Book Review: Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse (four stars)

Book Review: Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World, #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse (four stars)

“Godslayer, huh.” His mouth bleeds into a half smile. “I always knew you were the crazy one in the girl gang.”

Excellent story; excellent storytelling. Roanhorse continues her saga woven with Navajo language, culture, and lore in a post-apocalyptic Dinétah, approximately a hundred years in the future. The geography is based on the American Southwest after the Big Water, a series of cataclysms including California sliding into the Pacific. People live as best they can on the remnants, using their clan powers to aid or oppose each other and spiritual deities, including the Diyin Dine’e.

I open my mouth to remind him of her clan powers, but I shut it when I see the look on his face. Why ruin his familial pride with a few pesky supernatural facts?

Maggie is totally believable in a speculative fiction way, which is way over the top. The genesis and inner dynamics of her gang of girls adds to her and their depth. Gratuitous profanity cost Ronan a star. Yes, that’s who Maggie and company are, but beyond establishing character, it dulls the edge which it presumably was meant to whet.

“You know, I grew up in the church, but I’m not sure I believe in all that sin stuff.”
“I have to believe, because if I don’t, then there’s no chance of forgiveness. It’s the only hope I have.”

Mechanics: Roanhorse reveals that she wrote Storm before publishing Trail of Lightning. Assures continuity. Pace and timing propel the reader onward. Kudos to Tommy Arnold for the cover illustration.

“I’ve got issues, if you haven’t notice.” “Oh, I noticed.” “Thanks.”