Storm of Locusts

Storm of Locusts (2019) by Rebecca Roanhorse is the second book in The Sixth World series. I don’t know why I didn’t mention the first one, Trail of Lightning (2018), before now, but both took me away on an adventure into a world like ours might become.

In Roanhorse’s world, Dinetah, which is the historic land of the Navajo in what we know as New Mexico, is surrounded by a wall and is a part of the North America that remains after the Great Flood covered the land east of the Mississippi River. After the plagues and the floods, the Gods returned to Earth in human form, including Coyote the Trickster, and others. For some people, their clan powers awakened as they survived one of the many possible traumas in the new world.

Maggie Hoskie is a young woman whose clan powers make her super fast and super good with weapons and so she makes a living as a monster and bounty hunter. She doesn’t have many friends. In Trail of Lightning, she meets Kai, the grandson of her beloved grandfather-like friend Ta. Kai has his own mysterious clan powers and is studying to be a medicine man, as well. They seek refuge at Grace Goodacre’s icehouse and compound–where we also meet the weapon-toting, motorcycle-riding twins Clive and Clarissa.

In Storm of Locusts, Maggie meets and becomes responsible for a young woman, named Ben, with very strange clan powers–she is a tracker. Which is a good thing, because Kai and the youngest Goodacre sibling have disappeared, having joined the White Locust, leader of a new cult, and no one can tell if they went willingly or are hostages

Maggie really grows as a character in this book–as a sister-figure to Ben, and as a friend to Rissa. Some of the locust scenes are terrifying, and of course the Gods make unexpected appearances since they can’t help but interfere in human affairs.

I highly recommend both books and look forward to the final two in the series. Roanhorse avoids anti-fat bias in all of its forms. In Trail of Lightning, I recall that Grace, the matriarch of the Goodacre clan, is described as round, and she is one of the strongest and wealthiest humans in Dinetah–no one crosses her and Maggie, a monster-hunter, seeks shelter with her. I don’t recall there being any descriptions of fat people with negative connotations or any gratuitous use of offensive terms.

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