cover image The Last Storm

The Last Storm

Tim Lebbon. Titan, $15.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-80336-042-3

Blending disquieting climate fiction and subtle magic, Lebbon’s latest (after Eden) plumbs the possibilities of a dystopian future in which the effects of climate change forever alter North America. Skyrocketing heat and droughts have turned large stretches of the Great Plains into nearly uninhabitable desert. Reclusive Jesse has magic that can summon rain, but the one time he used it, his warped powers also brought a scourge of scorpions and venomous snakes, and he’s sworn off ever trying again. He passed on his abilities to his daughter, Ash, whom he believes to have died in his efforts to teach her to control her power. But when his estranged wife, Karina, informs him that Ash is alive and attempting to conjure a storm herself, the pair set out to stop her before she rains down peril on the already struggling population of the desert. Meanwhile, Ash’s efforts to understand the full extent of her powers puts some clever twists on classic coming-of-age-story arcs. Lebbon suffuses the tale with atmospheric detail to create a believable dystopian future. The taut prose and high stakes make for a powerful outing. (July)