Narrator: Tanis Parenteau
Series: Sixth World #2
Published by Audible on April 23, 2019
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Length: 9 hours, 5 minutes
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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.
Storm of Locusts is the second book of the Sixth World series, following and starts about a month after Trail of Lightning ends. Maggie has been trying to keep busy working with the Thirsty Boys and hanging out with Tah, waiting for Kia. She hasn’t seen him, hasn’t talked to him and has no idea how he is doing; she also doesn’t know if he forgives her after the events of the last book. Waiting is hard.
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.
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 is 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.
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.
“She slit the throat of Coyote because he double-crossed her, and she buried alive Naayéé’ Neizghání, the hero of Dinétah, even though she really loved him. She shot a powerful medicine man through the heart. So, who are you? Who are you that she won’t slit your throat? That she won’t bury you alive? Or slice off your wings inch by inch? Or cut out your tongue out to make sure you never sing again!”
“That won’t be necessary. Your fame, Godslayer, precedes you.”
That name again. “Where did you hear that name?” I ask.
“On the tongue of a dying angel, from the mouth of a storm king. It is known.”
I’m so glad I got this one 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 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.
Listen to a clip: