Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame

Wednesday Bks. Jan. 2023. 416p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250785121.
Gr 9 Up–In this companion novel to Long’s debut Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves, Remy Castell has dragged her new friend Sena and Iska the wolf to the world of Maraas to find Remy’s ex-partner, Kiran. Remy hopes to reunite with her old friend, Alora, whom she abandoned years ago because of a choice that Kiran made for her. Kiran agrees to help his former partner, but she must take part in the fight to overthrow the ruling corpos of Maraas before he will give her any information. The action heats up as Remy makes her choice to join the coup to help the many over continuing a selfish search for the friend that she lost. Remy and Kiran are genopaths who were engineered by Nova to have superhuman strength. The Assembly worlds consist of various combatting groups including Nova, corpos like TerraCo, syndicates, and scavvers. Readers will have to navigate a vocabulary that is singular to the world that Long creates. It is not necessary to read Long’s first novel before this one, though following the politics of this world is not always an easy task because so many factions and their leaders are introduced. The main characters are one note, and their individual idiosyncrasies are repeated endlessly.
VERDICT Purchase only where the first novel has fans; readers will be more enthralled with the characters in dystopian titles like The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey or Legend by Marie Lu.

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