Review: Summer Storm, by Morgon Newquist
In [easyazon_link identifier="B096T1BPXB" locale="US" tag="upstreamreviews-20"]Summer Storm[/easyazon_link] the unlikely heroine learns that was just the beginning of her problems.
We pick up not long after the events of Hellgate when Emilia and her Fae boyfriend Kai blew up a massive amount of ordinance to put an end to the kludde that had been terrorizing them. While that might have saved the day for the moment, it also created a couple of problems. One is that it weakened the seals on the hellgate that creates the magical background noise that attracts the Hollow’s magical residents in the first place. Even worse, it brought Emilia to the attention of Arcadia Property Management, the HOA that was spoken of in hushed tones of dread in the previous book.
As if a hostile board of supernatural beings wasn’t enough, Emilia is also visited by her mother and sister. Difficult to deal with under normal circumstances, Emilia tries to keep her mother and sister from realizing just how bad her grandfather’s dementia is and convince her that Emilia can take care of him. And then there is the true cause of the drought plaguing Strawberry Hollow, a demon tormenting the water spirit that hangs out in the creek.
First and foremost, we learn a lot about the primary characters, Emilia, Silas, and Kai. Kai has even more issues with his family than was suggested in Hellgate. In fact, it seems the animosity to the half-fae, half-human extends to other members of the magical realm, especially Mr. Greene, an elder fae and member of the HOA board.
We already know that Silas has a ghost moored to him. However, during a confrontation with the demon, Emilia sees it, and is terrified. Silas is also the most mysterious member of the trio, coming and going at odd times and clearly the most tormented person in Strawberry Hollow.
Emilia goes through a lot of growth in Summer Storm. Still struggling with her mixture of insecurity and pride, the budding heroine makes a number of poor decisions throughout, often because she doesn’t want to wait for or submit to any kind of authority. We also learn a lot more about the meaning of the ‘sword’ references from the previous book and how it is tied to Emilia’s grandfather and the family legacy.
We get new characters as well. Jasmine Craft is a young lawyer involved with Arcadia. Being of a similar age and also chaffing against the rules of the elders on the board, she and Emilia immediately hit it off. Silas, however, is less sanguine and distrusts her just as quickly. Given that Silas is clearly the most level headed of the bunch, it would be wise to expect some kind of nefariousness from young Ms. Craft in the future.
Our favorite ghost priest, Father Giles plays a more prominent role in Summer Storm as well. It turns out that he’s tangled with the demon trying to break through before, experience that is essential in the final battle in the ruins of St. Martins. One of the more intriguing things about Father Giles is that he hasn’t lost his mind like most ghosts who linger. For whatever reason, it seems he is meant to stay behind and guard his old church.
While the world of the fae and other supernatural creatures is obviously different from our own, it is still largely governed by rules and even has obnoxious bureaucracies like the local HOA and the larger Arcadia Property Management. Of course, on the less boring end of the spectrum is the fact that there is a demon around that even at partial strength can take physical form, torment the local water spirit, and even possess people.
Emilia’s world also expands as she learns what it means to be a sword. It isn’t just getting a few cool powers, it’s also drawing on a legacy that is hundreds, if not thousands of years old, a legacy that has ties to the legendary King Arthur.
While several characters in Summer Storm are clearly anti-authority of any kind, those who make the most positive impact on the story, recognize the need for authority and structure. In fact, even the very anti-authority Kai isn’t above using some influence to get Emilia’s mother out of the picture. In the end, there certainly isn’t any woke garbage and proper authority is affirmed, so long as it isn’t abused.
There is a disturbing possession scene, some low level magic going on and almost sex scene.
Who is it for?
As with Hellgate, Summer Storm will definitely appeal to anyone who likes the concept behind a lot of modern series like Supernatural or even Twilight but crave for better writing and no progressive agenda.
Why read it?
Emilia is back, there is a demon and Newquist works in elements of Arthurian legend, why wouldn’t you want to read it?