Title: The Last Storm
Author: Tim Lebbon
Release date: July 19, 2022
Huge thanks to Tim, Titan Books and Netgalley for the ARC of this one!
Over the last number of years, I’ve read a bunch of Tim’s work and really come to love his way of storytelling. No matter which book it has been, at the cores have always been family and the resolve to survive and work together, even if the ‘family’ within isn’t always the tradition parent-children dynamic.
Tim infuses his stories with heart wrenching moments and enough cliffhangers to always have the reader on the edge of their seat, and such is the case with his newest novel, ‘The Last Storm.’ 2022 is turning out to be a boom year for Lebbon fans, not only do we get this novel, but he also has a collection, a novella and a graphic novel/novella coming out, giving new and old readers of his plenty to be excited about.
What I liked: Set in the near future, where the world’s climate has continued to erode, humans now live with the results from that change. A large section of America is now deemed ‘The Desert,’ where it is always scorching hot and dust storms rage. As well, a large portion of the western side is burning up, wildfires rampaging and destroying most of that side of the country.
Lebbon takes that and introduces the Rainmakers, a familial trait that allows certain people to be able to conjure storms and cause it to rain. Though, the story picks up years after those people have seemingly disappeared. The story centers around the character, Ash. A teen girl, whose family presumed she was dead following a storm-creating incident, she is feeling herself drawn back to making rain and following the clues that call to her. Along the way she meets Cee, a woman, who decides to help her.
This relationship is the highlight of the book for me, seeing how Ash opens up to Cee and how Cee resolves to help her and be there for her. Of course, there are those out there who want to end the Rainmakers and this adds a secondary layer of suspense and thrills as one of those people track Ash and try to kill her.
Fundamentally, this book feels like a prequel to Lebbon’s phenomenal ‘Eden,’ but for one small difference. When the storms are created, a window is opened and crazy creatures come through. This was a phenomenal bit of storytelling and really had me hooting and hollering when Lebbon went full cosmic horror.
What I didn’t like: Oddly, even though Ash is the main character here, or main driving plot aspect, she often felt secondary. I think part of that was the POV changes that Lebbon employed, which may or may not work for readers. I found it to be both good and bad at times and did wish we had more Ash-central chapters.
Why you should buy this: I do see people sometimes scoff at the blurbs on books. Look, the reality is, a blurb from another author is there to generate buzz and get people excited. But I will say this – Christopher Golden declaring this Lebbon’s best is absolutely spot on. This book gallops along and not only are all of the characters great (even the random side-characters who pop up ie coffee shop people etc) but the settings play such a vital role throughout and really bring the entire story to life.
Really amazing work here, can’t recommend this one enough.
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