by Meg Long
Publication: January 17, 2023
**I was provided a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**
Swift the Storm switches focus to Remy as Sena and Iska accompany her to search for Alora, the first friend she made and also lost. They track her former partner Kiran to a planet with a terrain vastly different from Tundar but with similar opponents. Corpos have taken over, and Kiran wants Remy’s help with a revolution in exchange for information on her friend’s whereabouts.
Because Remy is a genopath, there is an emphasis on nature versus nurture as she continually contemplates who she is and her actions. Is her behavior a product of her engineered genetics, or is it a reflection of her experiences and the people in her life? While it is difficult for her to determine, we only have to look at the family she has formed with Sena and Iska as well as her role in their reunification. It may be a combination of both as one feeds into the other, but Remy is far superior to the tool she was created to be.
Friendship and loyalty remain central to this second installment as Remy tries to find Alora. The book utilizes flashbacks to help build their relationship as places prompt memories, forcing her to relive both the good and bad times. They offer glimpses into Remy’s life, providing insight as to why she helped Sena rescue Iska and serving as reminders of why she is looking for her friend. And, aside from the memories, there are many reminders. There are so many that eventually, they started to feel redundant and even wore me down a bit.
Long continues to excel in world building, and Maraas is just as interesting as Tundar. Weather conditions are used along with the terrain to differentiate the planet. The weather is cleverly used as a plot device and drives home what first began with Cold the Night: greedy corpos are exploiting planets without regard to the destruction they create and leave behind.
While packed with action, it is not a harrowing adventure like Cold the Night. I deeply missed the bond between Sena and Iska, who are still along for the ride. However, Remy is just as compelling a character with a loyalty to those closest to her that runs deep. More importantly, I was not as aggrieved by her decisions as compared to Sena’s decisions in the first book. Heh… Swift the Storm further expands the plot with political intrigue and rebel forces as the backdrop to finding Remy’s friend. It helped me make connections and to see the bigger picture. It was an exciting read, and I am more than ready for the next book.