Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse

Storm ofWell, if there is a God of Good Books I need to make a prayer of thanks right now.  ‘Thank you for Storm of Locusts’.  I thought I loved Trail of Lightning, in fact I did love it, but Storm of Locusts blew my mind.  I am mush.  This continues with the fantastic world building, it explores further afield, it’s packed with imagination, the plot is intriguing, fast paced and absolutely compelling, the tension had me wringing my hands and the characterisation and friendships developed are just excellent.  I don’t even know how this could be improved upon to be honest – other than a third instalment that is.  And can I just say – check out that cover.

If you haven’t read the first book, I understand, I sympathise, we all have a lot of books to catch up with – however, I would strongly suggest you bump this series up to the top of mount tbr – you need this in your life – also beware of spoilers for Trail of Lightning.

We pick up a few weeks following the conclusion of the first book where we find Maggie being called onto a bounty hunt.  Unfortunately things don’t go according to plan.  There is death.  There is an unexpected commitment and there is the uncovering of a strange new ‘monster’ known as the White Locust.  As if the day hadn’t been bad enough the Goodacre twins show up, their young brother has gone missing and Kai seems to be implicated – at least he’s gone missing too.  Pear shaped! Ha!!  This day has rapidly gone to hell in a handcart and Maggie, not believing Kai”s complicity in recent events, undertakes to uncover the truth.

The story here is fast paced, there’s no shortage of action and for those of you who like high octane drama there’s a little bit of everything.  I love the originality displayed, We are once more treated to a story soaked in Native American culture that is absolutely fascinating and breathtakingly original to read about but much more than that, not only does this take the strong foundation from the first book but it builds a whole new level on top by the attention to the characters and the connections they build.  I’m sorry, I’m gushing, but I’m just happy and so it flows naturally, and haphazardly onto the page.

So, how can I convince you to pick this up – beg?  I will do it.  I have no shame.  Please read this series. Pretty please.  There will be cakes.

Seriously, the characters here are just excellent.  I love Maggie.  Of course she’s not always the easiest person to get along with, she has a bad track record when it comes to killing people (although she is trying to control that impulse) and to be honest she can be a little bit scary.  Her reputation has grown somewhat and people expect ‘badass’ from her.

What I found really refreshing, at the same time as a little gut wrenching, was the almost complete lack of Kai in this story.  I loved him in the first book – who didn’t? Right?  But, I think Roanhorse made an excellent decision here to distance him a little from events for a large part of the story.  It created not only a feeling of loss and a desire for Maggie to succeed but also a slight hesitation and a question of doubt.  Maggie felt it and so did I when reading this.

On top of this, we have a new character, Ben, who has her own clan powers that are quite unique.  Maggie has found herself in the unusual position of ‘caring’ about Ben – not easy as she’s also a rather feisty teenager – but great in developing Maggie’s own personality and giving her something else to think about that she’d not previously had to consider – the welfare of another person.

And, Rissa. I loved Rissa in this instalment.  She plays a great role, she really steps up and it was great to see the development of what could be a great friendship between these two characters.  Now I’m totally scared that something bad will happen to her.  *I’m making puppy eyes at Rebecca Roanhorse right now.*

Additionally there are locusts, cats and tricksters too.

I’m not going to mention too much more – particularly about the ‘baddie’ of the piece.  The White Locust is an enigma and one that ‘fit’s the world here.   On the face of it he doesn’t feel completely evil – but, nobody wants a storm of locusts on their tail and there is an element of crazy here – real ‘lost the plot’ crazy.

Basically, there’s a lot of love from me for this book.  It has this wonderful Mad Max, X-Men, end of the world strangeness going on and it’s an absolute blast to read.  Entertaining, fast paced, original, great writing, conflicted characters.  Shut up and take my money.

I highly recommend you give this series a try.

No criticisms.

I received a copy courtesy of the publisher, through Edelweiss, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

 

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Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Night Country (The Hazel Wood #2) by Melissa Albert

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Night Country (The Hazel Wood #2) by Melissa Albert.

TheNightCountry.jpgCan you ever truly escape the Hazel Wood?

In the sequel to her New York Times bestselling, literary/commercial breakout, The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert dives back into the menacing, mesmerizing world that captivated readers of the first book. Follow Alice Proserpine and Ellery Finch as they come to learn that The Hazel Wood was just the beginning of worlds beyond, “a place where stories and real life convene, where magic contains truth, and the world as it appears false, and where just about anything can happen, particularly in the pages of a good book”

Due for publication : September 2019

Early Days

ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

(First Ten) Books I Reviewed

Here are ten very early days reviews  – I seemed to have quite a mixed selection of books here:

  1. Girl on the Landing by Paul Torday
  2. Fade Out, Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine
  3. His Last Duchess by Gabrielle Kim
  4. Entangled by Kat Clarke
  5. Desert Spear by Peter V Brett
  6. Matched by Ally Condie
  7. Pi**ed Off Parents Club by Mink Elliott
  8. Room by Emma Donoghue
  9. Sister by Rosamund Lupton
  10. Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Emily Eternal by MG Wheaton

Posted On 22 April 2019

Filed under Book Reviews
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HB_RoyalEmily Eternal is a really unusual book that even now I’m still mulling over.  For a book where the primary character is basically a computer programme this story has a lot of heart and is very thought provoking.  I really didn’t know what to expect when I picked this up and initially I thought I was going to struggle but then the story went in an unexpected direction and I became hooked on the drama that unfolded.

Emily is AC.  No, not air conditioning!  Artificial Consciousness as opposed to AI (Artificial Intelligence) which I guess is something that we’re more familiar with.  Emily’s primary aim is to help people, she’s a therapist if you will and her interactions over the years have helped her to develop the side of her that wants to help us in such a way that she really empathises over our current plight.  Put bluntly the sun is dying.  It’s not a new idea, it’s something that we’ve heard of and at the same time are powerless to do anything about and with the end of the sun will come the end of earth and the extinction of the human race.  So, you might be now thinking this is going to be one of those novels that sees the world spiralling into a terrible place, a dog eat dog place where morals and basic civility have flown out the window.  This book isn’t really about that, it takes a much more focused look in fact.  Emily is based on a university campus and her fame has reached the ears of others, those in power.  It is felt that Emily’s programming is so advanced that she could take steps to help prevent the total extinction of humans – I won’t tell you more but basically this is the basis of Emily Eternal.  How to survive an extinction level event – or at least, how to continue after it has occurred.

Like I said, Emily is a computer programme, in order to help her grow she is simulated and takes human form, she is visible and audible to people who wear or carry a certain chip with them.  She has been programmed so that she functions as a human, with her own personal rooms on campus.  She dresses, showers, eats, etc.  Well, she actually does none of those things strictly speaking, but she is programmed to go through the motions and behaving as a human and constantly interacting has given her a heightened sense of how people think and feel.

As far as characters go I thought Emily was a very easy to like pov.  What I particularly liked about her were her logical thought processes and her reasoning abilities.  It’s all very clever and I really did enjoy that aspect.  As the story progresses things change slightly.  We have a twist in the plot when it becomes apparent that things are not happening in the way promised and Emily effectively ends up on the run.  Which takes some thinking about when you consider that she’s intrinsically linked to a server and also, in order to be seen or heard requires a person to be ‘chipped’.  I’m not really going to mention more about the plot because there are a number of ways in which this story could be spoiled.

On top of this whole survival idea – and the rather creatively over the top ways that Emily comes up with to solve the extinction of mankind, there is also a love story.  Again I won’t say more about that other than to say that Emily does end up travelling with a couple of other characters who thankfully inject something a little more human into the story – it could otherwise have become a little AC focused.

What I really enjoyed about this story is the creativity, some of it does go a little, mmm, crazy/whacky at certain times, but overall this is really well thought out.  It’s well written and actually quite fascinating.  I liked Emily.  I liked the dilemma that she found herself in and her resourcefulness.  I liked that she cared and it raised all those issues of can a programme develop enough to ‘feel’.  There’s also a very good demonstration, and warning of sorts in here, about just what could go wrong.  A cautionary tale in some respects.

In terms of what I struggled with a little.  The beginning is a little slow and I almost came to a point of giving in with this, I’m glad that didn’t happen though.  I did find it difficult to get my head around Emily and the whole love affair.  I understand that the author is demonstrating Emily’s feelings for humans, her connection and also her advancement in that she can actually feel something – not least of all a crush, thereby showing how ‘human’ she has herself become – but, ultimately, I found it difficult to envision.  I also thought the ending was perhaps a little too much – although, again, I loved the idea of what was being explored here.

Overall, I thought this was a thought provoking book indeed.  It actually had quite a compelling story in terms of the survival aspects, which I really hadn’t expected, and it became quite a drama as the stakes were raised at the end. A story that begs the question ‘what next?’

I would definitely read more by this author.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

 

Weekly Wrap Up : 21st April 2019

This has been a lovely week.  The weather has been glorious and the sun has beamed down on us all over the Easter holiday.  I’ve managed to read three books and start my fourth and I’ve caught up with a number of reviews.  Here’s my week in review:

My books:

  1. Emily Eternal by M G Wheaton
  2. A Boy and His dog at the End of the World by CA Fletcher
  3. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse

 

Next week’s reads:

  1. Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
  2. Ruthless Magic  by Megan Crewe
  3. Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young

 

Upcoming reviews:

  1. Emily Eternal by M G Wheaton
  2. A Boy and His dog at the End of the World by CA Fletcher
  3. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhorse

I’d love to know what you’re reading this week.

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