audiobook, the narrator brings this book alive in a way that reading it yourself just probably isn't going to do. buy it , listen to it and then do it again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Even better than the perfect debut

Another excellent story in the sixth world with a intriguing cast and cliff hanger ending!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I’ve been waiting a year for this!

I pre-ordered the Kindle book as soon as it was available and did the same for the audiobook. I’d enjoyed the first book so much I was waiting for release day. I marathoned the book while at work. A great continuation of the story from book 1. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Stunning Sequel

I have been waiting months for this sequel and I was not in the least disappointed. Roanhorse has created a thriving world and recognizable characters with personality and spark. I particularly appreciate that this is an own voices tale, and it shows as it is simply brimming with authenticity.
The narrator does a fantastic job not just with conveying story, but in giving life to characters you love to love and love to hate.
I can't wait for an third installment.

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Great story, better characters

A hallmark of this book, and its predecessor “Trail of Lightning”, is the realistic characters. The characters are flawed, authentic, likable, hateable, and they all have some sort of realistic story arc. Top notch character development.
The story is also exciting and keeps you wanting to keep going.

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  • phyncke
  • Berkeley, CA United States
  • 05-15-19

Pretty metal!

No spoilers in this review. I love this continuation and this bad ass character, Maggie. We get some new side kicks and some returning characters all to good, dramatic conclusion. Don’t want to say anymore but if you liked the first book, you will enjoy this one. It does not disappoint and leads right to the next one. I am loving this series.

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  • paul sparks
  • 05-04-19

Good not great

I enjoyed the first book immensely and really looked forward to the second, it isn’t that the book is boring but neither is it as engaging or interesting as the first, the premise of a dystopian world where beings of myth and lore exist is not new but the first book made it seem new and this book makes it seem mundane, the narrator was the same as the first book but has taken the annoying teenage female meme to new heights of annoying and kept making me skip those bits, worth a listen if your library is running low